Business Travel Is Out and Remote Work Is In - Now What?

We have heard this before. It’s the New Normal. But even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a shift toward standardizing remote work. Of course, the pandemic fast-tracked that shift.

A recent study found that many work-from-home policies that were implemented during the pandemic will remain in place for the foreseeable future. In fact, 67% of the 575 IT decision makers surveyed planned to keep these policies for the long term or even permanently. Office spaces are also expected to reduce by more than 25%, according to 20% of the survey respondents. And a stunning 47% said they were likely to reduce their physical office footprint in general.

The same goes for business travel.

Bloomberg recently surveyed almost 50 large companies worldwide and found that 84% of them plan to spend less on travel post-pandemic. According to Bloomberg, those respondents who are restricting or even eliminating travel budgets are seeing “reductions of between 20% and 40%, with about two in three slashing both internal and external in-person meetings.” Citing the “ease and efficiency of virtual software, cost savings, and lower carbon emissions” as the primary reasons for the cutbacks, it’s easy to see why business travel is on the decline. In fact, the Global Business Travel Association has noted that spending on corporate trips could slide to as low as $1.24 trillion by 2024 from a pre-pandemic peak in 2019 of $1.43 trillion.

Peggy Johnson, CEO of Magic Leap, says, “While augmented reality (AR) has been on the horizon for some time, the pandemic has really accelerated its rollout. As so many businesses were forced to move to a remote model, it became pretty clear that the way we work would be forever changed in a post-pandemic world. That realization accelerated the adoption of remote working enablement tools, including technology like ours at Magic Leap.”

Although business meetings, training, and presentations can be held via video conferencing, the use of augmented reality technology can be even more effective. Some of the world’s leading enterprises are implementing AR technologies and spatial computing platforms like Magic Leap, and seeing significant results from those investments today. The “see what I see,” hands-free experience of AR enables remote collaboration in real time, as users can work together virtually on the same 3D objects or designs and feel like they are in the same room-- all of this resulting in saved time, reduced errors, identified skills gaps, improved knowledge retention, and increased productivity.

Manufacturing operations, for instance, have been directly impacted by the inability to have multiple collaborators onsite. Throughout the pandemic and with restrictions on travel, technicians and field service personnel have been prevented from going to job sites to install equipment or administer repairs, so AR has been instrumental in solving this challenge. PBC Linear uses the Magic Leap platform and Taqtile Manifest's remote assistance to enable technicians to meet virtually in a physical space to collaborate and capture knowledge from more seasoned machinists. Such collaboration has improved quality, as well as employee talent and retention.

In another example, factory managers take regular daily tours, or “Gemba walks”, on the factory floor to assess operations. Ericsson, a technology leader in 5G, uses Magic Leap to transform these traditional walks and increase efficiency and collaboration. Magic Leap’s enterprise wearable headset provides the manager with key insights and digital data, anytime, from anywhere.

A spatial-first strategy eliminates such challenges, bringing together distributed teams in virtual settings, cutting travel costs and emissions. Magic Leap’s focus on communication, collaboration, and co-presence enables manufacturers and other enterprise industries with multi-person, multi-site capabilities that allow people to connect in a physical or digital space.

Transform how you work in the New Normal. For more information about how to unlock a whole new level of collaboration and productivity without the costs and hassles of business travel, visit Magic Leap.