The resurgence of face-to-face meetings in the UK business landscape has left more than half of office workers grappling with increased demands, according to recent research from Blacklane, a global chauffeur service provider.

The study revealed that 52 percent of UK office workers who have experienced a surge in in-person meetings are finding it challenging to manage the heightened demand.

This shift comes as business travel and physical interaction regain prominence in corporate settings, with 35 percent of respondents noting a rise in the frequency of face-to-face meetings over the past two years.

In response to this trend, many professionals find themselves on the move more frequently, with 66 percent of office workers travelling up to 50 times for business purposes in the last year alone.

This increase aligns with predictions from another report, suggesting that business travel expenditures are on track to reach pre-pandemic levels by 2024, soaring to nearly £1.4 trillion by 2027 as companies resume operations.

Increased demand for business travel

Dr. Jens Wohltorf, CEO and Founder of Blacklane, commented on the findings, stating, “We’re witnessing a significant uptick in the demand for business travel, reflected in a 50 percent growth rate over the past year and quadrupled revenue in 2022 compared to previous years.” He emphasised that this trend translates into more time spent away from desks, impacting productivity and necessitating a greater workload within the same timeframe.

While face-to-face meetings are experiencing a resurgence, virtual interactions persist, with 53 percent of respondents reporting an increase in remote meetings. This blend of virtual and in-person engagements poses a unique challenge for office workers, contributing to feelings of pressure to be constantly available, especially among younger generations.

Regarding productivity on the go, 70 percent of UK office professionals admitted to sending emails outside of work hours, often while commuting or travelling. To address these evolving needs, Blacklane is upgrading its services to transform chauffeured vehicles into mobile offices, equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity to facilitate work on the move.

Dr. Jens Wohltorf emphasised, “As professionals spend more time travelling, we anticipate a preference for modes of transportation that enable remote work. That’s why all our chauffeurs provide reliable and prompt service, while our vehicles offer Wi-Fi access, ensuring that time away from the office remains productive.”

Concerns over internet connectivity emerged as a top challenge for 24 percent of respondents when working on the go, followed by unplanned wait times and delays (17%), noise (16%), and overcrowding (12%). Blacklane aims to address these concerns by providing a seamless and secure mobility experience tailored to the needs of its customers.

 

 

 

 

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Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.