Why I’ll be cutting back on business travel in 2023

I was traveling for work more than half the time. It’s not only exhausting, it’s thrilling and even addictive. The idea of ​​landing in locations around the world for conferences and conferences brings excitement.

COVID-19 has changed that. Like people all over the world, I was suddenly grounded.

In 2022, business travelers are back in the air. Now, with signs of a slowing economy, some businesses may be holding off on travel.

Often portrayed as an economic problem, declining travel indicates a deterioration in business, but there is a whole other side to this. should do it Reduce business travel for a critical reason: tackling climate change.

Emissions from aviation are astronomical and growing faster than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecasts. Business travel accounts for an estimated 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. One round-trip economy ticket between San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and LaGuardia adds 1.4 tons of carbon to the atmosphere, according to myclimate.org. Business class or first class seats, which account for many business trips, add even more seats with each trip. are particularly aware of the impact of

Greener aviation technology is clearly on the way, and the Inflation Reduction Act includes measures to address this need. Still, there’s no indication that it will be widely available anytime soon.

The solution for now is for all of us to travel less. This can be done without sacrificing face-to-face time in different markets.

Research shows that meetings with clients and customers are often the top reason for business travel. Some deals are still best shaken on site. Also, showing multiple clients in the market that your company takes their business very seriously often invites them to visit.

However, much of this can now also be done remotely. Clients and customers love to participate in video conferences to build relationships. Business her leaders can further rely on our representatives in various markets to demonstrate our commitment to serving the region.

In fact, given that many people around the world are working from home, even when I travel, some clients in the markets I visit still choose to meet via video. I find that I prefer it. It helps me determine if clients really want to meet in person and use my travel time to cram as many meetings with these clients as possible.

We also supervise our employees around the world. Building a relationship with them is important. Traditionally, I have relied on office visits to accomplish this. Face-to-face, casual, informal conversations can lead to all sorts of benefits, break down walls, and help people really get to know each other.

But I have developed a new way to build this kind of relationship even remotely. I have an informal video conference with a group of only about 10 people. I keep these meetings lighthearted and encourage people to be their ‘real selves’. The reaction has been great.

Still, there are some things that can only be learned in the office. For example, it helps you observe satellite office dynamics and work patterns that can be improved. Part of my job is helping the team address these issues. So we make the most of our travel time.

After the trip, create a market action plan that locals can implement. This makes the visit impact lasting and provides a reference point to follow up without having to visit again immediately.

Certainly, increased business travel has economic benefits. Harvard research shows it stimulates economic growth. Some cities rely heavily on it, as do the tourism industry. Communities may need to adjust if reduced travel is a hit. It could invest less in airports and hotels and more in building green energy infrastructure that creates jobs.

Ultimately, the availability of eco-friendly fuels and aircraft will enable business leaders to take advantage of more “friendly skies” again.

carolie gearhart Chief Revenue Officer of gym session.

Opinions expressed in commentary articles on Fortune.com are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of the authors. luck.

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