People have been trying to work remotely since long before the start of the pandemic. Ever since the first BlackBerry came on the market, folks could search the web, answer their email, or easily text back to the home office from anywhere with cell coverage.
As we waste away at Margaritaville this month enjoying our Winter Summerland, I see guys that look like my former self hanging out by the pool with their families. While the kids splash around in the water, I see a few guys my age – in their hat and sunglasses – pacing the edge of the pool or sitting under an umbrella looking at their phones.
Besides being a weekday, you can tell they are working because they are so intent on what they are reading or what they are saying to the folks back at the office. They might technically be on vacation, but they are also plugged in.
For many people, the pandemic has recast the idea of a working vacation into an almost permanent vacation. I talked to one guy who sold his house in Maine 18 months ago and bought a cottage here in Margaritaville. He still works for the same company, but he now does so from his Margaritaville cottage. Or poolside.
Some might hate the idea of mixing work with relaxation in paradise, but he said it is really the best of both worlds for him. He has enough experience, expertise, and importance to his company that the work can come to him. So why not position himself in the best possible location?
In addition, we are close enough to the Orlando airport, that he can make a connection to pretty much anywhere in the United States on pretty short notice. He can jet back to Maine – or to a key customer’s office – looking tan & relaxed.
I’m doing that this coming week. I’m leaving Florida for a dinner & daylong Board meeting in snowy Michigan. Even though half of our board is snowbirding in Florida right now, we prefer to do our quarterly meetings at company headquarters, where we can more easily engage with senior management.
Some folks like to portray this new found work flexibility as a Faustian bargain if some sort. That even though we think we have it better, crafty MegaCorps have somehow snookered us into working 24/7 and traveling more. I don’t think that’s the case. When it’s possible, I think more work/home/travel flexibility is always s good thing. If people are choosing when & where to work, they will pick what’s best for them.
How have you incorporated work/home/travel flexibility into your lifestyle?
Image Credit: (c) MrFireStation.com