Up until recently, you might have only been aware of Virtual Reality (VR) for recreational reasons – such as gaming, or fun software. However, as new emerging technologies worldwide develop, VR equipment is more and more frequently becoming geared towards professionals due to the time saving and cost-cutting sides to the equipment. As technology develops, it becomes more accessible and cheaper – VR equipment is now available for anyone to buy for a relatively small investment, an investment that will simply ‘make itself back’ the more business travel trips it replaces. And as business travel continues to increase (bringing a huge expense to businesses – with small businesses being hit particularly hard), the question is: Could Virtual Reality Be the Answer to Cutting Business Travel Expenses?
Small businesses often have fewer employees, most likely tackling more parts of the workflow. This means when one employee is out of the office, even just for one day, a lot of work can become missed, disjointed or delayed – not ideal for an organization! While business travel may be necessary for meetings, pitches and location scouting in the long term, it might cause short term loss, due to missed work over the time shortage of an absent employee.
When an employee uses VR to have a meeting, they remain in the same building as their office. There is no travel to be done, and yet it feels like they are in the same room as their counterpart – be that just down the road or the other side of the world. The possibilities of VR cannot be overstated.
This can be a huge positive for small businesses who can’t lose the manpower for even just one day, let alone a few weeks of business travel. When employees can take long-distance meetings from inside the office (or the comfort of their own home), it means they can get straight back to work right after – less wasted time travelling means fewer lost sales or time with customers. And as we know, time is money.
Alongside the time that’s lost when business travel is a necessity, there is also a huge financial loss whenever a business must foot the travel bill.
In an increasingly digital world, ‘face to face’ meetings are being viewed as the height of authenticity, and in some ways, we’re even reverting to preferring in-person meetings over conference calls. When it comes to sales, many large companies won’t even consider closing in a sales deal if they haven’t met the salesman face-to-face. While it’s important to make a good impression, travelling all over the country (or even world) to meet clients isn’t always financially feasible, after travel, hotel, food, drink, entertaining and sundries are taken into account.
This is what makes VR such a great alternative to real-life meetings, as it is so realistic, and feels like an in-person meeting, and yet both parties stay exactly where they are – no expenses needed. This allows for extremely effective collaboration.
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