Industry Update
External Article 9 November 2021

New ways of working bring new ways of meeting

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“New ways of work will create new ways of travelling,” Festive Road managing partner Caroline Strachan told the kick-off conference session at the recent Business Travel Show Europe in London.


Strachan was only one of several speakers to ponder the implications for travel of post-Covid workforces no longer congregating in offices but instead operating in solitude – most likely in their own homes. The big questions this mini-revolution raises for businesses are when, where and how should they bring their people together?

In fact, there is a fourth related question: who should bring them together? The answer, some believe, is travel managers, for whom an opportunity is emerging to evolve into a wider role as highly strategic employee collaboration managers.

“Post-pandemic, companies have had to change their HR and property strategies because people are not using their workspace in the same ways,” says Scott Davies, chief executive officer of the UK and Ireland’s Institute of Travel Management. “A number of our members are now involved in a five-way conversation with HR, property, security and senior management.”

Strachan’s Festive Road colleague, consultant Louise Kilgannon, makes an almost identical observation. “I see travel managers interacting far more with other departments in the business: sustainability, ESG [environmental, societal and corporate governance], HR, real estate and those in charge of the future of work,” she says. “It’s a real opportunity to have a seat at the table in terms of decision making.”

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