#15 On Staycation; The Big Return; How Companies Can Win at Remote Work; Countryside Communities; Where to Find Remote Jobs.

I’m on staycation till September.

No need to go anywhere – the south coast is like the Med. Why rush around getting to France (& back!) to meet ever-changing quarantine rules so the kids can #getbacktoschoolsafely? Hardly a relaxing holiday. If you’re there, just chill and enjoy it. It won’t matter if the kids miss another week or two. Besides, who’s going to be tracking your movements when you get back? 😉

So, I’ll be attending to the book pile, soaking up the sun, sleeping, walking. Julieta will be back from Italy soon, so I’m making the most of my lack of domestic responsibilities.

Overheard on the beach this week – day-trippers down from London. “Isn’t it great to be out of the city? I feel different down here. The air’s so fresh.” Huge skies too – shifts your perspective.

And some advice from a guy I got chatting to down the pub. “Get your baked beans in. Anything you can eat cold and don’t have to cook. Mix them with curry powder. A year ago, who’d have thought we’d be walking round with nappies on our faces. Being told where to go and what to do…?”

There’s much talk about the big return in September.

According to the Mail on Sunday, “Thousands in the city will never return full-time.” Schroder’s staff have been given the option of working from home permanently. “Rethinking the rulebook on flexibility will prove a huge shot in the arm for productivity long-term”. KPMG says 50-60% of its 22,000 UK workforce will work flexibly permanently following the pandemic. Based on a survey that over 70% of its staff want increased flexibility in working arrangements.”

Cause we’ve had our taste of freedom and we like it, innit!

Bruce Daisley has been chatting to people about what they’re planning to do – have a listen to The Big Return. Making the call on what to do next, and what other companies are doing.

Government messaging has changed from “Stay home if you can” to “Go back to work if you can” (on an egg) perhaps? They want us back in the office asap because they’re worried about the wider impact on business districts. If we’re all holed up at home, no one’s buying sanies or pottering round the shops. It’s a big problem for central London. Many small businesses are struggling as they rely on workers coming into the city. If you want to support the high street and help safeguard jobs, here’s something you can do today –sign this petition. And buy someone you love a gift card!

Companies are right to be cautious, though. There’s still no vaccine in sight. Russia has one, of course, but they’re on their own mission. Would you have a vaccine that’s not been adequately tested? Social distancing is hard to manage in open-plan offices – not a pleasant experience at the best of times. You’ll be sat there flinching every time someone coughs or sneezes, getting OCD about your keyboard and door handles. Sat behind screens for team meetings. And wearing a nappy to buy your lunch. Who can be arsed with that? Far too much effort.

Companies have also realised they can save some cash by cutting back on expensive office space and in turn, expensive staff… So, it looks like remote working (& workers) will be the norm for some time.

Now the talk has moved on to how companies can win at remote work.

🔗 the links 

Here’s Hoxby on how remote working technology is helping us to think bigger.

The age of the office is over – the future lies in Britain’s commuter towns. Where to move to? Anywhere with a cathedral, apparently. 

Comment from Lauren Razavi “So many urban pals are talking about starting intentional communities in the countryside after months of lockdown in cities. Would you get together with a bunch of friends and move to a village? Where? What would you need?”

Coffee shops, fast wifi, work wives, a decent climate, affordable travel to the UK. So, Southern Europe, probably. I’m still thinking about the Italian casa dolce casa for $1 that I can convert into an Airbnb/creative hub.

Read Lauren’s predictions on what lies ahead for the future of work. The future’s what we make it, so let’s create it!

Useful thread from Daina_larkin on “Stresslaxing” being an obstacle when working from home. When you don’t leave “the office”, it’s hard to completely disconnect. How to beat “stresslaxing.”

Good tips though the joy of working on a laptop/phone is that you can take it anywhere… garden, sofa, bed, floor, standing desk, café, loo… who wants to sit at the same desk all day when you’re WFH? 

Welcome to Cube City. Would you work in your own self-contained 3m x 3m cube? Interesting idea, but I don’t know any freelancers who could afford £800-1600 a month on a workspace. Spend the night working on projects (nope), showers on each floor, a day bed… you’ve moved in, effectively. I think we need more affordable housing first. The line between work/rest/play is blurred enough.

Remotely Inclined – Stefan Palios’ excellent newsletter on remote work:
Welcome to the Creator Renaissance – creating, building, and making is (finally) cool again.

Where to Find Thousands of Remote Jobs – non-tech companies still hiring throughout the pandemic.

Visas, Incentives, & More: Here’s What Countries are Doing to Attract Remote Companies.

Happy holidays!

Bought me a mask I can actually breathe in – doubles up as a scarf. Nice.

Pssst. Have a read through the archives and let me know what you’d like to see more of. Have a question about running a remote business or escaping the city and moving to the Sussex coast? Ask me anything.


By Nicci Talbot

Director, freelance journalist & copywriter

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