Certified B Corporation Badge


Up in the air

5 June, 2020

The decision has been made to require visitors to the UK to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. With other international restrictions and airline industry CEOs expressing concern for their sector, now and post-crisis, plsu the massive shift to working patterns and behaviour we’re all in the midst of, there’s real reason to question when – and whether – business travel will return. We think it’s also worth asking what we are losing in the process of reducing our face-to-face contact with people around the world. 

The environmental benefits of flying less are obvious – and significant, and this is really important. But whilst the world certainly needs to fly less, use more sustainable means of travel, and perhaps take more ‘staycations’, reducing travel for business does create some other challenges.  

While existing relationships are easier to maintain through virtual contact, creating new partnerships and meeting prospective clients is much more difficult to do in a meaningful, emotionally intelligent, way when it’s virtual. This matters, as from new connections come new ideas, and continuing the growth of cross-border innovations and ventures feels increasingly important as troubles spread across the globe, and politics can seem to be facing inwards rather than looking outwards. 

We also lose opportunities to make ourselves more culturally aware and expose ourselves to new perspectives. In and outside of business, travelling in the name of open-mindedness and diversity of thought creates real value. 

While the days of getting on a plane for lunch in Singapore then coming straight home are probably over (and a good thing too), there should be a middle ground if we are to allow business relationships to thrive, whilst respecting climate limits. The goal has to be to stay meaningfully connected and protect the planet at the same time. And, for now, it’s up in the air… 

By Cara McEvoy

You might also like