Here's an uncomfortable truth: Most of the time when I say "I'll work on the plane," I actually won't end up working on the plane. Sometimes it is a logistic issue, like no Wi-Fi or power outlets. Often it is a mental thing, as I have a hard time focusing with the on-air announcements, turbulence, close quarters and so on.
I find it fascinating, then, that my colleague Matt Villano found people who travel to be productive. Not travel to go somewhere to work, but actual travel to get work done. Here's his piece for Details:
According to Henry Harteveldt, founder of the Atmosphere Research Group, a travel industry analysis firm in San Francisco, these sorts of practices are increasingly common for people who work 12- to 14-hour days (or more) and crave alone time to unearth and shape their best ideas.
"I like to call these excursions the Greta Garbo trips," he said, referring to the 1920s Swedish actress's famous line about how she vanted to be alone. "The people who take them need to be alone to do their best stuff, and in the anonymity of travel, they find they can concentrate in ways they can't concentrate anywhere else."
So entrepreneurs regularly take multi-hour train or flight trips just to appreciate the solitude (something I could appreciate as a business-focused parent). I could see the pot looking sweeter if you had a strong chance of upgrades and access to lounges. In fact, one of the reasons why I recommend paying for airport lounge access is the solitude and amenities it gives. The frequent flyer points are a nice perk, too.
The cost factor comes into play, too, but a cheap flight might actually be cheaper than maintaining a regular office space, particularly if you can tie actual business meetings to the locations you fly.
Being connected to my local city was a big motivator for me starting a home office, so traveling to work isn't my speed.
Could creating a mobile office be a benefit to your productivity?