I was reading my feeds and noticed this pointer over on AppGap to an article on The Economist entitled "Nomads at last". I read the entire article because it very nearly describes who I am and how I feel about choosing where I work.
Last week I was driving up fron Los Angeles to Seattle to attend a conference. Along the way I blogged whilst I was doing a bit of work from three different locations. I was on holidays so I didn’t push it that much. Whilst I was doing it I realised that if I was truly more focused (as opposed to being on holidays) I could do it full time and not really take a productivity hit.
Whilst in Seattle I tweaked my mobility kit just a little. First of all, I ditched the small backpack I was using for my laptop. I downgraded to it before I came on the trip so as to minimise my luggage situation but it didn’t really work for me. So whilst I was at the Microsoft Company Store I picked up a Microsoft branded OGIO laptop bag.
My Tablet PC and all my little bits and pieces fit quite comfortably in the bag and I had a little room to spare – time to get a new lightweight device to fill that gap. As it happens I’ve been lusting after the MacBook Air and with the Australian dollar against the greenback being so good I was able to pick one up for about three hundred dollars less than I could back home, and that includes paying the sales tax over here.
People who know me will be wondering why I got a MacBook Air, but to be honest I’ve just wanted to give Mac OS X a serious go for quite some time to see if it can work for me. As time goes on we will see how it affects the way I work.
How does this relate to being a nomad? Well first of all this is the first laptop purchase that I’ve made whilst I have been away from home. Normally I prepare my travelling kit at home and don’t alter it whilst I am on the road. This is a pretty big step as it means given access to the right resources I can take extended trips without having to return to home base – a true nomad.
Do I like being a nomad? Well, as the article also mentions, being a nomad doesn’t just mean being away interstate/overseas on business trips. For me it is more about not being teathered on constrained – it is about being free to decide where you want to work and being given enough scope to get the job done in a way that works for you. As long as it works for your employer, customer and co-workers – what harm does it really do?
Tomorrow I am going to start the drive back down to Los Angeles. I actually have Paul Stovell along for the ride on the way back down and I’ll drop him off in San Francisco on the way. Should make for some interesting conversation in the car.