Working from a Backpack

Aside from design one of my big loves is the outdoors. Don’t get me wrong now, I love my home comforts, but I find something remarkably appealing in being able to live out of a backpack.

The notion that everything you need, your home, your food, your clothes, everything can be just packed up and popped on your back whilst you march off to your next destination is something I just find awesome. I love camping and travelling and the less I can get away with taking with me, the better I feel about it. I recently went travelling around South East Asia with my good buddy and go to animator Leki Williams, and the achievement I felt from not only taking a few kg less stuff than him, but actually taking less than half off my allotted weight was incredible.

Now that I’m back, I reckon I could have taken even less too!

But whilst I was away I came to the realisation that although I enjoyed this idea of packing a life away into a compact space, I was doing exactly the opposite with my work life.

I have an office with two desks. A bookcase filled with books and papers from past projects. A set of draws filled with art supplies. A massive desktop computer with two 22″ screens. I even have a tea chest and a cast iron kettle, that I don’t even use.

If a client wanted me to go and work in their office, I couldn’t.

If I wanted to work from home one weekend, I couldn’t.

If I wanted to pack my bags and go travelling without shutting down the business, I couldn’t.

The worst thing is, there’s absolutely no reason why I’m tied to all this static stuff.

I bought the office so that I could have meetings with clients, but more often than not, I end up meeting in Manchester coffee shops, struggling to explain myself because I don’t have a laptop. Plus – because I have the office, I’ve felt the need to fill it up with things like two desks, a bookcase (which in turn also needs to be filled) and all sorts of random other crap.

Looking back, I think I thought that having these things would make me more of a professional and not just some chump working out of his bedroom, but in actual fact the truth may be that these things have actually been more restrictive than liberating.

This may all just be me still buzzing from travelling, but I think going forward I might make a concious effort to try and scale down my operation.

I’ll start with a laptop… and end with a backpack.


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