What Really Matters in a Remote Office?

Good day,

Let us discuss the important matter of having a remote office and the criteria that *really* matter for getting work done abroad, shall we? Many people will dive right into the features a place has, what benefits do they have the “digital nomad” or “location independent” or my fav “perpetual traveler”. Although the mechanical features are important, many miss the most important factor which is it has to be somewhere you LIKE.  If you didn’t like golf, you probably wouldn’t find living on a golf course particularly inspiring, would you?

Connectivity is important

I went to Chiang Mai as everyone praises it because it’s cheap with decent connectivity and countless dining options. It all sounds great on paper, when I got there the connections I found were most certainly “less than decent” to the point that in my apartment, I couldn’t even connect via file transfer protocol (FTP) to upload. If you want to derail your productivity, simply have to leave your office to some cyber café that is also slow to finish part of a project. When it comes to connectivity, take stock of your jobs. Currently on Little Corn the connectivity isn’t so hot but besides writing this blog, I delegate 98% of all tasks.

More to life than keeping costs low

Suffice to say, I didn’t care for Chiang Mai much at all. It was one of those weird places on the planet where I just felt like I was wasting my life. It seemed like it didn’t matter what I did there, there was nothing for me. Was I born on this planet to find the cheapest city in Thailand and live in some apartment building filled with old bitter expats to save a few $ on my monthly rent? Sure they had incredibly cheap golf breaks but that is neither here nor there…  If golf was on my mind and money was of no issue, Las Vegas golf seems like the place but I digress…

Whatever happened to having fun?

Your remote office has to be somewhere you genuinely like being, if not you’ll probably get despondent. How much time will you actually be working? The whole “I’m going to buckle down and work for a month” doesn’t mean that you’ll physically be sitting at your computer for a month while a pizza delivery man slides thin crust pizza under your door. You need to be somewhere that once you’re done work, you can “go out and play” as crazy as that sounds.

What’s most important to productivity?

Let’s say you were going to hire a crew to do some building for you. When it comes to state of tools or state of mind, what is most important to getting quality work done in an efficient manner? First let us examine the state of the tools, shall we? Around the world I constantly see people doing great work with old tools, often old tools that have been repaired so many times only a small fraction of its original self remain. It’s important to have good tools but you definitely don’t need state of the art.

What about your state of mind? The more I discover on this planet, the more I realize that your state of mind is all that really matters. It can make a heaven out of h3ll or vice versa. You can have the best tools in the world along with everything you need and more but if you aren’t in the right mindset, you’ll get nothing accomplished.

Writing this because someone wrote on my Facebook wall that he can’t believe I chose Little Corn Island over some of the other working hubs around the area. I work 1-4 hours a day, every day and the rest of the time is all mine. Sure I’d have a better connection and 24 hour a day power in some major city but this is my life, I only have one. Why spend your winter in some large C. American city when you can walk around a beautiful Caribbean island surrounded by interesting people?

Today before work I went on this long walk with a Danish lady I met a few days ago. We strolled along white sand beaches, went for a swim and explored a tropical wilderness while enjoying each others company. There is more to life than just work, you need to play hard and work hard or it simply isn’t worth it. At the end of the day, we all leave this planet with little more than we came in with. Remember to always look at the big picture.

There is a lot more to choosing an office than just the connection speeds…

Tips hat,

2 Comments

  1. SJH

    February 5, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Nicely said, Rob. And it doesn’t hurt to have some crazy fireworks if you happen to be “working” around New Year’s. Love the shot above of the guest office at Tranquilo’s. Pretty soon, you’ll need to leave Little Corn. If for no other reason than it will make me miss it less because I’ll not be reminded of its awesomeness every day.

  2. Rob

    February 6, 2012 at 6:45 pm

    I’m leaving on the 13th, it’s coming soon!

    Sent from a bar stool at Tranquilo

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