Verizon recently estimated that:
“a face-to-face meeting is between five and 35 times more expensive than a virtual meeting”.
Graham responded that by commenting on limitations of virtual meetings:
“With all of these limitations I wonder whether the value of many virtual meetings is so low as to make them more expensive than face-to-face meetings.”
Graham also gave the example that:
“In one particular occasion we were working on a technical problem for over three weeks before a face-to-face meeting resolved the problem in under 2 hours.”
I agree face-to-face has a place. I estimate that I could reduce around 60% of the travel I perform by using:
- HD Video
- Document interaction
The remaining 40% being initial first time meetings, customer meetings or staff sessions where nothing but face-to-face should be used. I use one short haul return flight about 15 times per year – not counting my other flights and driving for meetings – and I’m not one of the heavier users. It is about the same as a Manchester – Heathrow return. The chart shows information from atmosfair.de and estimates 1 flight, the 15 flights I take, after reducing flights and compares the fact that effectively my flights today are equivalent to an additional car.
When considering the cost of a meeting, the value of a meeting, we should also consider the impact of a meeting. I wonder how long it will be before there is a cultural tipping point, when will it be frowned upon to travel to a meeting? Longer term will this lead to a reduction in travel? I hope so because I’d much rather be sat here at home typing this than in an airport or on a flight.