Five Reasons I Prefer Working in an Airplane to a Cubicle

There are perks to weekly air travel. Productivity is just one of them.


I am going to say something I never thought I would say: I enjoy working from an airplane.

A year ago, I spent my Monday mornings eating breakfast from my driver’s seat while fighting a never-ending sea of traffic. Upon getting to my cubicle, I would invariably be bombarded by co-workers in earlier time zones with world-ending crises that needed my immediate attention. If I was lucky, I could find enough time to sprint to the communal coffee pot for a quick cup of lukewarm joe.

As a consultant, I now have a weekly Monday flight out of the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Sure, getting to my seat now involves a security line, a body scanner, and accusatory looks from bystanders as my shaving cream is confiscated. Adding insult to injury, the subsequent purchase of a new can of shaving cream can only be transacted at a store where money has the approximate value of a Chuck-E-Cheese ticket - but the perks of riding a gravity-defying sky missile to work far outweigh the disadvantages. Here are a few of my favorites:

The View

When I worked in a windowless room full of cubicles, it was common for my co-workers to find excuses to walk past the front door to get a glimpse of the sun. I can’t blame them – it is easy to forget what the world outside looks like when all of the walls and furniture are color-coordinated by someone who loves shades of grey. Now, my Monday morning begins with a stunning view of two cities and the beautiful sky in-between. I almost feel bad for that manager with the corner office.


I am convinced that Google’s fabled naptime policy is just good business. A 15-minute power nap is a great way to clear your mind between tasks. Don’t take my word for it though - the guy in the seat next to me right now seems to agree!

The Pilot

Who hasn’t been stuck in traffic during the daily commute and imagined how much work they could get done if someone else were driving? Well, thank you Mr. United Airlines pilot! Not only are you giving me back four hours of my time, you are going to thank ME when I disembark from the plane.

The Coffee

Complimentary, fresh, and delivered to my “desk”. I’m not sure what else I could ask for.

No Internet

Ever since I installed Microsoft Communicator on my smartphone I find it difficult to really escape the allure of multitasking. Luckily, airplane mode provides the perfect excuse to switch off all incoming requests and focus on knocking out my tasks for the day.

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