Executives Say Technology Continues To Decrease Travel

Expect electronic meetings and communications to further reduce trips when face-to-face communication isn't essential, says Max Messmer, chairman of Accountemps, Menlo Park, Calif. An Accountemps survey released in November found that only one of four executives said technology has not changed the amount of business travel. Significantly, more than half -- 52% -- said that it has decreased the amount of travel somewhat; another 11% said it had decreased the amount of travel significantly. "A growing number of businesses are using e-mail, videoconferences, and even online meetings conducted in real time to communicate with clients, customers, and co-workers," says Messmer. "These high-tech alternatives are helping to curb the time and expense associated with frequent business travel." However, Messmer cautions that before executives trade in their airline tickets and forgo a face-to-face meeting, they need to ask themselves the following questions to determine if an e-meeting would work:

  • Is the topic of discussion confidential?
  • Is the technology being used to avoid confrontation?
  • Is it important to engage the participants in a discussion of the information being presented?
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