Kieran France Kieran France is a programmer for IDRSolutions in charge of internal Java testing. In his spare time he enjoys tinkering with gadgets and code.

A few things I have learned working from a desert island

2 min read

desert island

desert island

Recently I have been working away from the office on my own little desert island. Although many people would dream of working away from the office there are many different troubles with working on a desert island, all alone. Here are just a few of the troubles I have encountered during my time in my on my own desert island.

1. Communication problems
Whether it’s by email, phone or smoke signals on the beach, communication can prove to be a problem. If you don’t touch base often enough you can begin to feel out of the loop. If you check in every few hours you will get very little done and your amount of distraction will increase greatly.

This one is not only an important point for those of you with your little islands but also for the main office. On our islands we like to get news from the mainland and know how things are going and how they think work is progressing.

Whatever you do make sure you arrange times to talk or you will get to the point where you nearly never hear from your colleagues.

2. The Natives
Your desert island may not be as deserted as you first thought… Beware the natives!

You will have your food supply sorted and a nice secluded cave to work in. But just when you are getting down to some serious work the natives will invade. Although at first it may seem like a nice treat to have some company, over time it may become a distraction.

There is a careful balance as sometimes the natives may be family, friends or even the staff at a local cafe. You need to ensure you have somewhere to work where you will not be interrupted but you don’t want to lock yourself away all day.

There are benefits to working away from the office but don’t let those benefits overwhelm you. And the time you spend being distracted needs to be made up somewhere which give you less time later to meet with the natives.

3. The treasures are often cursed
You may find that your desert island has many treasures that you can take advantage of. The treasure of flexible hours might be found at the back of a cave or the treasure of meeting people for lunch may be found in the middle of the jungle.

But be warned, these treasures may be cursed. Being able to meet friends during the day and having flexible hours means that you will have to make up the hours later that day. You could get so much more done. This is a great idea but scientists have recently discovered that there are only 24 hours in the day.

For every hour your don’t work during the day must be made up later in the day and this could stack up to working quite late into the night. Working till late and not having a chance to relax and wind down may mean you are tired for the following day. This will have an effect on your work.

These curses should be avoided at all cost as they can prove very troublesome in the long run if it happens often.

4. Help may be an ocean away
Sometimes things will go wrong. If you are really unlucky things will go so wrong you may become stuck and unable to do anything about it. Getting any help in these cases could prove to be a problem and it may be a long way away. Your local code base becomes corrupt, you lose complete access to emails or your computer starts smoking. These problems could be hard to resolve by yourself.

To get the help you require may require that you wait half the day to finally get hold of the people you need. This can become very stressful on you and the main office may not know anything is wrong until it is too late to give you proper support.

Make sure you keep the office informed of your current status. It’s no good complaining that you aren’t getting the support you need if you don’t let the office know what is happening on your island.

How is life on your desert island?

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Kieran France Kieran France is a programmer for IDRSolutions in charge of internal Java testing. In his spare time he enjoys tinkering with gadgets and code.

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