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Press releases, 2021-01-12

Pandemic puts the brakes on business travel

Business travel is likely to take up to three years to reach pre-Covid levels, as video and audio conferencing sales explode – replacing traditional suits with cameras.

That’s one of many key findings from an informative webinar hosted by manufacturer Konftel, to help resellers and their customers adapt to a ‘seismic market change’, as a new world dawns.

Dozens of resellers from across the country watched UK Sales Director Jeff May reveal how high quality conferencing has become the de facto standard for business-critical meetings, where ‘you only get one chance to make a good first impression’.

“Even with a vaccine the general consensus is that more flexible ways of working is here to stay. It won’t go back to the way it was before. It’s forever.”

The ‘hybrid work environment’ presentation featured groundbreaking industry research from leading analysts, including Frost and Sullivan. This showed prior to the crisis 95% of people around the world were office based, compared to just half during lockdown restrictions. Furthermore over 30% indicated they will continue to work from home in the future, a six fold global increase from the beginning of 2020.

“The pandemic has demolished traditional distance working barriers and businesses have embraced a more open attitude which has seen us take a huge leap forward along the digital journey. The world of work may never go back to the way it was before, as more hybrid patterns emerge. It’s almost a revolution in our living and working life.”

Jeff said other studies show that up to 70% of people want to continue working from home in some capacity, as he added: “Massive behavioural change has taken place with ninety one percent of people globally saying they use video when working from home. Cost effective conferencing technology that enables people to work as effectively as they do in the office is crucial.” 

Increased remote working, offices needing to adapt to more social distancing in meeting rooms - and also business travel dramatically reducing, pushing meetings online, are some of the biggest current changes.

Jeff continued: “In the past we always wanted to get dressed up and make our best impression face-to-face but that’s not possible anymore. Cameras have replaced suits but we’ve still got to look our best and sound our best.

“In the future there will be a mixture of communication in and out of the office, with more and more online. The home office needs to function more permanently. It’s not just a quick fix. People need portable, quality, easy to use and reliable equipment, not just something that makes do. This is a way of life. People don’t just need to operate effectively. They need to be seen and heard professionally with the right equipment.”

He also shared August research from The Global Business Travel Association which shows business travel will remain in the slow lane, possibly for years to come.

“Over three quarters of those surveyed say it will be much slower road back to pre-pandemic levels. Thirty nine percent think it will take at least three years if at all to recover.

“Ninety four percent of companies are planning to increase collaboration spend, with healthcare and education two of the hottest sectors just now. More than a third will increase meeting rooms. They don’t need as much office space but they need meeting areas. When using equipment and services they want them to be flexible, utilising multiple meeting apps. This is a very common trend.”

Jeff emphasised: “It’s clear to me that a lot of people don’t want to travel even if they could now. We’ve had a reset. Queues on motorways and lost time, waiting for people to turn up doesn’t need to happen.”

He concluded: “Simple, easy to use, dual purpose, powerful and portable solutions (for the home as well as office) are the way forward. Konftel offers something for everybody, from a home office to the biggest boardroom. Hybrid working is the way forward.”

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Chris Widocks

Content & PR Editor