In honor of National Travel and Tourism Week, we thought we take a moment to focus on those of you who travel for business. At Easymeeting.net we prefer video conferencing with the occasional business trip, but we know that business travelers account for up to 20 percent of all travelers, according to the U.S. Travel Association.
(Does a hotel feel like home for you?)
Traveling for work presents many opportunities for you. You get to visit new and exciting places, stay in expensive and luxurious hotels, accumulate regular flier mileage, the benefits are endless! However, traveling can be exhausting, expensive. Potentially fun traveling experiences can quickly turn into a stressful ones due to poor planning and disorganization. So for all of you business travelers, here are a few quick tips to make your traveling experience much easier and enjoyable.
Check and check again. Before you leave your resident city, ensure that you double check with all the places you'll be visiting. For example, ensure that you have confirmed the hotel you will be staying in, if you’re attending a conference; ensure you have the correct time and location. Few things are as bad as being stranded in a foreign town, city or country. If you have many meetings to attend and you’ll hardly have any time to eat, book the restaurants before departure. Make certain that you have insurance details and numbers of those who should be informed just incase something goes wrong. If you are traveling internationally, check your phone plan for International calls, electricity adapters, and wi-fi connections and policies at the different places you will be.
Be Prepared. Remember to carry necessary business documents like itineraries, receipts,and travel documents like your passport. Keep them in a safe and accessible folder where you can easily reach them if you’re in a hurry. Taking a tablet instead of lugging around your computer? Make sure you can still access important documents and resources from afar. And Above all, if you are flying- don't forget your headphones!
You are a walking billboard for your company, make sure you are promoting a good campaign. If you expect your employees to be reachable throughout their business travels, do the same. Keep to scheduled meetings using video conferencing tools, and don't leave your team feeling un-navigated while you are out of the office. Ready to party like a rock star after the long meetings? While it’s perfectly acceptable to have a few drinks while socializing, it’s important to remember to remain professional. Keep in mind that you represent your organization and that you also have a professional reputation to protect. Anyone could be a potential customer, or a potential reviewer.
Don’t shop till you drop. Most companies have a limit which employees cannot exceed during travels. Before you leave for your business trip, find out your workplace policy regarding travel expenses and allowances and stay within the stipulated limits. Overspending could send the message that you’re an expensive liability or that you cannot be trusted with company resources. This is of course unless you work for a company that allows you to take out clients in luxury cars and to expensive hotels on its tab.
Remember to stay connected. Finally after the plane takes off and you’re officially in another state or country, use wireless video conferencing, that is so readily available, to keep in touch with your office and clients while on the road. All you need are a phone and good internet connection. Take advantage of this great service to offset some of your work, and to remain up to date with events at the workplace. Even better, stay connected with you family while you are travelling too. Video chat with the kids at night to find out about their day and stay connected with them even when you can't actually be there.
If you are in a job that requires a lot of traveling we understand that these guidelines don't help when it comes to the trips that are over your child’s birthday weekend or some other important event. But that's where technology can help. Using video conferencing for meetings intead of traveling over the weekend or for days at a time to only meet for 2 hours can alleviate a lot of stress and allow you to use your time more productively while enjoying a healthy work life balance!
A few months ago I mentioned an upcoming event with some WWII veterans that had come to our office in search of connecting via video. The blog itself was a follow up to one that I had written in an effort to explain our cloud services a little bit better, "What is a virtual meeting room?, an EasyConference?, the Cloud?",while maybe slightly dogging my mother for not knowing what the cloud is. So to give you an update, my mom now knows what the cloud is, and how it works; and now- some of the 100th Infantry Association knows too.
To elaborate- Mr. William Glazier, of Mystic,CT had read an article about the Easymeeting videoconferencing platform and stopped by our office to check it out. As I mentioned in the previous blog, he wanted to connect the 100th Infanctry Association, in the Easymeeting cloud.
