The Harvard Business Review just posted a management tip titled Decide If Travel Is Really Worth It. I find article a bit one-sided though. So here is my other side of the coin.
Do you often opt for a conference call for a meeting instead of traveling? A conference call leaves out a lot of subtleties, and you shouldn’t just organise a conference call because it is more efficient. Here’s how to assess the real value of travel:
- Understand all of the benefits. The benefits aren’t just limited to a richer communication. Consider the effect it has on the relationships with the people you are meeting, the new people you will be introduced to and the chance encounters in the hallway. Don’t forget to factor in the opportunities to manufacture serendipity – That is much easier to do in different environments.
- Calculating the ROI. It is a bit difficult to quantify the benefits because most of the benefits are (far) in the future and sometimes left to chance. One measure that helps me is how long ago did you go there?
- Consider other options. If there’s a net loss or insignificant gain, ask whether you have viable alternatives. Can you invite the meeting participants to your location? If so, figure out who else they should meet.
Adapted from the online HBR article Decide If Travel Is Really Worth It.Tags: communications, relationships