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Why you should "Work from Wherever". A book review of Lisa Messenger's book of the same name

By Emma Heuston, Founder and Principal Lawyer, The Remote Expert

 I was busting to read “Work from Wherever”, Lisa Messenger’s latest missive.Not only have I enjoyed many of Lisa’s earlier books this one is about a topic close to my heart (and my business).


“So, why are so many people being drawn to change their working ways? It comes down to a number of factors – practical, emotional, financial and social…….There’s also the matter of money. In many inner-city locations, renting a fixed office is becoming increasingly expensive, not to mention furnishings”


I finished it a few days ago and I have been marinating over the content.

The mindset message was my number one takeaway:


“As with so many things, choosing to work from anywhere comes down to mindset.”

But what about my other takeaways. It was a mix of love and a feeling of detached solidarity. Let me explain.

What did I love?

There’s a lot I loved. I loved that:

  •  Lisa is open and transparent about remote work and her business structure. Normalising different ways of working and acknowledging things need to change is so important for solopreneurs, established businesses and freelancers all looking for different ways of working.

  • The book has a “one size fits no-one approach”. There is a tacit acknowledgment that every person and organisation are unique and our work arrangements should reflect this. Lisa advocates that every contract should be written up from scratch (or customised) because preferences, personality, location and lifestyle play a part of any engagement as an employee, contractor or freelancer.

  • A number of remote workers / business owners were featured. I enjoyed the candid learnings of Raeleen Kaesehagen from Remotely and the food for thought on isolation and self-discipline.

  • Lisa thinks in terms of specialists and freelancers as well as employees. Her guide to “11 specialists you can’t live without right now is inspiring and on trend when you consider the role book keepers , social media managers and virtual assistants play in our day to day lives as business owners.

  • The book navel gazes at what Gen Y and Millennials will demand from the workplace as time marches on.

  • Theres is a focus on mental health and wellness as part of the work/ life integration is really important to the concept of the book.

What was I left wondering about? 

So, here is the bit that can be best described as “detached solidarity”. For me, as a self-confessed “digital settler” or a work from home solopreneur I felt that maybe this book wasn’t speaking to me on some levels. That may sound obvious, I mean after all, the title, “Work from Wherever” !

But the thing is, I am not alone. The State of Remote Work Report 2019 states that 84% of remote workers work primarily from home. “Work from wherever” is largely about the 16% of digital nomads who choose to be untethered.

Because of that I took some of the book with a grain of salt.

While I agree with the importance of routine, with a young child and other responsibilities at home it is hard to devote a couple of hours of my day to beach walks and self education when I have parenting responsibilities. That being said, I think those things are absolutely crucial and fit them in, but perhaps not as frequently as I would like.


Key Takeaways

Well done to Lisa Messenger for putting the concept out there. While remote work has been a “thing” for quite a while, having influencers like Messenger talking loudly about these issues is a big help to bring acceptance and awareness to the issue that so many of us live each day.

 Want to keep the discussion going?

If you would like to keep the digital nomad/ remote work discussion going, come join my facebook page for The Remote Expert or check out my remote work policy and other documents that are ready to make your business remote work ready here.


About Me

I am a lawyer specialising in remote and agile work arrangements.

By “remote work” I mean anything outside of the ordinary 9 to 5 corporate prison that Dolly Parton sung about. This could mean you are a solopreneur working from home. Or it could be that it is you plus a few in a co-working space. Or it might even mean you have a bricks and mortar business but hire a remote team who are spread around the place.

Whatever your business looks like, I have the skills to assist. As a former remote worker turned Solopreneur, I know what works. Get in touch with me here.