As you may have noticed in some of my other blogs- I am a big fan of the Easymeeting services; partially because I work here, but mostly because they really can change the way we communicate in business and bring face to face meetings back into the mix without all the travel woes. Typically, we see our services used in a business setting with discussions of marketing and business plans and so on. So this usage of our services was exceptionally exciting for us to be a part of. I come from a military background, both my father and grandfather serving in the U.S. Navy and my amazement and respect for the men and women who serve for their country never ceases to amaze me. Especially during the week of Septemeber 11th- when emotions are heightened and gratitude is plentiful. The opportunity to connect a group of Veterans from WWII was something that we could all barely wrap our heads around- and were all volunteering to be the one to come in on Saturday and help them connect.
(Mr. William Glazier(second from left), his wife, and part of the 100th Infantry Association connecting via the Easymeeting Cloud)
It was a pleasure, and an awesome experience to get to watch the veterans of the 100th Infantry Division chat via the Easymeeting video cloud. The bonds that they have reach so far back, and to be able to provide them with a technology that continues to let them connect, share stories from the past, and catch up on what they are doing in the present was amazing. They have had these annual meetings since 1946, and were scheduled to cease the conventions and get togethers. An age old tradition like that can't just be turned off for these men, and their families. Luckily, thanks to some out of the box thinking by Mr. Glazier- they don't have to stop.
We are looking forward to working with William Glazier, and the 100th Infantry again in the future. After the success of Saturday's meeting, there is talk of more video meetings to come for the division, and hopefully many more organizations just like them will start to adapt to this type of meeting so that they can carry on their traditions, in spite of travels. If things are going to change with the times, we are happy to see that people and organizations like the 100th Infantry Veterans are willing to change with them for the better.
To learn more about the Easymeeting, check out our Whitepaper and visit us on Facebook and Twitter!
I have never been a huge morning person, my mother, many of my childhood friends, and my husband can all attest to this. I understand that some people are more productive at the wee hours of the morning, but I am not one of them. Because of this, there are a few beliefs that I have. One... the only acceptable reason to be up before 5am, or even 6am, is if you are leaving on a fabulous tropical vacation. It certainly does not seem acceptable for catching a flight for a meeting. I have become accustomed to my career in the video world and value the fact that I can be in several countries across the globe in the matter of a days time, but that I can still attempt to get my much need "beauty rest" in my own house. It's almost as if I was made for videoconferencing, and videoconferencing was made for me. (Sorry, was that too cheesy: )? )
I have friends that travel quite frequently for work, and despite what we thought about how cool this would be when we were growing up, they hate doing it. Sure you are going to amazing places, but your in a hotel, a conference, a convention, and then back on the plane. They are missing weddings, birthdays, and quite simply- quality time with their families because they are "jet-setting" from one meeting to the next. Bummer, huh?
I came across this infographic (See Below) from www.boltinsurance.com yesterday about the Rising Costs with Business Travel and found it to be quite miserably, on point. The average business traveler is a college-educated male, on a tight budget, spending about 4 days away from home at a time with an average cost of $1,837.00 per trip. And, this is happening round about 448 Million times a year. Well that seems cost effective and energy efficient for the way we live our lives in 2012, doesn't it? No, no it doesn't! As mentioned below, mid sized companies could be seeing an annual savings of $144,000 if they asked 10 employees to convert %40 of their travel meetings to video conferences. Maybe businesses aren't doing this because they don't need $144,000 in any other area? That doesn't seem likely either, does it?
(My personal favorite fact on this infographic is that if gas rates raised at the same rate as airline flights, gas would only cost $1.59, imagine!)
As for me, I will continue my mantra of only getting up before the sun if I am leaving for Hawaii, or Paris, or Disney World. If you want to join me, in the video world, not on vacation- then give the Easymeeting services a spin for two weeks, and see if we can spare you from another slice of stale Sbarro pizza in the airport lounge.
This is quite a confusing week for business flow, not just in the USA- as we celebrated our Independence Day with millions and billions of fireworks and hot dogs, but Internationally as summer holidays are set into motion. Because of Wednesdays holiday, we have essentially had two Mondays, and two Fridays, which in hind-sight, should I have had two "Easymeeting's of the Week"? Anyways, parts of our team across Europe have begun travelling for their summer holiday(which is typically four weeks, imagine that corporate America!). I can barely begin to comprehend how business was handled, or ever completed before our dear friend the internet came along. Now, the internet is just one of our most basic tools that set the stage for all of today's cloud technology. As I was brain storming over something to share for the Easymeeting of the Week, I thought of all the ways Easymeeting uses our cloud, and others to work efficiently in times like these.
