4 Lessons For Business travellers From The European Volcano Disaster


Photo: Wikipedia

Note: This was originally published on OPEN Forum.

Small business owners have many reasons to travel. It could be to check out a supplier, meet a client, or deliver a product – maybe even take a vacation.

Each time you leave your office and home to jet-set off to a far-away place, you accept a degree of risk and leave many factors to fate.

But prior to April, few would have expected their flight home to be delayed by a volcanic eruption covering Europe in clouds of ash and preventing 100,000 flights from taking off.

Well, it happened.

Of course, this threat of complications is no reason not to travel. Moreover, a savvy business traveller should take to heart a few lessons we learned from the worst travel disruption since World War II.

Lesson #1: Buy travel insurance, and know what's covered

Lesson #2: Be creative

Lesson #3: Be determined.

One company, Sourcefire, was faced with a major problem -- one-third of the European team was in Miami for a corporate retreat when the volcano unleashed its fury.

With no way of knowing how long the delays would last and desperate to get everyone home to their families, Sourcefire's management chose the only option available: they booked everyone on a boat ride back to Europe.

The employees made it back home safely, and they were even able to work during their voyage using satellite systems on the ship.

Lesson #4: Be flexible

It's not hard these days to find a way to work from anywhere.

Norway Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was photographed using an iPad in JFK Airport and everyone joked he must be running his country from the mobile device.

Of course, if your schedule is open or you aren't averse to re-scheduling a three-night delay could always turn your business trip into a European vacation.

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