Fleet News

Virtual business meetings gain acceptance

The next generation of company executives could be more willing to use their company cars less.

Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace show that millions of technology-savvy graduates – known as the Y Generation - now trust technology enough to form ‘virtual’ business relationships.

The potential is so great, Facebook, which has 80 million users, has already developed a business solutions service aimed at helping business networking.

The trend has also seen the launch of www.LinkedIn.com, a business networking service used by 24 million executive in 150 countries.

“There are few businesses today that can afford not to think about alternatives to long commutes to business meetings,” says Robert Kingdom, head of marketing at Masterlease.

The potential savings from videoconferencing are enormous.

In February last year more than 6,000 BT staff were surveyed about their use of video-conferencing.

Almost three-quarters said conference calls met all of their business objectives.

Just one conference call avoided each participant travelling an average of 247 miles.

If the survey findings were extended across the whole of BT it would eliminate almost 900,000 face-to-face meetings per year, producing a net saving of 97,628 tonnes of CO2.

In addition it would save more than £230 million in travel costs and lost management productivity.

The South West Regional Development Agency saves 90,000 miles of travel a year and 22 tonnes of CO2 using video and teleconferencing, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

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