Virtual meetings could save UK businesses billions

Empty desks

British businesses could save billions of pounds every year by hosting virtual meetings to reduce travel, employee, and accommodation costs.

So claims Work Wise UK, who has dubbed today Virtual Meeting day.

Around half a million UK businesses are estimated to be taking part to show how costs can be reduced by avoiding the unnecessary expenditure associated with traditional face-to-face meetings.

"In these straitened times, holding virtual meetings represents a great opportunity to cut costs and boost productivity. If every business aimed for just ten additional virtual meetings a year, they could save a staggering 14 billion collectively," said Phil Flaxton, chief executive of Work Wise UK.

According to research by BT Business, a single virtual meeting, on average, will save a company 298, 247 miles of travel, as well as three hours of travel time.

The week-long Work Wise campaign receives support from the TUC, TfL, CBI, BT and British Chambers of Commerce, among others.

Microsoft is also an advocate of flexible working practices. It can now fit an extra 400 people into its existing campus in Reading thanks to the implementation of flexi-time and improved mobility on laptops and mobiles.

The improved mobility of staff has eradicated the need for an additional building, saving the company 1 million, according to a featured case study on the Work Wise website.

However, the campaign also has additional benefits, according to Flaxton. "There are also the economic benefits of reduced congestion, while cuts in emissions would amount to a massive saving of 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the 4.7 million small businesses in the UK alone," he said.