A Shift in Consulting Travel Opportunities

In 2018 I shared a blog on the idea of remote contracting work (link), and the impact of rate, at a time that almost no one offered nor wanted such a situation.  Consultants wanted to travel, saw points and hotel/airline perks as an added benefit to their career.  Clients expected the team to be onsite, to be incorporated into the team, and directly impact productivity.  I interviewed dozens of consultants and they all said they had zero interest in remote.  In March 2020 I posted another very different idea on the same subject, all work efforts would convert to remote for considerable time due to Covid…and at that time, we had no idea of the changes to come.

Three years later there is no question that “remote,” is the new norm.  Consultants have accepted the fact that their airlines status has shifted from Diamond to Gold, or Titanium to Silver or…well, it doesn’t really matter anymore, does it?  Clients, or a large number of them, have simply shifted their models for their teams to almost be 100% remote and their consultants are expected to be the same.  The few that do go on site, with a limited travel arrangement, seem to average a trip once a month, or 20% travel schedule.

Another interesting change is hiring full time staff regardless of where the employees live.  This trend is happening all across the country.  I’ve spoken with several local hospitals here in Boston and they all have employees who live in Ohio, for example, or even further away.  They allow their own workers to travel and work from their Florida home in the winter months or summer cottage locations in the summer.  No doubt this has improved retention of talent for clients and may be an option for consultants to consider in a contract to hire scenario. 

Onsite requirements continue to change and no doubt clients are looking at variations of home work options. We have all read that some industries are buckling at the remote concept, including software companies.  There is no doubt in my mind we will continue to see changes over the next several years.  Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of clients who are asking for onsite consultants, but they are the minority right now.

So what’s next for us in the world of healthcare IT consulting? If I had to make a prediction on any shift to consultant travel expectations in the future, it would be simple, expect more of a hybrid model.  It’s a standard contract question now…”what level of travel do you expect for this role.”  These agreements, 80% remote 20% onsite for example, are now a part of any work order.  Recruiters have to ask travel related questions to every candidate now, and as a consultant…you have more options than ever before when it comes to remote vs onsite opportunities.

What are you doing today…remote or onsite?  Share your thoughts below in the comments section. 

One Comment on “A Shift in Consulting Travel Opportunities

  1. I do hybrid. 80% remote & 20% onsite. I enjoy that ratio as it allows for more personal time in the afternoons and evenings. I don’t miss local events any more! The only positive thing to come from Covid!


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