Memorial Day is a traditional marker for more than the remembrance of fallen service men and women. Effectively, Memorial Day also indicated the unofficial start of the summer travel season. Typically, this is when schools release their students for the summers and families begin to make their plans to take time off and away from home. In recent history however, highway and airway travel has been down from its usual peaks due to rising fuel costs and a challenging economy.
Record Trips to be Taken
Though gas prices have recently hit a new high for 2015, they began the year well below historical averages from the last decade. In fact, despite a steady increase for several straight weeks, the national average price for a gallon of gasoline is actually 94 cents below its level at this time last year. These are the lowest Memorial Day price levels since 2009, and they are expected to drive family travel to record highs.
Time Away From Work Costs Employers Billions
Research firm Challenger, Gray, & Christmas estimated that during the 2015 NCAA March Madness Tournament, distracted employees cost employers $1.2 billion in productivity loss and opportunity cost each hour. Though there have been some criticisms over the methodology of how that figure was calculated, the simple fact remains that absenteeism, be it physical or focal, costs employers big time. With added incentives to employees to go on holiday thanks in large part to the increased affordability of travel, employers without contingent satellite-employment policies in place are wringing their hands.
There are, however, many companies adopting a variety of different technologies that are designed to cater to exactly this time of workforce dispersal. The majority of satellite-friendly workplaces employ VoIP telephone strategies and softphones to act as emulators for their existing business telephone systems. With these advanced, cloud-based telecommunications platforms, companies can add both flexibility and connectivity to their accommodations to their workforces.