Dec 1, 2014

Book review - God's own office



I stumbled upon this book through Sheroes tweets and got intrigued by the title. Having been working from home for the last 1.5 years, the concept of the book piqued my interest levels. One of my goals in my bucket-list is to work from a village for a year (hope to achieve this soon!). These multiple trigger points led me to purchasing this interesting book.

The author James Joseph has shared his experiences of how he managed to deliver global work responsibilities for Microsoft, living in Kochi, Kerala. The good part about this book is that he doesn't jump into the dos/don'ts of working from home in a preachy way. Rather, he has taken the time to set context based on his life journey - achievements and disappointments of building his corporate career and learnings and inspirations that guided him on the way. The little anecdotes he has shared are interesting and sets the tone for "Why work from home-town?".

Quoting a couple of the snippets I really loved:
"There is equal satisfaction in being a big fish in a big pond and a small fish in a small pond, the former for the professional intellect and the latter for the spirit"
I can totally relate to the explanation he has shared when he compares Bharati (love for knowledge) and Dhanrati (love for wealth).
"Bharati is like riding on an elephant - slow but secure. Dhanrati is like riding on a cheetah, faster than anyone else. We all agree it is Bharati who got us Dhanrati. However, our children are deprived of Bharati and are riding the cheetah with us"
Regarding the tips he has shared to make work-from-home effective, I found the ones on backup, sound-proofing and two doors of separation to be very useful to me. I have often heard of the phrase "out of sight, out of mind" doing rounds when you work remotely. James has shared some useful pointers on how to prevent such scenarios.

When you decide to shift back to your home town, there are other practical implications that can impact your family, especially children. James' insights around living harmoniously with local community and nature, selection of right schools, bringing up with international exposure etc are valuable to keep in mind. The one particular point which was unique and insightful in this regard was related to funerals. One of the quotes that I found thought provoking -
"Immigrants must have a pet with a life expectancy must shorter than yours; else your kids won't know what to do if something happens to you".
If you have the slightest inclination towards working remotely, then this book is a must-read. It's anecdotal, easy-to-read and full of practical tips and suggestions on how to make it work, both for you and your employer.

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