Virtual Meeting Place
There is no denying that our world is changing and more people are becoming more thoughtful of their daily decisions and how they affect the planet. There has been a big push to come up with innovative ideas to save resources and reduce the harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The business community has a potential to make a large contribution to combating the climate change by simply decreasing the number of face-to-face meetings. Modern technology and the internet have helped companies reduce their carbon footprint with the use of desktop sharing tools.
WebEx, Live Meeting, and Acrobat Connect Pro are just a few desktop sharing programs that save companies’ money and greatly reduce global emissions. By using these tools, employees are able to collaborate on projects, hold training sessions, and conduct meetings from the convenience of their workstations. This saves on the travel time and expense of remote colleagues or partners having to leave the office and meet at a central location. Not to mention the cost to the environment. One person traveling from Seattle to New York will produce about 1,116 lbs. of CO2 from a single flight, according to the “Carbon Footprint Calculator”(http://www.terrapass.com/carbon-footprint-calculator/#air). On the other hand, sometimes face-to-face meetings are vital to building relationships, motivating staff, and discussing new ideas. The object is being careful that the cost to the planet of attending these meetings doesn’t outweigh the benefit they can give.
Desktop sharing programs can also be a tremendous benefit with support organizations. There is a lot of cost involved with sending a technician onsite to work on an issue as opposed to working on it remotely. The hours spent traveling to and from the job site and time that the customer’s system is down are both issues that can cost the client and consultant. With the use of WebEx, the support engineer can open up a session and be looking at the issue in a matter of minutes. Furthermore, the support team can have the user recreate the problem while watching and then be given permission to take control of the system to work through the issue.
Although meetings are crucial for corporations to communicate ideas, virtual meetings can help to avoid unnecessary business travel and reduce its negative impacts on the environment. I am not suggesting that all meetings need to be held online. There will be a times that the in-person communication is needed for the success of a partnership or project. The idea is to become aware of how our decisions are going to affect our earth. Furthermore, the virtual world provides us with the opportunity to drive business more efficiently than before and care for the real world at the same time.