Business People Liken Stress of Travel to Trip to Dentist, According to New Survey Released by Microsoft

REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 15, 2003 — A new national survey of business travelers indicates that more than two-thirds of respondents would just as soon spend time in a dentist’s chair as go on their next business trip. The survey, being released today by Microsoft Corp.’s wholly owned subsidiary PlaceWare Inc., also indicates that almost one-fifth of people who routinely travel on the job (five or more times a year) would prefer not to do so at all.

PlaceWare is releasing the survey of more than 600 business travelers at a series of unusual press conferences to launch its new online service Microsoft®
Office Live Meeting. To demonstrate the difficulties road warriors sometimes face and to drive home the point that with Live Meeting doing business no longer has to mean business travel, Anoop Gupta, a top Microsoft executive, will conduct all three press conferences during a single day — in Boston, Chicago and San Francisco — flying from one city to the next.

In vivid fashion, Gupta is conducting his press conferences in some unexpected locations: on top of Boston’s famed “Green Monster” in Fenway Park, on an “L” train platform in Chicago and from PIER 39 at the water’s edge in San Francisco. Moreover, he will be delivering the press conference virtually — using the Live Meeting service — so he can reach a global audience while emphasizing the service’s ability to eliminate these types of business junkets.

Those interested in logging on to the press conference should do the following:

  • Go to http:// www.placeware.com/go/launchcc/ .

  • Enter their name

  • Enter meeting ID getlive

  • Enter meeting key 650650

  • Dial (800) 230-0350 PIN 3366# or (503) 295-7443 PIN 3366#

Microsoft Office Live Meeting, a major upgrade of the former PlaceWare Conference Center, is a leading Web conferencing service that lets business professionals conduct effective meetings from any location with people anywhere in the world. The Web conferencing service empowers business people to conduct real-time, interactive presentations and meetings over the Internet.

“In today’s tough environment, business people are required to be more productive than ever,” Gupta said. “By using Microsoft Office Live Meeting, business people are reducing their need to travel and eliminate costs and stress. This survey reiterates the pressure business travelers face within their daily lives.”

The survey, conducted by Insight Express, queried more than 600 business professionals on their current attitudes toward business travel.

  • 72 percent find business travel as or more stressful than going to the dentist.

  • 66 percent indicate that business travel is on par with or more stressful than giving a presentation.

  • 56 percent believe business travel is as or more stressful than doing their taxes.

The survey also indicates that many people feel traveling on the job takes a toll on their personal lives.

  • Nearly 40 percent feel that “the stress of business travel has a negative impact on my family.”

  • More than half said business travel hampers their ability to maintain their diet or manage their weight or it interferes with exercise and personal hobbies.

“Office Live Meeting is a service that increases worker productivity by reducing travel and saving time helping people connect with someone down the hall just as easily as across the globe,” Gupta said.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp.

Survey Highlights

Business Travelers and Stress

(More than 600 respondents)

  • 72 percent said business travel is more stressful than or as stressful as going to the dentist.

  • 66 percent said business travel is more stressful than or as stressful as giving a presentation in front of a large group.

  • 64 percent said business travel is more stressful than or as stressful as sitting in rush-hour traffic.

  • 56 percent said business travel is more stressful than or as stressful as doing their taxes.

  • 37 percent agreed with the statement The stress of business travel has a negative impact on my family.

  • 35 percent agreed with the statement The stress of business travel has a negative impact on myself

  • 19 percent said business travel negatively affects their work.

  • 57 percent said business travel makes it more difficult to manage their diet or weight.

  • 59 percent said business travel makes it harder to exercise.

  • 63 percent said business travel interferes with hobbies such as gardening.

  • 40 percent said the most stressful aspect of business travel is missing their families.

  • 79 percent agreed there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings.