There's a big world on the other side of that office window, and startup founders and contract workers untethered to desk jobs are claiming it in the name of self-employment--parking wi-fi hotspots on mountaintops and having desksides on sail boats.
By 2020, over 40 percent of the workforce will be freelance, according to Intuit. This number can be loosely divided into the self-determined and self-evacuated and also those being pushed from the full-time nest, as benefitted jobs decrease.
These people are not licking their wounds in the same local coffee shops.
Casey Rosengren is a co-founder of Hacker Paradise, a travel startup that coordinates co-working trips for 1099ers who can plug in a laptop and file from anywhere. Ending its first year this fall, the company has hosted over 130 participants for trips to Spain, Germany, Japan, Southeast Asia, Costa Rica, and tech security mecca Estonia.
"Many people who have been on our trips have said they would never again take a non-remote job," says Rosengren, who estimates that his groups are equal parts freelancers, remote workers, entrepreneurs and professionals "in transition." "I think in three to five years, remote will be a perk as ubiquitous as foosball tables and free food are for startups today."
Maybe these people are better at working. Maybe they are worse at vacationing. Either way, they are the future of your industry, and their camera-ready work conditions may make you question what you're doing with your own life in that air-conditioned lock box of an office, where sure, you can see the world--if you wait long enough for your screen saver to kick on.
Anna Cordon, PR Lead; Ali Hackett, Content Creator; and Lindsay Seguin, Content Creator, Kit and Ace
We all work for Kit and Ace, a Vancouver-based clothing company that designs and develops technical luxury apparel, accessories and lifestyle products. We're a relatively young brand with big goals. Earlier this year, we were on tour around the U.S. and Canada with The Copper Studio to increase brand awareness. During the trip, we met amazing people who warmly welcomed a group of Canadians in a copper Airstream.
Right now, we're growing so rapidly that no two days are the same. Any space that's conducive to collaborating is most productive for us.
In the above photo, we were at the beach in East Hampton. We were in the Hamptons for a week as part of our tour. We spent several days in the area meeting locals and introducing them to our products. We took a breather on the beach to create some content for our digital magazine, The Brief.
Alex Broderick-Forster, CEO and founder, earnenough.com
I founded earnenough.com to help people increase lead generation and sales using Facebook advertising.
These photos were from a three-week remote-working road trip from Portland, Ore. all the way down through California. We camped and couchsurfed most the way, and managed to keep up with our work. At one point, I even pulled over along Route 1 to get a pay-as-you-go WiFi signal to host a webinar right after hitting a coyote and wrecking the front bumper of the rental car.
My biggest goal right now is to take on less client work and move towards teaching people how to do Facebook advertising for themselves. I'd started hosting weekly Facebook ad webinars about a month before the start the road trip to get whatever camera jitters I had out of the way for when I released my first full course.
In the rock climbing shot, there were rampant floods throughout Joshua Tree. I barely managed to connect to LTE on top of those rocks for a meeting.
In the brewery shot, I had just landed in Berkeley, Calif. and was getting some work done before our couchsurfing hosts got home to meet us and let us in.
In the third photo, I was at the Nepenthe restaurant in Big Sur. It's a place of notorious beauty and had become a really important milestone along the Route 1 stretch of the drive. I had a spotty connection though, which was the perfect excuse to finish early and relax. Sometimes the most beautiful places don't facilitate work.
Xara Coassin, CEO and founder, Cacao Bikini
I am the creator of the Australian Swimwear label Cacao Bikini. Being the sole owner, I do everything from the swimwear design to all aspects of managing my business.
One of my biggest goals has always been to be able to work and live overseas. So right now, I am in the middle of making this dream a reality by organizing my business so it's more streamlined.
In the photo, I was at Thomas Beach in Bali. I came to Bali for a holiday five months ago and fell in love with the people, culture, beaches and the lifestyle. I decided that I would base myself here for the next few months, as most of what I do can be done online.
It's also allowed me to work closely with a local business here in the production of the new Cacao Bikini collection for summer 2016. The samples are looking great and the new collection is set to be released in December 2015, in time for Christmas.
Iskender Piyale-Sheard, Trip Facilitator, Hacker Paradise
Hacker Paradise originally targeted software engineers, computer programmers, web developers and the like. It was built on a foundation of weekly goals and mutual help. Now, freelancers, designers, writers, photographers and startup founders are joining us. The more variety we get, the more interesting the co-working dynamic becomes.
On an average day during a co-working trip, I wake up early in the morning, meditate or exercise, have a good breakfast, hammer through work, go explore somewhere, and finish off the day with a bit more work.
We typically work from co-working spaces or cafes if need be. Occasionally, we'll have a true paradise location like the co-working/co-living space we had in Bali.
This is actually a promotional photo I took in Barcelona, Spain in July at Monserrat Abbey during a day trip away from the co-working space.