Obviously, our Easymeeting Cloud is a technology that we cannot live without. As our US Sales Manager, Cody Loughlean, likes to say- "You have to eat your own dog food", and we do. We communicate not only with our resellers, customers, and partners via Easymeeting- but with eachother. This week, as people were flying, driving, working from home or not working at all- we continued to use our cloud. If someone is out for the week, their video system is simply, and seamlessy forwarded to another employee, so that all customers are taken care of. One of our resellers in California was on vacation with his family this week, but didn't want to miss an opportunity with a new customer- so he jumped on the call from his PC for 20 minutes, took care of business, and was instantly back on vacation. One of our tech specialists was headed on vacation and called into a meeting from the airplane to tie up some last minute details. A member of our sales team on the East Coast was able to join a video call with another West Coast partner after typical work hours by jumping on his iPhone from the beach. Even with sand between our toes, and a lot of traveling, business at Easymeeting didn't miss a beat this week, but our employees and partners don't have to miss time with their friends and families either. It's the perfect balance!
Part of the Easymeeting Team in action! Oivind in our Tromso offices and Raymond flying through the air!
Now, to take a step back- we have a lot of other "clouds" to thank for our productivity too! Because of these technologies that you can access from ANYWHERE, we can always be working efficiently, and sharing duties with eachother, without having to be with eachother. Thanks to other services and platforms like Citrix, Hubspot, PRWeb, and the good old World Wide Web, Easymeeting, and you can work efficiently and still enjoy holidays, vacations, family time, beach time, and summer time! We only live once, and we at Easymeeting believe that if your going to work hard, your going to need to play hard too!
We are wishing all of our friends, followers, customers, employees and business partners a very safe summer! Don't forget the sunscreen, and don't forget to check out how the Easymeeting Cloud can help you find the perfect summer balance of work, and PLAY! Feel free to sign up for the Easymeeting services and experience cloud life for yourself! We are looking forward to seeing you on the Easymeeting Cloud soon!
It's Friday. It's the end of June, the end of the 2nd Quarter, and, the end of the first half of the year. Whoa. Big stuff! I normally stop in on Fridays with an Easymeeting of the Week, but this week... we've got something a little different- an we'll keep it short and sweet!
One of our Easymeeting Tech Specialists, Grant Murdock, sent me a great link earlier this week about a possible project that the US Congress is contemplating that would make it easier for people to have interviews from remote locations to apply for work visas through videoconferencing. Traditionally, getting a work Visa to come to the US is not an easy task, especially if you are not living in a highly populated city that offers these options. By making it more feasible for people to go through this process, we are also making it more possible, and more attractive to welcome some of the great inventors, creators, engineers, and more to come work with us.
We may be biased on this, since we are a company that was created in Norway and just recently launched in the US, but we happen to work with some serious geniuses from other parts of the World, and can only see positive growth in the US by welcoming these type of people to join the US workforce. By creating a stronger workforce in the US, I can only imagine it would create unimaginable growth not only here in the US, but Internationally. As companies are able to have locations globally and communicte with their strongest team players on a daily basis through videoconferencing we will likely see a positive increase in the education, economy, and stability in many regions.
Sounds good to us! Keep an eye out after the elections for this movement, and if your interested in giving videoconferencing a whirl, check out our 14 day free trial! Have a great weekend everyone!
We didn't forget the Easymeeting of the Week! It has been a crazy busy morning at Easymeeting.net with more exciting demos and meetings coming up this afternoon. Don't you just love it when you can feel a buzz in the air? Even, when it's 85 degrees outside!
One of the things that we preach, is our time, using it wisely and cutting down on travel. As much as we love our services, we know that meeting someone in person will continue to be the best way to communicate, but video, will continue to be the second best way.
