Growing up, I thought flying was glamorous. Nowadays, it’s just part of business life. But that doesn’t mean we should do it without thinking.
We know that flying’s bad for the environment, and we shouldn’t choose it if there is a practical alternative. But with long-haul, there often isn’t one. And because of the expense and time involved, you only make the trip if you have to.
A long flight is actually a precious opportunity to do some reading, or work through ideas. And you can get back online in the business lounges or Regus business centres at either end of your journey.
Short-haul trips are different. You spend your day flitting between airports, cabs and offices that are much the same anywhere in the world. You don’t get much work done and barely register the change of country. These trips are wasteful and often unnecessary.
Take the example of a quarterly sales and marketing meeting. It’s important, but do you need everyone to be in the same room? No. If three or four people work closely together, invite just one of them. They can debrief the others afterwards.
Or do the whole meeting by video conference.
A certain amount of flying is unavoidable, but the more you plan, the more you can get out of each trip – whether it’s catching up with a few contacts in one place or scheduling one meeting so you’ve a shorter journey to the next.
So think before you book flights. That way, travel might actually broaden your mind.