Melissa Abramson
AUTHOR: Melissa Abramson
Apr 22, 2020 - 4 min read

The Financial and Productivity Cost of Travelling To Meetings on SMEs

According to a survey, an average businessperson attends about 207 meetings in a year. The survey shows a total of 636 hours spent on face-to-face meetings and about 5 days spent traveling to the location. Alright, let’s round the factors up. 

The average cost of 6 people meeting costs about $430 in a day. This is taking into consideration salary, time list and cost of travel. In a year, one tenth of business people spend close to $5,232 on cost for travelling to meetings. Rounding it up to a yearly average, companies spend about $17,000 per employee and approximately $600k on all employees travelling to meetings. 

For SMEs whose goal is to grow and improve productivity, this is not a profitable margin to walk around. 

Financial Analysis of Travelling to Meetings on SMEs

There may have been a time when face-to-face meetings were the only choice. Now, there are other better alternatives provided by technology that can make communication better, faster and more cost efficient. In business, productivity rate, time wasted and expenses, all add up as cost deficit. When it comes to travelling for meetings, we calculate the amount of time spent travelling, time away from work and the cost of travelling. To realize how wide the financial margin is, we have to consider it with regards to the cost of a conference call. 

For a conference call, a company spends roughly $50. When you compare that to the $430 on face-to-face meeting, there is a difference of $380. Research by 8×8  showed that 23% of employees believe that their companies lose more than $75,000 due to face-to-face meetings. 30% of employees also say that this required them to come into the office everyday. With this requirement, there’s no doubt that employees would have to spend more time coming into the office, their productivity would be reduced and the business would spend more on facilities to accommodate in-house workers.

For SMEs dealing with this backlog, what can be done?

A Better Alternative to Travelling for Meetings

Technology has evolved the way businesses communicate and perform. There are so many remote solutions available that could cut down time lag and improve productivity. Worth mentioning is the fact that SMEs would be able to cover the financial gap with technological and remote options.

Video conferencing has opened options for timely and remote meetings. Companies have adopted it and are exploring the features it offers compared to in-house meetings. What video conferencing offers is more collaboration and teamwork without having to influence workers’ locations. Meetings are very vital in a business but businesses have to look for ways in which it doesn’t become an inconvenience to workers and affect company profitability. According to Dejan Decklich, chief product officer at 8×8, “Most SMEs operate on a small profit margins so, taking advantage of the ability to salvage even the littlest of revenue by regaining employees their time back without sacrificing business productivity or human connection is essential.”

Video Conferencing and Increasing productivity in SMEs

As the business world evolves from the manual in-house functions, it also comes with more efficiency and time saved. Also, there is also the employee satisfaction that comes with video conferencing. 31% of workers mentioned their preference for video conferencing because of the convenience of shorter meetings and the remote factor. 28% of employees stated their reason as increased productivity due to its ability to avail time to focus on work.

SMEs choosing video conferencing would be placing themselves on the positive side of being able to hire the best talents and retain them. They would be eradicating geographical limitations as one of their challenges. However, most SMEs may be skeptical when it comes to the security business information while using video conferencing. This challenge is easily combated with the use of encryption which secures information.

Final Thoughts

For SMEs that run in small capital margins, face-to-face meetings For all employees would be highly unprofitable. With video conferencing, SMEs would have more time to focus on other aspects of increasing productivity and profitability. If the goal is growth, productivity has to scale up.