The case for virtual collaboration as an alternative to travel

By Chelsea Franklin, Marketing & Communications Manager, Advito

In a recent Op-Ed for Business Travel News, Dr. Andrew Rundle of Columbia University shared research findings on the health issues of employees who regularly travel for work. Dr. Rundle, along with colleagues, studied the physical, behavioral and mental health of frequent business travelers over several years. The common issues faced by these ‘road warriors’ include:

  • Obesity
  • Poor self-rated health
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Smoking
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Alcohol dependence
  • Sleep issues

Dr. Rundle notes how these findings are consistent with a World Bank study of the medical complaints filed by its staff and consultants. And he goes on to share the potential health costs of extensive business travel:

  • Higher medical claims
  • Reduced employee productivity and performance
  • Employee turnover
  • Absenteeism
  • Presenteeism (or working while sick)
  • Short-term disability

Dr. Rundle ends his Op-Ed with recommendations on how companies can encourage their employees to make healthier choices while on the road. But what if the need for business travel is cut down or eliminated? With virtual collaboration options, this is possible and it’s something we’ve been perfecting and promoting for years.

Our strategic, Total Collaboration Management approach balances face-to-face interactions with modern, virtual encounters to realize measurable benefits for employees and organizations. It gives travelers the choice for work-life balance and decreases the likelihood of the above health issues and costs. It’s also more cost efficient and better for the environment. More on this in a moment.

When it comes to virtual collaboration options, employees are ready. One-third of corporate employees report they already work remotely part of the time. Companies, and the technology, are ready to meet employees where they are- in a work office, home office, domestic or abroad. Nearly half of all companies (45%) offer video-conferencing and telepresence systems. What’s more, the cost of these systems is going down while the quality of the experience is going up.

Virtual collaboration options not only improve an employee’s health, but also improve a company’s cost efficiency and the environment. Cutting down on the amount of business travel reduces the costs and carbon emissions associated with a business trip.

Learn how a global agricultural firm avoided over 900 internal trips with an Advito virtual collaboration strategy. This boosted productivity by redirecting more than 15,000 hours of employee travel time while also cutting carbon emissions equivalent to the annual energy use of 112 American homes.

Want to explore how virtual collaboration can benefit your employees and your travel program? Contact us today at advice@advito.com to get started.