Business travel. The ultimate flex for any corporate warrior. It’s the chance to flaunt your status and accrue points like they’re going out of fashion. But as the world becomes more digital, is business travel still relevant? Let’s explore.
First, let’s acknowledge the elephant in the room: COVID-19. The pandemic decimated the business travel industry, leaving it in a state of disarray. Conferences were cancelled, meetings moved online, and airports became ghost towns - virtually overnight. There was a lot of talk about the death of business travel throughout COVID. However, the recovery is almost complete in most parts of the world, but it remains vulnerable to similar events taking place.
But let’s look beyond the pandemic. Is business travel still worth it? As someone who’s racked up a lot of points over the years, I’m inclined to say yes. Business travel is a chance to meet people face-to-face, forge relationships, and make deals that would be impossible virtually.
In a world where we’re drowning in digital communication, face-to-face interaction is more valuable than ever. When you’re in the same room as someone, you can read their body language, pick up on subtle cues, and build trust in a way that just isn’t possible over a video call. In short, business travel is an investment in relationships, and relationships are the foundation of doing business.
But let’s not forget about the downsides of business travel. It’s bad for the environment, expensive, time-consuming, and can take a toll on your health and well-being. There’s the jet lag, the airport food, and the endless waiting in line. Not to mention the fact that traveling during a pandemic is a risky proposition.
So, is business travel worth it? The answer, as with most things in life, it depends. If you’re academic selling your ideas to the world, then yes, business travel is worth it. If you’re a leader trying to build relationships with your team, then yes, business travel is worth it. But if you’re just traveling for the sake of traveling, then it’s time to rethink your priorities.
Business travel remains relevant, but it’s not the status symbol it once was. In a world where we’re all constantly connected, face-to-face interaction is more valuable than ever. But we need to be smart about when and why we travel. So, pack your bags, but make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons.