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Has business travel really changed forever?

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Has business travel really changed forever?

Old 26th May 2021, 07:54
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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"You have to come out of the bunker some time."

of course - but the landscape may have changed quite a bit................. We're seeing a couple of changes that may be permanent . For people who have jobs which don't require constant interaction - such as designing things and thinking - WFH is brilliant we're seeing more work, more quality work and people are saving cash and are refreshed mentally from not commuting.

Brain storming and reviews are not working as well. People miss the physical clues. Generally its looking like most people will do 1 day a week or every 2 weeks in the office and a small group will be doing 3-4 days a week in.

One of the best things is the absence of sales people banging on the doors...............
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Old 26th May 2021, 12:40
  #22 (permalink)  
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Is there any evidence that WFH is 'brilliant`?

Once the novelty wears off and Employers adjust salaries to reflect the lower WFH costs, I suspect we will see another realignment.

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Old 26th May 2021, 13:50
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Once the novelty wears off and Employers adjust salaries to reflect the lower WFH costs, I suspect we will see another realignment.
I had this discussion several times over the last 14 months or so with a friend whose wife is a lawyer who has been 'WFH' instead of the city of London. They live outside the London area and I said that at some point she would be called back as a physical presence with colleagues and clients would be optimal. He always countered that apart from a court presence she could WFH until the cows came home as long as the work got done. It does get done, but uses up several more hours per day to do so, so no real benefit in not commuting. "What happens when London Weighting is stopped as you're no longer working in London ?" "They'll just pay her the same"....Well now it seems that she will be expected to be in the office 4 days a week and anyone who lives outside London will lose the London Weighting in due course if they primarily WFH.

I had a chat with my hairdresser last week (as you do) and they said that of their regular clients in central London, most were expected to work at least a 4 day week in the office from June 21st or lose their desk and other assumed benefits within the companies going forward. WFH Friday's or Monday's would become the norm for the foreseeable future in many corporate environments.
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Old 27th May 2021, 07:33
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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"but uses up several more hours per day to do so, so no real benefit in not commuting" - the difference being that you are sat at home and not crammed on a train, paying £5k ++ for the privilege, with the sweating masses and no way out

I know of several very large outfits that have told their staff to plan on a max of 1 day a week in office. And they're cutting their offices down as fast as possible to get the gain on rents. Many say they see a significant GAIN in productivity from people WFH
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Old 27th May 2021, 07:46
  #25 (permalink)  
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WFH is 'brilliant`, many say they see a significant GAIN in productivity from people.

Again, where is the evidence for these statements?
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Old 27th May 2021, 08:11
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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My long haul flight in economy starts at £456, business is now £1,700 plus. I wonder which I'll choose?
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Old 27th May 2021, 10:53
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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I know several people who now work from home, and they say they will never go back to the office!
So even if people want to have eye to eye meetings in the future, will the company pay for business class, or just send them on economy? methinks the company will now seek to cut costs!
I have only flown business class a few times, and only once on Long haul, and while it was a very pleasant experience, was it worth it? Not sure! The lounges pre and post flight were the best bit, but the aircraft?
So, if the travelling public won't pay business class prices any more, then where do the airlines make a profit?
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Old 27th May 2021, 11:11
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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WFH is 'brilliant`, many say they see a significant GAIN in productivity from people.

Again, where is the evidence for these statements?
I don't imagine that there's enough shared data yet to make a call one way or the other on this matter. I'd say that certain industries and businesses, and for that matter certain personality types are finding that WFH is incredible, whilst other are experiencing the opposite in the long run. There have been many reports over the last 14 months of people working longer, or being expected to be available outside of a normal working day of an office. Whilst saving on commuting, the net gain isn't so great.

Companies will try to cut costs, that's what they do, especially the more the 'bean counters' are given hegemony over others. However, the old adage "Buy cheap, buy twice" will be needed to be adhered to and saving on an economy flight and having your staff arrive stressed and not on their best game would be a false economy compared with a business class seat on the same flight. Short haul of less than 2 hrs I suppose wouldn't make too much of a difference, though lounge access might sweeten the experience and allow work whilst waiting for the flight.
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Old 27th May 2021, 11:34
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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"Again, where is the evidence for these statements?"

mainly anecdotal of course as companies are very reluctant to actually measure "productivity" in offices - fine in warehouses and production lines but when did you last hear of an Accountant being clocked on output. But I 'm talking about large engineering concerns wild world-wise operations. Some of their people haven't been into the office in 14 months and they all seem to be doing fine
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Old 27th May 2021, 13:15
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Seeing as business class seats take up
the space of at least 3 economy seats it would not make economic sense to have that real estate selling for less than 3x economy prices.
Aircraft that are already configured for business class will need to have that cabin filled, and selling at a discount is better than having it empty. As things move into the new normal, airlines will be able to assess what the demand is for business class and price it accordingly. It’s quite possible that the back few rows of J class get removed and replaced with economy or premium economy seats.

The prices of tickets will be all over the place at first while airlines try to gauge supply and demand after a complete reset. Booking and fare management systems will take a while to settle down.
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Old 6th Jun 2021, 11:08
  #31 (permalink)  
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An interesting range of opinions; thanks for the comments
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Old 10th Jun 2021, 02:54
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by flyingfemme View Post
Showing up, shaking hands, looking each other in the eye and sharing a meal all build strong bonds of trust. In these days of fancy scams thatís important.
Exactly. My company has been looking to do a couple of deals but what's holding us back is just that.

What will change I believe is the pointless travel "because we can". Board Meetings with overseas based Directors, probably 2 of 4 a year will be virtual at least. One time, at a previous company, I as the CFO and the CEO were summoned to HO in Croydon for a meeting that lasted a day. 3 or 4 other attendees were there from Hartford, CT and the others from HO itself. The topic, how to cut costs in Singapore. 2 J class in SQ, 2 nights' accommodation each and assorted transport to/from LHR. Madness.
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