I am currently on an airplane – 30,000 feet above the earth writing a blog post! This is one of those time where my true geekyness comes-out – okay , it’s always there but this time even more so! Free WiFi is becoming a standard for airplanes and with it we usher in a new age of connectivity. While it may seem like just a cool added bonus this is already changing the way we do business.
Think of this scenario. You are flying to Japan – only about 14 hours from Los Angeles and yes – there is a direct flight. Without WiFi you can respond to emails and work on your presentation or meeting notes for your upcoming trip. With WiFi you can host video conferences and get a full day’s work done just as if you were in the office. Okay – so aren’t we all going to miss those moments of solace, that escape from the grid we experience while flying? Sure – but the increase in productivity is worth it!
(Yes – that is my hand)
I think the addition of WiFi to airplanes is going to have the largest impact on International travel. Domestic flights of only a few hours have done little to hinder productivity but all-day flights force people to change their daily work habits to accommodate flights. If you are as busy as I am (which I know many of you are) then you know absolutely every minute counts.
So here’s a great example. During a 14 hour flight I am likely to get over 200 or more emails, so while I can work on the plane the emails will be piling up. This means when I arrive in some far-off city, jetlagged and disoriented I now have a full day’s work to catch-up on. Since I travel all over the world this is exactly the experience I have. Heck – even going to Canada I find that I spend my first night cloistered in the hotel room huddled over my laptop responding to emails.
With WiFi on the plane this now means you can arrive at your destination and go on with your normal night (or day) rather than play a the stressful game of catch-up. That is why WiFi is going to revolutionize business travel and International business in general.
So while you might like your time away from the pressures of email and phone calls just remember, it’s all still happening – you’re just missing it! Just opened my window now – it is bright and sunny with puffy white clouds below – hello from 30,000- feet!