Skift Take

Messaging and collaboration tools help businesses run smoothly in these pandemic times, but not all travel agencies have their finger on the pulse.

With the shift to remote working, corporate messaging tools have come of age. The likes of Zoom help colleagues “meet” in person, but many organizations rely on collaboration platforms like Slack and Microsoft Teams to connect their dispersed workforce. Now, corporate travel agencies are being urged to join the party, and bring booking and other services into the chat fold. “My company’s technology teams are accepting chat as a service channel, so why not for travel?” said Daniel Tallos, an international travel manager. The Curse of App Fatigue Travel managers are getting tired of emails, and even their agency’s online booking tools. For their employees, it adds a layer of complexity they don't need. The shift to remote work means 45 percent of employees are using more workplace apps than before the pandemic, according to Slack’s The Remote Work Tech Effect report. A majority (69 percent) use 3 to 10 apps daily, while 17 percent juggle more than 10. One in two employees (55 percent) feel switching between numerous apps eats up time in their workday. It's a big problem. Currently, Microsoft Teams has 75 million users, after being marketed as a catch-all solution for people and organizations affected by Covid-19 according to BusinessofApps. Slack has grown to daily active users 12 million last year — a number that could soar following its acquisition by Salesforce. “I don’t believe travel management companies actually understand how their customers communicate within their business. They force them down an online booking tool, phone or email,” said Gavin Smith, director at Element Technology. There's efficiency on both sides at stake here. The pandemic is taking its toll on the larger agencies,