The face of innovation

Volcano-linked flight restrictions have brought Europe’s business travel to a halt, but does it matter? A new piece of research suggests face-time is still crucial to boosting innovation.

The high costs of international travel – and the recent Icelandic volcano – have raised important questions about the value of short-term cross-border labour movements, specifically business travel. In the world of the Internet, e-mail, and video conferencing, why is business travel still so prevalent?

Recent surveys show that business executives prefer face-to-face communication over other means of communication, as it plays a pivotal role in negotiating deals, selling products, and building long-term relationships with clients and co-workers.

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