Fear of flying is very often under scrutiny in the corporate world, where performance is king. Threatening the well-being of employees (and revenue opportunities), many are reluctant to acknowledge their anxieties to their N+1s – even though solutions exist to free themselves of them.
Fear of flying, a widespread evil in the workplace
Fear of flying is a much more common affliction than we think : according to studies, it would affect between 1/4 and 1/6th of passengers. Of course, it does not spare business and other business trips, which according to INSEE account for more than 9 million internal flights in 2016 alone.
Fear of flying can impact your company’s business trips, and even call them into question! It can happen if :
- A new employee called to fly hides his fear of flying during a job interview ;
- An employee with air stress is assigned new duties that involve business travel;
- An experienced traveller suddenly develops a fear of flying.
These diverse situations come at a cost that is difficult for companies to accurately assess. Its visible part includes all trip cancellations, which have a negative impact on business opportunities: a cancelled business trip results in less turnover.
The hidden part is all those cases where travelers reluctantly travel by plane at the expense of superhuman effort. The result is discomfort on the move, sleepless nights, anxiety, and incidentally, a business trip with a lower return on investment.
How to deal with the fear of flying on a business trip?
When an employee reveals his fear of flying, many companies don’t know how to handle the situation. There is no point in insisting or forcing them to travel. Contrary to a still widely accepted idea, fear of flying is not a question of willpower, of “taking it upon oneself”, to be dealt with through evasive actions (medication, distractions…).
On the contrary, ignoring the problem (or refusing to face it) only makes it worse when flying on a business trip. Worse, disciplinary measures to force an employee to fly are doomed to failure.
Indeed, air phobia is a psychological trauma that can be treated, not punished! It is a disabling, even paralyzing phobia. It can be linked to more or less acute associated disorders: claustrophobia, fear of flying over the ocean, anxieties related to turbulence or erroneous beliefs, as on air holes…
In some extreme cases, it is a symptom of physiological diseases that can be detected. However, there is nothing irreversible about airborne stress: there are many solutions to get rid of it in the long term.
Fear of flying: a taboo in the workplace?
One thing is sure, it is tough to deal with the fear of flying in companies. When performance is king, it happens that the subject goes under the carpet to show no weakness and lose no professional opportunity.
On the employee’s side, as soon as the job interview is held, they can be passed over in silence in order to get the job. Then, when the business trip approaches, we hold off talking about it… The fear of flying is all the more stigmatizing when we consider that no one else is affected. There are then two alternatives: take the plane against your will, at the cost of mental suffering; or cancel at the last minute, and lose business opportunities for the company.
Communicate as soon as possible to forestall the situation.
Bringing the subject to the table is vital in the largest organizations, which have several tens of professionals on the go. In fact, many people who suffer from phobias about flying declare themselves late in life, after several years of attending boarding lounges without incident.
For all companies, communication is key. It is a question of informing as soon as possible when a job description includes air travel, when train travel is not possible. Supporting employees in situations of air travel anxiety is crucial: it frees up the floor and allows solutions to be considered. Nearly all air travel phobias are eager to be cured: it’s a good thing there are tailor-made courses that are perfectly adapted to professional contexts.
Fear of flying training in e-learning for companies
Several organizations provide distance training to fight against the fear of flying. This is the case of Fofly, which has developed a method that is 95% effective, allowing stress-free business trips after a few hours of e-learning training.
The Fofly training is available in e-learning, in the form of a single subscription that gives you access to a set of training videos and quizzes to test your knowledge. It focuses all the pedagogical know-how of peurdelavion.fr, training courses that have been helping passengers to overcome their flight stress for the past 10 years.
Accessible from any computer, the Fofly method is particularly suited to companies. Would you like to know more about it?