Business travel is an integral part of the modern world. Globalisation has led to huge multinational companies stretched between separate offices in different time zones or even continents. Now a huge number of people travel all over the world for meetings, conferences and sales pitches. This is bad for the environment as the majority of these trips involve air travel. It would be a huge boon for environmentalist if this one particular avenue of travel were cut down. Tools like conference calling, and email have made communication between different offices very easy, perhaps this means we will soon the end of business travel.
It is now incredibly easy to communicate and work with people on the other side of the world. Tools like email and instant messengers allow colleagues to communicate irrespective of distance. Files can be sent through email, while cloud computing lets different people work on the same documents all over the world. Conference calls are also great for working remotely with people as they can speak cheaply and clearly over huge differences. It is also possible to use webcams in conjunction with conference calls to speak face to face. This kind of technology may replace the traditional meeting sooner than you would think.
If technology allows people to work together no matter how far they are from each other, it will reduce the need for business travel. We can thus expect to see a decrease in the volume of people travelling by plane – this change may take some time to come, but with the advances of modern technology it seems inevitable. Best of all, doing away with business travel will make everyone happy. People spared from long trips to unknown cities will be grateful as will companies when they save money on travel and increase their productivity.
Business travel may never go away completely, yet the advance of technological tools like conference calls means that it is likely to become much less common. This will benefit workers, companies and, most importantly, the planet. Indeed, air travel puts an enormous strain upon the environment by releasing huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. Limiting this can only be a good thing for this planet, and its inhabitants.