Sweden, Umeå, 2011-10-25
Less travel good for social and family life
It’s a well-known fact that teleconferencing can dramatically reduce travel costs. There is also much evidence that virtual meetings lead to other beneficial effects for companies and employees too. According to employees who frequently use virtual meetings, one such effect is a better balance in life, since it increases the opportunities to combine work with family and private life.
In the past, extensive “important” business travel was seen as a status factor and a sign of success. But results of surveys show that employees, especially the younger generation, have started to view things differently. “We are seeing a definite increasing trend towards more flexible working practices and a better balance between work and non-work,” says Anders Assarson, Head of Human Resource Services at Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC).
Work-life balance tops the list
PwC has published its report “Managing Tomorrow’s People” for which it interviewed 5700 business people around the world. More than a third (36%) put Work-life balance at the top of their list for their future work situation. As many as 41% believe that social and environmental accountability will in the long-term be the most important factor for companies.
Up until now, employers have been the main driving force behind an increase in the number of virtual meetings. There are significant gains to be made, such as cost savings through reduced travel, a strong environmental trend and more efficient work groups. It is now clear that many employees also wish to benefit from the knock-on effects of reduced travel. This could be a key factor for success for organisations and companies in the battle for recruiting, motivating and retaining a highly-educated and skilled workforce.