Knee deep in Miami Beach’s turquoise waters, I’m conversing on my cell with my staff back in Playa del Carmen, Mexico about my vacation rental company. They are unaware I’m on the beach and wearing nothing but a turquoise and blue checkered Nike bathing suit. My toes are flexing in the sand, waves lightly crashing on my thighs. I could be sitting in my hotel room, dressed in pajamas for all they know. My location is immaterial as long as it remains undiscovered.
The first time my phone rang I was sitting under a rented blue cabana, paying with my new Sony camera. Adroitly I aimed the phone towards my face as I answered and immediately asked to call them back. It was a video call. All I saw on their end was the ceiling, so I presume they did not see me. Even though I had no real reason to hide my exact whereabouts, for discretionary purposes I called her back the old fashioned way (i.e. no video).
Beachgoers must have be wondering who’s this guy chatting on the phone for an hour? They’re sunning their stomachs, reading from Kindles as I conduct business. Although I felt a bit self-conscious, like wearing a flannel winter jacket in South Florida, I’m also slightly proud to be able to work on the beach.
Don’t most dream of being able to work from anywhere? Back in Boston we used to fantasize of being able to work from home. Why not develop a life where you can work while traveling? If I can do it, so can you. I like to work. It makes me feel productive and useful. I do try to be physically present in my office whenever I am not traveling, which is more often than you might think. Playa del Carmen is a wonderful place to live, and showing my face in the office is essential to running an efficient company.
Nevertheless a bit of beach time, a vacation here and there does wonders for self rejuvenation. As long as I don’t shock my staff with visuals of me in my bathing suit, I really can work from anywhere. I’m not shy, but a bit of prudence is paramount.
It also helps that I use Chase Bank for by business which has branches in South Florida. Whenever I need to do some face to face banking in a branch I can swing by the beach on my business trip. I would think that is what most smart business people do. Some will open offices in warm climates or exotic places only to have excuses to visit and write off the expense. If it’s your business why not?
Jealously is a very strong emotion, which is probably why I did not want my staff to see me on the beach. Here they are working hard while I’m on the beach. Even though I’m being productive, to them I’m on the beach and they are not. I’m not implying this is what they are thinking, but it’s certainly something to take into consideration. Hence my discretion was warranted.