My job involves meeting people and therefore travelling. Where I live and work is well connected to London, but not so much to the South Coast or the surrounding towns and villages.
I go to a lot networking events, plus I like to meet clients in person. This means I spend a lot of time in the car travelling between appointments and events. Although I have a hybrid car and try to drive efficiently, I am still concerned about the impact of my travel on the environment.
I’d like to take public transport more, but the journey times and the cost start to make it look more prohibitive. A thirty minute drive to Brighton equates to just under two hours by either bus or train. The bus is the cheapest option but the WiFi is not stable so precludes much working on the way. The train costs twice as much as driving and is generally unreliable.
Of course I am looking at this cost in terms of time and money and not the impact on the environment.
But I need to have a mindset change. A lot of my client conversations can be quite personal and detailed. I like to meet face to face as I can see their full reaction to questions and suggestions. In my previous corporate life I used to use video conferencing a lot. The picture quality was ok, but time lag could make conversations difficult. I have tried Skype over the years but always found that the system drops out after about 15 minutes.
Recently I was introduced to Zoom. I joined a group call and was amazed by the quality and stability of the system. So I have started to book Zoom calls with existing and potential clients. This has so far been met with enthusiasm.
Looking at my diary this is freeing up much more time in the office and means I can walk to work more.
There will still be days where using the car will be the only practical option, however I am committed to making these days the exception rather than the norm.
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