By James Campanini, Managing Director,Cisco WebEx,

Spending time on the road travelling to and from meetings can be tedious at the best of times, but when you are on the road for a majority or your working week you soon become frustrated.

With meetings taking up a third of our working diaries, does the return on investment of face-to-face meetings really deliver for smaller businesses.

Following are the Top 5 'bug bears' for road warriors:

1. Missed business opportunities
Whilst on the road, the inability to keep on top of daily activity and regular liaising with customers means opportunities can be missed.

2. Time away from home
Numerous meetings, both locally and abroad, mean a significant amount of time is spent away from home and the workplace. With friends, family and a comfy bed waiting for you, the novelty of spending time travelling and out of the office is quick to wear off.

3. Time away from team
On the road attending meetings means less time is spent with the team. This can lead to delays and issues with communication, production and delivery of products and services.

4. Taking calls whilst driving is inefficient and dangerous
Being on the road for a significant proportion of time means it is inevitable that some calls will need to be made whilst travelling. This is inefficient as notes cannot be taken and focus is divided elsewhere.

5. Costs incurred through travel
Fuel, car maintenance, and hotels all add up and contribute to the vast expense of being on the road attending meetings.

The availability for flexible collaboration technology means that this level of smart working is potentially available to any company of any size — collaboration and communication will prove key for businesses and employees looking to overcome these challenges and provide a platform for flexible working whilst enhancing business performance. Implementing the right technology to manage these bug bears provides a channel to reduce costs and increase productivity for SMEs.

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