Wi-fi on airplanes: a much-needed productivity boost!

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/wireless/2006-06-05-inflight-broadband_x.htm

Following a winning $31.3 million-dollar bid, AirCell, a Colorado-based company that provides wireless services for corporate jets, is now poised to provide wireless service on public airliners as early as 2007.  This would be absolutely amazing for personal productivity, allowing you to do the same work you do in the office, on your Blackberry, in the hotel, at Starbucks and in the airport lounge.  Bravo!  Many people complain about travel, citing a huge productivity drain.  Now they won’t have anything to blame, and the excuse will vanish.  The real reason for not getting work done will emerge: a good book, a stiff drink, the prospect of a nap.  NOW we’ll see where the rubber hits the road…or air waves…on productivity.

Excerpt from Laura’s book Find More Time:

Use your travel time productively. If you were fortunate enough to have ever met the late Art Berg, CSP, CPAE, you have been blessed. This pioneer of using technology in a way that helps people simplify their lives was the founder of the Internet calendaring system I use: www.espeakers.com. Art always told me, “Never waste your time on the plane. The more you get done while you’re traveling, the more time you’ll have available to be with your family you return.” I took his sage advice to heart and now plan on being able to knock out a bunch of work while I’m away from home. I don’t just sleep, rent the movies, or listen to music on the plane—I work. I read business journals, trade magazines, write thank-you letters, complete routine paperwork, review large reports and board materials, or do project and advance planning. If I feel good about what I’ve accomplished, I have the current Oprah magazine handy for pleasure reading. I take my office into the air and to the hotel. In the hotel, I don’t watch television! If you’re a television person at home, discipline yourself to say, “This is my time. Uninterrupted time. There’s no one else to take care of but myself. I’m going to use it to get ahead.”

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Comments

  1. Tamara Richards says:

    Laura, I think it is great to be able to use plane travel to get work done. However, I am less than excited about people using their cell phones on planes. People are already so inconsiderate with their phone habits, it seems a shame that there is yet another place we have to put up with chatty cathy who broadcasts her business to all.

    Sincerely,
    Tamara

  2. Tamara Richards says:

    Laura, I think it is great to be able to use plane travel to get work done. However, I am less than excited about people using their cell phones on planes. People are already so inconsiderate with their phone habits, it seems a shame that there is yet another place we have to put up with chatty cathy who broadcasts her business to all.

    Sincerely,
    Tamara

  3. Laura Stack says:

    Tamara,

    You are so right! It would be annoying having people talk in your ear. Fortunately, right now, this only covers broadband Internet. The article says, “They also MIGHT make cellphone calls, though that faces tougher regulatory hurdles and consumer resistance to chattering neighbors.” I think we will see limitations on calls. The airphone service currently available in the back of seats is rarely used, so let’s hope they continue offering the same phone service, and this will open up Internet usage only.

    Best,

    Laura

  4. I travel frequently and find my worktime on the plane valuable for keeping up. Although there is less and less room on the plane for taking out laptops and other devices!

    For some time I also took advantage of evenings in the hotel to try to get ahead in my work (since I didn’t have home responsibilities) – working in my room and ordering in room service – working late. This was NOT a good thing! I was coming home from my business trips exhausted and not of much value to my family.

    I still do some working in the room, but I try to take some time off, taking advantage of the travel time away from home to sneak in a little “me” time. I also make myself go to bed early enough so I can hit the hotel gym in the morning – keeping up exercise.

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