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With flygskam (flight shaming) changing the face of business travel, people are instead turning to methods such as video conferencing and rail travel to conduct their business meetings
For decades, business travellers and tourists alike have taken the idea of jetting across the globe for granted, but the concept of flygskam could be set to change all that. The Swedish term translates as ‘flight shaming’ and encourages people to avoid flying in order to help lower carbon emotions.
Despite undoubtedly making the world a smaller place, critics of flying point out that, as a measure of C02 emitted for each kilometre travelled by a passenger, air travel is the most polluting means of transportation.
The flight shaming concept has been gaining ground in Europe over the last 18 months, having now spread from Sweden and winning the backing of high-profile environmental campaigners such as Greta Thunberg who now, quite famously, only takes the train.
The concept is of significance to business travel since prospective employees and customers often cite ethical outlook as one of the things most likely to attract them to a new company.
According to one survey, nearly 40% of Millennials say they have chosen a job because of company sustainability. In another, 64% said that they wouldn’t take a job at a firm that wasn’t socially responsible, while three-quarters said that they’d take a smaller salary to work at a company more in alignment with their values.
Previously, it would have been a huge challenge for a firm to operate globally if staff could not fly between sites for business meetings, but advances in technology such as video conferencing and super-fast broadband mean that this is now often unnecessary.
One of Regus’s services is offering meeting rooms that can be booked on-demand on an hourly basis and provide access to this type of tech, enabling clients to hold meetings with people right around the world in a convenient setting ideally located for them, with all their technical needs taken care of.
“We enable clients to have productive meetings,” says Michael Holmes, commercial director at Regus. “Even if it’s a meeting between two different teams in two different parts of the world, they can still have a productive meeting without having to jump on a plane and meet face to face.
“With the advent of technology, and the abundance of video-conferencing platforms that sit on most work laptops now, it’s possible to have very productive ‘virtual’ meetings that were not possible ten or 12 years ago.”
If clients do need to move closer to a particular site to conduct a meeting, there’s another aspect of Regus’s offer that can make it easier to stay grounded – the sheer size of its network and the proximity of its sites to major transport hubs such as train stations.
“One of our key differentiators is the breadth of our network,” says Holmes. “Regardless of who you’re trying to connect with or trying to meet with, the likelihood is that we’ll have a centre or a meeting room in that location.”
Indeed, rail has become the primary alternative means of transport for travellers looking to avoid flying, with another term – tagskryt (literally, ‘train-bragging’) having also been coined by the Swedes. With Regus sites at or near stations as diverse as Cornavin in Geneva, or Bruges in Belgium, there are myriad options for business travellers wanting to leave air travel behind. Holmes concludes: “In every single one of our meetings rooms you get business grade Wi-Fi, and video conferencing facilities can be easily arranged.”
With 3,300 locations in more than 1,000 towns and cities across more than 120 countries, could Regus help address your meeting needs?