The cost of having remote employees travel for in-person meetings can be astronomical, and impact heavily on their stress and well-being.
According to a white paper by VerizonBusiness.com, a five-person meeting conducted in-person (involving plane travel for four of the attendees) is more than seven times more expensive than a meeting conducted remotely.
The study calculates that the average meeting involving travel costs more than $5,000 and takes almost 54 hours of collective employee time — more than three times the amount of collective time that could be spent using a remote solution.
Meeting Length: 2 hours
Number of Attendees: 5 people
Number Traveling: 4 people
Total time: Approx 54 hours
Total hard costs (flight, food, etc.): $1,233.54
Total soft costs (employee salary): $3,963.96
TOTAL MEETING COST: $5197.50 (source)
In addition to the monetary costs, travel for business can also impact an employee’s mental health, “Nearly three-quarters (73%) of busy professionals say that it is stressful to spend time away from family, and many (64%) are concerned about other work responsibilities that pile up at the office during their absence.” (source)
Plus, once your remote employees arrive at the location of the meeting, there’s no guarantee that they are actually going to be engaged, interactive participants, or that your meeting will achieve the desired outcome.
In fact, 91% of meeting attendees admit to daydreaming in meetings, 39% have fallen asleep, and 73% admit that they spend in-person meetings doing other work! Executives consider 67% of meetings to be failures, while the average employee feels that 50% of them are a waste of time.
If in-person meetings are so expensive why have them?
The reality is that it is hard to achieve true engaged collaboration on a conference call or video call — one person talks, and everyone else multi-tasks. And it’s hard to have a productive brainstorm if remote attendees can only contribute by interrupting the facilitator — not an easy thing to do over the phone.
Plus, according to an article in Harvard Business Review, people working remotely — either on remote teams or from home — tend to feel left out of discussions, out of the loop when it comes to important decisions, or like they are forgotten by management.
When faced with all of these negatives, the only solution seems to be to find room in the budget and fly your employees to one location for a meeting…
Stormboard is the ultimate remote collaboration tool that takes away the need to travel for in-person meetings.
Not only can you share ideas in real-time, you can also co-edit documents directly in your Storm, and share images, video, and files with each other — no screen-sharing necessary.
Even better, everyone is an interactive, ongoing participant, which means that during the meeting anyone can contribute ideas without interrupting the facilitator, and between meetings your team can continuously act on and grow ideas. At your next meeting, everything is there for you to build off of, rather than starting with a blank whiteboard or a document on a shared screen.
It is the perfect way to keep everyone connected, engaged, and productive — negating the need to travel for face-to-face collaboration.