Recently, one of our customers had to make a trip for a convention in Toronto where they could present their products. We all know the conventions and expo's are one of the greatest ways to connect with people and introduce what you have to offer. Unfortunately, when you attend these events, you are leaving the office, your work, and your employees behind. However, Easymeeting videoconferencing doesn't have to be something you use just to avoid travel. It can be something you use while you travel.
This week, while our customer was in Toronto, he was able to connect from his laptop in the hotel to his office in the US and still communicate with his team. With the document sharing capabilities they were able to go over a project the marketing team wanted to launch, but needed his final approval for. When he was done connecting to the office, he connected to his kids and wife at home too. He was still able to see the colors of the new marketing scheme, and the excitement on his kids faces when they talked about their day at school, all while being at a convention in Canada.
When you can't actually be there, Easymeeting is the next best thing, not only with your company, but maybe even with your family!
Have a business trip coming up? Try our 14 day trial and stay connected even when you are on the road!!
Rick Green a columnist in the Hartford Courant in Connecticut recently published an article on yet another small step in bringing back businesses and people to yet another ancient eastern seaboard town that being Hartford, Connecticut once the nations richest and as once said by Connecticut son Mark Twain "I have traveled the world and if you want to really see beauty come to Hartford..." which even today is not far off even though many of those vestiges of antebellum times are long gone but some remain.
Modern day Hartford is struggling with how to keep companies in the city, how to attract young professionals and make it a very attractive city and "green" city. Yet again this kind of planning and thinking is the type that will help propel a city in achieving it´s long term goals of becoming a more attractive place but again is only a small part of what needs to be considered.
There is often little attention paid to "technology" infrastructure and work place environments relating to technology. This is where videoconferencing technology can play a central role. Like efforts in Calgary,AB and "work shift" whereas the focus is the same to attract young professionals, educate them and the businesses on how to think "outside of the office" as well as other initiatives like "iQuilt" should be considered as a bundle or larger effort.
With videoconferencing one can utilize this technology easily and collaborate with other users eg. businesses, educationals and more while putting feet on the street to support local businesses, revive these ancient cities and become more attractive work places. However it yet again seems their is a general disconnect between the various organizations and what they are trying to achieve. The time is now to plan and plan properly and in a most coordinated effort to make cities like Hartford yet again a great place to be.
Workshift Calgary sums it up this way:
Improve employee productivity by up to 40%
• Markedly reduce rates of employee turnover and absenteeism
• Be a critical component of a robust business continuity plan (staying operational in the face of serious issues like extreme weather or a pandemic)
• Increase flexibility of real estate costs and usage
• Increase employee retention, motivation, productivity and attraction rates
• Enhance your corporate image
• Improve access to employment for disabled employees
Is this not something interesting for your city and town?
For more information on how easymeeting.net can help please check out:
A few weeks ago, before we started the "Easymeeting of the Week Blog", we had featured a tweet about a customer who realized the beauty of Easymeeting and was able to cancel a flight. Now, because we only had 140 characters to tell you about that, it felt like something worth bringing back up in honor of the Easymeeting of the Week Blog.
As I mentioned, there was a flight being cancelled involved in this story. A flight being cancelled is almost always a TERRIBLE thing. But when one of our customers called us in early April to figure out what needed to be done for him to connect with two video systems in Northern Norway, he cancelled his flight and was very happy about it.
Because our mobile services are still reletively new, some of our previous customers had not taken advantage of them right away and are still learning new ways to use our services. This gentlemen called our service center in Norway to ask if the new service would be able to connect him from his laptop at home to the two video systems where his business partners would be. One of our Easymeeting Experts, Svend, immediately showed him how to join a meeting and how easy it was. Within ten minutes of him calling, he was all set to have the meeting from his home office and was able to cancel a flight and stay home with his family.
This is the life blood behind Easymeeting. We have an amazing technology that can bridge together so many different parts of the world to communicate, but what it all boils down to is using the time that we have in the most efficient way possible. You cannot find a work/life balance if you do not work efficiently, so we are here to offer tools to help because every minute spent on video, is an hour of your time earned!
Sign up for our 14 day free trial to experience the Easymeeting.net way of life or download our Whitepaper to learn more about how videoconferencing can help you and your business work more productively!