I read with interest last week that the USA is considering extending its laptop ban to flights from Europe as well as the Middle East. And here in Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull confirmed the Australian government is “looking at it very closely” to determine whether to follow suit. This might not affect you in the near future, but it’s worth considering what happens if it does …
How will this change your work and life?
This might not make any difference for the many people who travel for pleasure, but it could have a big impact on business travellers. Many of them work on long flights, and even work much more productively because they don’t have the interruptions and distractions of an office. And some (like I) need their laptop for their work at the other end of the flight.
If business travellers can’t use laptops in flight, some of them might choose not to fly, which will force a change to the way they work – for example:
- We might see a rise in online meetings, videoconferencing, webinars, and other online versions of in-person meetings.
- Or fewer international conferences and meetings.
- Or an increase in the cost of airfares for holiday travel (because the airlines rely on business travellers for their profits).
- Or … ?
We don’t know exactly what would happen, but being fit for the future means it’s worth considering the possibilities.
For example, as a conference speaker, I travel a lot, and make use of some of the travel time to get work done – so a laptop ban would affect me directly. It would also affect my clients, who in extreme cases might decide not to hold a conference at all. Knowing this, I can prepare for the impact – for example:
- Becoming better at online presentations
- Creating online resources to complement and supplement live presentations
- Teaching clients how to boost their new media literacy skills, so they can be ready to use these tools and resources
- Learning about the use of virtual reality for meetings and events
- Diversifying my income streams more, so I have more eggs in more baskets
What will YOU do?
Perhaps the in-flight laptop ban won’t affect you, but I bet you there’s something that could significantly disrupt your business – stricter government regulation, Amazon.com moving into the Australian market, GST charged on imports, a new President in South Korea, a change in the uranium price, whatever …
Don’t be caught off guard!
Ask yourself these two questions (hypothetically):
“How would my business change if [that significant event happened]?”
“How would my clients’ business change if [that significant event happened]?”
Of course, we will all adapt, but the most successful people will be prepared for the change when it happens.