Published On: Mon, Sep 8th, 2014

Flights Needn’t Be Dead Time For Business Travellers

Do you fly a lot? If you’re in the business world, the answer to that question should be “Yes.” As a planet, we’re more interconnected than ever before. You don’t run any business from one office any longer. Most businesses have offices or premises dotted around the globe. The business world has become an international one for many firms. Even the smallest firms can go global with the right investment and attitude.

Travellers

What are the consequences of globalisation for businesses? Well, there are many, of course. It means that companies have more markets available for trade. That can mean more profit. It can also mean more trouble. As you spread out, you leave yourself vulnerable to problems in more places. Globalisation has also meant that companies need to deal in a wider range of languages and currencies. Today’s businessperson has to know dollars, euros, pounds and yen. They’ve got to get by in English, Spanish and Chinese, among others. The skillset of a businessperson in today’s world is a vast one. It’s no wonder they’re all so stressed!

Of course, the biggest change that globalisation has brought to the lives of businesspeople is the travel. In the past, air travel was an exotic thing, as advertisements for it show. Nowadays, travelling on a plane is just another everyday fact of life for modern businesses. It’s an unavoidable aspect of international commerce and enterprise. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you do. If you need to fly, then off you go. A modern company has jobs that need doing in London, New York, Tokyo – you name it.

That’s why passenger numbers at the world’s largest airports continue to soar. Business passengers have to fly more than ever before. It’s not just the case that they can do everything in the office anymore. A good business lets its staff get out there and connect with foreign customers. An e-mail doesn’t cut it at the top level of global business. There are hands to shake and people to meet. Making a good impression is key for any global business. You can’t do that online. Any decent business shouldn’t have a problem with flying its staff around the world to meet important clients. What’s more, you can gain an advantage by doing business face-to-face. A good company representative can get a better deal if they’re working in person. It just makes good business sense to fly your staff around the world.

The problem with international flights is, of course, the airport itself. Spending hours in an international airport is nobody’s idea of fun. They’re hot, cramped places that can be difficult to negotiate. The coffee is expensive and so is the food. It takes an age to get from one side of the place to another. The security checks aren’t the worst part – though they’re no fun at all. No, the real issue is all that sitting around. Time is valuable. You don’t want to sit in an airport for hours awaiting your connection. Delays and cancellations make the whole thing even worse. What’s more, any company that has staff in an airport is paying them to do nothing! That’s a massive waste of money and resources.

The truth of the matter is that time in an airport doesn’t have to be time wasted. There are plenty of ways to make the most of your time stuck in the departure lounge. For one thing, almost all modern airports offer decent WiFi services. Airport WiFi is free, more often than not, and easy to use too. That means your employees can connect to the office without any hassle. They won’t run up expensive bills by trying to access the Internet on their company phones. Internet access can transform a long airport wait into a stay at the office.

Furthermore, your employees can now stay in touch from the airport. Skype has revolutionised the way that business encounters happen. Anyone can dial in and stay up to date. You don’t need to leave your travelling staff out of the loop. Skype can solve that for you in an instant. What’s more, you’ll save time by not having to catch everyone up later.

In the past, a problem for airport travellers was accessing important documents. Nobody wants to carry a ream of paper onto the plane with them. Paperwork is awkward, cumbersome and easy to lose. Going digital didn’t always help, either. Travellers couldn’t always access important files and folders from the airport. Nowadays, that’s not an issue. Programs like Google Drive or Dropbox make it easy for staff to view and edit documents from anywhere, as long as they have WiFi. An important bonus to these programs is their security. You can trust them to protect your documents, no matter what.

The last resort for any businesses with a lot of airborne employees is to conduct business inside the airport. It sounds silly, but it’s a great way to get stuff done. Lots of your potential clients and customers will have staff in the air as well. A Heathrow meeting could save you both a lot of time and effort. Most airports have facilities available for business meetings. They’re top of the line, meaning you won’t have to worry about arranging a decent meeting place. Doing business in an airport can increase your productivity too. If your staff are having meetings while they’re on the way to other meetings, think of the time that saves.

The important thing to remember is that the airport isn’t just a way of wasting your employee’s time. It can be a place to do business. There aren’t any obstacles that you can’t overcome. You are paying for your employees to be in those airports. You should be able to get the best out of them during that time. There are no obstacles – there should be no excuses. You can make the world’s airports into mini-offices for your company. Just imagine the time and money that such an effort could save.