“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Imagine this for a moment. Working three days a week and exploring the beauty of another State the other four.
Now that sounds like an experiment worth running. So many questions come to mind:
- Will we be effective and as productive as we are at home?
- Will we get distracted?
- Will our client’s experience be better, the same or worse?
- Will we ‘grind each other’s gears’ over the month and become more tolerant of each other?
- Will the people of Deloraine Tasmania welcome us into their community?
- Will we experience new and exciting adventures in places we’ve never been to?
Why don’t we base ourselves in Tasmania for a month and experiment with remote/virtual work?
I threw it out there to my wife Allison mid last year given we are both involved in the operation of our own small businesses, and have basically worked from home since March 2020, and prior to that for at least five years.
I didn’t think much about it until a couple of months later when the green light was given to make some enquiries. We started by picking the beautiful town of Deloraine, located on the Meander River in the central north of Tasmania.
We had previously done a couple of wedding anniversaries here and the location was perfect for a base to work, rest and play over a month.
We headed over on the Spirit of Tasmania with the Mazda CX5 packed with our laptops, monitors, keyboards, podcasting equipment, laser printer, portable stand-up desk, theragun, the shakti mat, a couple of suitcases, golf clubs and a bottle of gin or two.
Work experiment days were Tuesday to Thursday and adventures from Friday to Monday.
Here’s my list of personal learnings from the Tasmanian ‘experimental adventure’.
Some were reinforcing previous learnings, and others a result of heightening my awareness and being in the moment.
Work will still be there after you’ve taken a chance to breathe
Capture The ‘Micro-moments’
Be aware of the little important moments and cherish them in the moment.
Don’t Eat Lunch at Your Desk
Take a break, taste your food and enjoy it rather than scoffing it in front of your laptop.
Self-Care Is Essential
Eat well, hydrate, play some, move and rest.
Explore All Possibilities
What might appear to be a stupid question is an opportunity to explore what can be. Don’t let little voices in your head block opportunities by calling them stupid questions.
Embrace the Local Community
Humans are human wherever you go. Working remotely in a different community means you should assimilate. Join the local gym, support local businesses and socialise.
Be Kind to Yourself
Give yourself a pat on the pat on the back every day. Be your own cheerleader and reflect on what you are proud of about you.
Share Your Learning for the Benefit of Others
Don’t keep an experimental adventure a secret. It inspires others to do the same thing.
Acknowledge, Appreciate & Understand Your Partners Work
A huge one for me was to really appreciate and understand what Allison’s work involved. It’s taken me past the laziness of the ‘how was your day?’ question and helped me appreciate that there’s so much more to being an accountant.
Listen to Your Body and Mind
Don’t fight it or it will fight you.
Imagine that from one question mid last year in the grip of COVID19 in Melbourne we are potentially stepping into a whole new way of working in the future?
Tassie was incredible, the life design experimental adventure was a success and I am eager to again put that crazy idea out to Allison about ‘what’s next?’
I hope it has inspired many of you to do the same. What’s that question on the tip of your tongue? Is it your potential experiment and adventure?
Put it out there you never know where it might lead you and your business.
Mark LeBusque, Harvard-trained consultant, author and Founder & Director of The Human Manager, conducted an environmental adventure operating his small business in Tasmania to put the concept, ‘Life Design,’ commonly known as ‘work-life balance,’ to the test.