This post is the final of the 4-part "Beyond The Boardroom" series, which examines how innovations in mobile are revolutionizing the virtual workforce. "Beyond The Boardroom" is sponsored by Blackberry. See more posts in the series ».
Who wants to work in an office until they die?
With the Internet keeping everything super-connected it's possible for many people to carry our their entire job descriptions online, and they're taking this as their cue to find a dream office of their own.
Consider this star Amazon engineer who lives and works on his boat in Hawaii – James Hamilton has made exactly this his reality for the past four years, living aboard his boat, keeping large portions of the Internet functioning as he oversees Amazon Web Services, and writing the occasional blog entry about what it's like (he recently shared these cool diving pictures).
But Hamilton's a bit of a rock star at his company, so it's clearly beyond the means of the everyman to do something like that, right? Not so – consider Maptia, a scrappy startup that set up shop in Morocco instead of its initially-planned location, the much-more-expensive London. The five employees now live in a picturesque surfing town called Taghazout, ten feet from the Atlantic Ocean.
This might sound a little nuts for a fledgling company still getting off the ground, but consider this: the employees can feed themselves for $10 a week per person. Imagine how far their $100,000 of seed money will go. By living a bit off the beaten path they can also set themselves up for success by removing all kinds of distractions, and like Y Combinator founder Paul Graham said, "The most successful startups are the ones that completely remove distractions. They just sleep, eat, exercise, and program."
Maybe you don't want to deal with moving internationally. Matt Bauer, president of BetterWorld Telecom in Reston, Virginia, moved to St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. "It's part of the United States, so you don't even need a passport to go there – you just need a driver's license," he said. "It's like moving to another state ... And at 5 PM you walk out the front door and run off the pier and jump into the Caribbean ocean."
St. Croix also boasts another feature that will make it appealing to anyone looking for a picturesque place to set up a new office. It wants to become a hub for remote workers. Three of the Internet's biggest cables connect there, so it's sitting on a huge portion of the Internet.
Local authorities are currently putting in about $300 million worth of new infrastructure to expand local connectivity to these pipelines, thanks to U.S. stimulus grants and private business investment. WiFi speeds from St. Croix will soon be very fast.
If you'd rather "commute" barefoot on the beach, you'll want to make a plan to ask your boss to let you work from home. At that point, you can get busy recasting your workspace to be a boat deck, a beach chair, or some other private version of your own paradise.
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SEE ALSO: DREAM LIFE: How The Tropical Island Of St. Croix Is Paradise For Remote Tech Workers