Much of the high level of waste revealed in retail tycoon Sir Philip Green’s recent spending review of government departments, could be drastically reduced by using videoconferencing equipment to attend meetings, rather than travelling to attend, claims Avanta Managed Offices.

“It’s time that the government adopted the 21st century technology that has proven popular in the private sector,” comments David Alberto, Avanta’s managing director. “Sir Philip’s report reveals that government staff spend £38 million a year on overnight accommodation in London hotels to attend meetings and this could be substantially reduced if they use videoconferencing for meetings instead.”

Surveys have shown, time and time again, that a physical meeting between several people can incur substantial travel, accommodation and catering costs running into thousands of pounds, without taking into account the real cost in delegate time out of the office. Whilst face-to-face meetings are clearly important to establish and maintain business relationships, this can still be achieved in a much more cost-effective manner by using videoconferencing.

Video conferencing equipment is available to hire at all of Avanta’s 19 business centres. However, Avanta’s four main meeting room locations in Victoria, Hammersmith, the West End and the City all offer in house video conferencing facilities with prices starting from as little as £25 per hour on top of the cost of room hire. In addition, IP to IP calls are free, allowing conferences between the four corners of the globe to take place for just £25 per hour rendering expensive hotels and costly and time-consuming travel completely unnecessary.

“The government could learn a lot from private enterprises, such as ours.” continues Alberto. “We have to run an efficient and cost-effective business model and there are many simple, yet effective habits that government departments could adopt in order to reduce unnecessary spending. The private sector has been using our fully-equipped meetings rooms to enjoy substantial savings on management time and travel for a number of years and the government could reduce its travel and overnight accommodation budget by many millions of pounds by following suit.”

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