The business world is still adjusting to the modified working conditions that were required during the global pandemic and weighing their continued value moving forward. A new survey of 522 US-based executives and business managers explored the benefits and pitfalls of different types of meeting modes (in person or virtual) with employees and customers as well as the value of corporate travel in the post-pandemic business climate. The survey also probed the attitude toward returning to the traditional office setting versus remote work or a blend of the two.
The 37-page white paper, How We Meet Matters—Insights on Meetings and Travel from US Business Leaders, was sponsored by CWT, Cytric by Amadeus, and Delta, and compiled by tClara. Data was collected during February 2022.
- When it comes to business travel, 78 percent of respondents would recommend travel levels similar to or significantly more than their closest competitors.
- In-person meetings are significantly more valued by C-suite executives than others surveyed (53 percent vs. 41 percent, respectively).
- Virtual meetings are beneficial for saving time and money, protecting participants’ health, and reducing carbon emissions, but the risks are significant for loss of attention and weak participation.
- Among the benefits cited for in-person meetings are building trust and teamwork, solving important problems, and becoming part of a team.
- When asked about the consequences of banning all in-person meetings, respondents cited higher attrition (65 percent) as the top concern. Lower morale, inferior hiring, worse teamwork, and an eroded culture all came in second at 63 percent.
- In a surprising finding, 77 percent of respondents said they can’t determine if their companies are traveling too much or too little other than by examining the travel budget, while 92 percent of CEOs surveyed said that business travelers should spend a few minutes justifying the need for their trips before they travel.
- A majority (70 percent) favor a blend of working virtually and in person, with only 23 percent saying that they want to work in the office five days a week.