You've probably heard the story about author J.K. Rowling writing the first of her Harry Potter novels as a single mother in a cafe in Edinburgh. If you've ever felt you'd like to follow in her footsteps, or that doing any other kind of work from a cafe is a rather pleasant idea, then Chris Ward's new book Out of Office may be just the inspiration you need.
It's an unusual little book, with short sections of text and lots of arty images of cafes which are enough to convince you that working from a cafe is a tempting idea. Of course, you can't be a teacher or a shop assistant whilst sitting sipping cappuccinos in your local coffee shop, but with many jobs there is an element of time which could be spent away from the office. If you're considering setting up your own business or working freelance, this book will certainly convince you to question whether you really need to be spending money hiring office space when you could work just as effectively from a cafe. Yes, you could just work entirely from home - but author Chris Ward believes that there's much to be gained from the community and inspiration of the coffee shop, which also gives the home-worker a reason to get dressed!
There are some examples in the book of people who have made cafe-working work for them - unsurprisingly J.K. Rowling is featured, as are the creator of Moshi Monsters, the founder of craigslist and the inventor of the board game Cranium among others. Even for those doing more conventional jobs, such as MP Tom Watson, there is still the possibility to spend a lot of time working from coffee shops which he prefers to office space. Chris Ward's own story is also featured throughout the book, explaining how he left school without any useful qualifications and worked as an assistant in a chemist shop for three years before going on to set up his own very successful businesses.
Out of Office also comes with lots of life tips about how to enjoy work and how to make it work for you. The freedom that this can offer may sound exciting, but if you're an exhausted young mother can you really make coffee-shop working work for you? It's really down to the sort of work you do or want to do - but maybe there is room for more of us to discover the J.K. Rowling within if we allowed ourselves a bit more time in the local coffee shop.