Want to get work done? Flee to a deserted island, this guy did!

Photo by hllewellyn

Last week our CEO posted an interesting blog post with the title: I’m Not a Remote Worker. He wrote it funnily enough on the Vienna Airport after reading the book Why Managing Sucks and How to Fix It (Thompson, Ressler).

Why do I think that is interesting?

Because it is – by today’s standards – the opposite of common sense. One quote particularly drew my attention: ‘Work is not a place where you go. Work is something you do’. It could be the conclusion of my last post about why work doesn’t happen at work. Although in hindsight I would have called that post ‘Why Work Has Nothing To Do With An Office’. Or ‘The Best Way to Kill Work: Get an Office!’.

‘Not fair! You are not working!’

My ghostwriter often works in coffee bars. At some of those he has to check in on Facebook to get access to the Internet. Often his friends comment on that, “I saw you were in Lokaal Espresso again on Tuesday morning.” Meaning: You are not working; you are drinking coffee. Which is nonsense, not having an office has made him at least twice as productive. For him having an office meant suffering from lazy bastardness and too much distraction. In a way, an office was the opposite of working.

Not having an office has made him twice as productive!

The first Web Robinson

And then there was a story in the Guardian a week ago that proves the point (although they still talk about ‘remote work’ in the article). Frenchman Gauthier Toulemonde took off to a desert island to become the very first ‘Web Robinson’. He wanted to prove that as long as you have a computer and an Internet connection, you can do your work anywhere. So he did.

The worst part of office work: bad coffee

For me it’s strange that this crazy Frenchman and my ghostwriter are the exception. So instead of blaming guys like them for having the best workplaces in the world, think again. Wouldn’t it be better to actually get some work done instead of just getting “face-time” at the office? My tip? Start small; ask for one afternoon every other week. And then prove the point by creating your best work. Which should be easy since you will avoid the dreaded M&M’s!.

But of course, the biggest crime isn’t even that you have to be in an office. It’s the poison they call coffee they serve in most companies. Now that I think about it, my personal experience with coffee in France made me want to flee to a desert island as well…

So tell me, what’s your favorite place to make work happen?

Love and keep up the good work,

MellyBlog Footer


  1. My favorite place to work is my super cozy home office: http://www.lisettesutherland.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/photo.jpg

    It’s warm and quiet. I have awesome high speed internet and a great sound system where I play ambient music to help me focus. I use a room divider to create a nice background for any Skype calls or Hangouts. And I love taking short walks or long runs in between projects.

    Comment by Lisette Sutherland on December 9, 2013 at 12:07 PM

  2. My favorite place to make work happen is…as many différent places as possible, to foster maximum awareness.

    Comment by Anthony Claverie on August 4, 2014 at 10:27 PM

  3. Hmm, I stil like 3 screens that I have at office and having telcos at office is easier than anywhere else.

    Comment by Hannu Tornroos on August 15, 2014 at 10:52 AM

  4. Office work improves when you do not stay at the same location within that office all day. It’s better when you change desks, working positions and environments throughout the day.

    Comment by Wanja Krah on February 19, 2015 at 8:34 AM

  5. Hi all
    My experience shows, that not all are a fan of working NOT in a office – even it seams to be “the trend”: Some need a place where they know “here is working” and can start diving into the “working mode” and start searching for the flow. Some need a place where they know, that there are no distractions (coffee, tv, interesting people passing by, children, dog needs to go out aso.
    Also I heard from a survey, where they found out, that our brain starts falling in the “working mode” if we do our (even creative!) work mostly at the same place. But I dond’t know, if this is true or not. Personally I’m a big fan of working not in a office, but I’m carful by hyping the thinking, everybody has to work at a coffee bar or at a park.

    Comment by Adrian Christen on April 27, 2015 at 9:22 AM

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This article is written by Vasco Duarte on December 9th 2013.

You can connect with Vasco Duarte in Google+.