Look up. If you’re reading this at work, it’s highly likely you’ll be looking up to a somewhat generic office setting. A view that if you’re honest, you might find a little less than inspiring. This is certainly the case for a large number of entrepreneurs in the UK, with almost a third stating in a recent Yell Business survey that they didn’t feel inspired by their working environment.
For entrepreneurs and employees alike, inspiration is key for keeping motivated – and with the warmer weather hitting the country, it’s no surprise outdoor places of work are found to be the most inspirational. In the same Yell survey, 29 per cent chose countryside as the most inspirational place of work, closely followed by the beach and settings abroad in different cultures.
The immediate reaction to this for many though, will be that breaking away from the office just isn’t possible. However, a simple scroll through the 130,000 and counting images under #mydesk on Instagram tells a different story: one of entrepreneurs and employees alike making the most of remote working and more inspirational surroundings.
With that in mind, we spoke to some business owners from around the UK to find out what working outside of a generic office setting means to them.
Angela Paul – Bellabambini: Photography (Based in Rugby, Warwickshire)
“After almost 10 years working in retail, I decided it was time to follow my dream to become a Professional Photographer. The results that followed have impacted my health and my happiness, beyond any hope I had. From being stuck indoors with no natural light or air, not earning nearly enough money for the effort put into making someone else money, to now, is such a huge difference.
I do many of my shoots outdoors, among the daffodils and bluebells. Not only do I get to capture some truly amazing moments, but I get to surround myself with nature. This inspires me to exercise more and eat healthier too.
The immense change in lifestyle has changed so many things for me. My physical and mental health have begun to flourish. My heart is full and my mind, body and soul are being nourished like I never thought possible. As cheesy as that might sound, it’s true!”
Jack Hubbard – Crafted Crate: Beer delivery service (Based in the French Alps)
“I’m from the UK, but my dream has always been to live in the Alps, and modern technology has enabled me to do exactly that – move out here with my family but still keep business moving forward in the UK. Be that through Skype meetings, Slack or a simple phone call. Of course, I’ll still make trips over for face to face meetings, but on a day-to-day basis, I don’t know anything that could motivate me more, than looking up from my laptop and across the Alps.
This move has also meant that I’ve swapped some lunchtime coffee, for some lunchtime snowboarding. Being a business owner I work at times that suit me best and I feel I’m much more productive for it. Who said we need to work inside a boring office anyway? It’s a lot more fulfilling to get outdoors through the working day and having done it now for years, is something I could never go back on”.
Michaela Barker – Guardian Angels Marketing: Marketing Agency (Based throughout the UK)
“We work with several very different clients located around the UK. Meaning that on any given day we’ll move from working in Pediatric Healthcare one minute to covering the latest celebrity must have beauty treatments the next. This requires creativity and being able to think outside the box. We found that being in an office (even though we are in a beautiful place in rural Lancashire) is not the best way to create concepts and campaigns, so we started to travel and work instead from our mobile office: a motorhome! Being out and about means we pick up ideas and create them from a clear mind.
We have our portable Wi-Fi, take our laptops and simplify everything else – not quite back to basics but close! This month was Loch Lomond and next we are off to the Welsh mountains. It really does give you a different view on your job. I love the way it’s a different view on life every day”.
Stefan Rae – The Hydro Hotel: Hotel (Based in the Lake District)
“Working at the hotel with the views on offer is a breath of fresh air, there’s not many places where you can look out of the window and experience a view like that over Lake Windermere. And no matter whether the sun is shining or it’s overcast, the views never get old for me – it definitely beats the view from a hotel in a built-up city centre. Me and my employees find it refreshing, and it certainly inspires me each day.
I know that in work, for many the view might be one of an office or a built-up street, so I feel privileged to work amongst these unique views. I feel that alone keeps me motivated through the day and I can honestly say I’m never unhappy about coming to work because of it!”
Liz Willingham – Liz Lean PR: PR Agency (Based in Sandbanks, Dorset)
“We are split between Sandbanks and a base in central London to help us meet with national journalists and clients, but Sandbanks really is a stunning place to work… that’s why it’s known as a millionaire’s playground!
Our working view is far from dull and whenever the team can, they enjoy a walk along the beach. We strongly believe the sea air and beach location enhances our creativity and enforces a positive, hardworking mindset. In the summer, we can hold meetings with clients on the beach and we enjoy treating guests to Rick Stein’s restaurant, which is located underneath our office. We’ve even been known to have meditation sessions on the beach in our lunch breaks! These things, and this setting (which couldn’t be further from a boring old office) help the team approach a fast-paced PR environment with a mindful balance. I feel that’s crucial in 2017, as things are more fast-paced than ever”.