Out of Office: Work Where You Like and Achieve More by Chris Ward
|Out of Office: Work Where You Like and Achieve More by Chris Ward|
|Reviewer: Gloria Nneoma Onwuneme|
|Summary: An encouraging book for those seeking to break out of the office, and create something of their own, using coffee and the Internet.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 196||Date: April 2013|
|Publisher: Blue Dot World|
Imbibe coffee and become imbued with an entrepreneurial spirit would be an apt summary of the gist of Out of Office by Chris Ward. If you choose to read the book, be prepared to receive inspiration rather than practical instruction on how to build an empire, if anything. This is not to discredit the book; it is attractively designed, full of fundraising event photos and company founder portraits, motivational quotes and brief enthusiastic testimonies of the interviewees featured. But in terms of content, it doesn’t offer substantial advice on how to make that leap from the office cubicle – a context quite heavily vilified by Ward – to the existence of the creatively liberated mover and shaker.
To prove that I’m not oversimplifying what is achieved with the book, Ward’s tweet to a UK MP encapsulates what I’d imagine was the spirit of the research conducted: While you’re working away in that coffee shop, fancy writing those 200 words on how brilliant it is for you!!? When the virtues of great beans aren’t being extolled, free Wi-Fi and café-like environments are prescribed for the development of the burgeoning or reinvention-seeking journalist, entrepreneur and artist. The examples of companies which have come away with results from altering the internal infrastructure of their buildings make the idea behind these proposals a bit more clear. It’s undeniable that the traditional format of workspaces, with confined desks, allowing for very little natural interaction, may not be the most conducive to flow. But regardless, the ascription of creativity and magic to coffee houses alone is a bit excessive throughout the book.
There seems to be a complete dismissal of the fact that there are individuals who aren’t so keen on creating the next Forbes 100 candidate. For those who do, Ward doesn’t give much more than recommendations for qualities to look out for in people with whom one might surround oneself, such as the smart geek who could well still enjoy working in a quiet office. But Debussy did say that Rules do not make works of art. And I can admit feeling that maybe the lack of clear-cut professional advice is reflective of Ward’s recognition of this fact (with the artistic endeavour being the establishment of one’s name in one’s field of choice). Out of Office might, by virtue of its purely motivational nature, trigger a boom of terrific brainchildren; I can’t say. Either way, if you do not open the book expecting step-by-step guidelines on how to be successful, you may still find unoriginal, yet uplifting, mottos such as Be a leader and Believe in yourself are just what you need.
For something which gets down to the practical elements of setting up a business, have a look at How to be a Social Entrepreneur: Make Money and Change the World by Robert Ashton.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Out of Office: Work Where You Like and Achieve More by Chris Ward at Amazon.com.
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