Writer Sudha Murthy explains how guys in a metro like Bengaluru wants a stress free life but don’t want to leave the city fearing loss of pay and the amenities big cities provide. What if you can achieve both i.e get stress free life as well as get paid like the ones who work in metros?
I believe most of us dream of such a well balanced life. We are in the big cities only because there are not enough job opportunities in small towns in India. We want a simple yet fulfilling life – enjoy marvels of nature, get soaked in festive spirit of religious gatherings, attend family functions or see our small town transform. Now, you would have many guys talking at length about this. Have you come across anybody who actually tried working from his hometown relishing every bit of his stay without compromising on the earnings from a big city?
What is it about? James Joseph is a small town guy who like many other middle class Indians has followed the well tread path of earning a foreign degree and finding his place in the corporate world as a global executive. Now, he wants to come back to India. But not to India of big cities but to Bharath of small towns! How he accomplishes this dream without compromising on his earning potential and work life resonance is what the book is all about.
Planning: James has carefully planned his move back to India. First he lands up in Bangalore to make his next move to Aluva, a small town near Kochi, Kerala. One may have the motivation to come back but if the conviction is not strong, it will affect both work and life in the long run. So, with a strong conviction and constant focus, James starts working towards his goal. Another pertinent factor here is the company willfully allowing you to work from your hometown. This privilege needs to be earned. This can only happen after convincing your higher ups and colleagues – which the author explains bit by bit.
It is not all-goes-well story after the return back to India. Author is very candid about his experiences working from a small town. That’s what keeps the reader glued to the book. James discusses even the minute aspects – choosing the right location, having connectivity backups, effective use of collaborative technologies, being disciplined or being in constant touch with colleagues.
Cost Factor: James also discusses the costs involved in working far from your company office, which get reduced. Also, the quality of services availed in small towns tend to be far better than those in the cities. As per his estimate, one can reduce about 30% in the cost of living every year.
Local Roots, Global Wings! People in cities most of the times fear about the lack of exposure to modern life, which is detrimental to the future of their children. For this, James has devised a way out which is sure to have an impact on the readers. Also, with one living in the small town, there are numerous opportunities to get involved in helping people around you – which can be both satisfying and beneficial.
Adapting to circumstances: Living in a small town brings its own set of troubles. How one can manage those obstacles forms another important aspect of the book which is a delicious read! Being humble and patient, being mindful of the bureaucracy or how to deal with money requests from people are just some of the points of the book, which seems like a comprehensive guide to anyone who wants to come back home and live happily.
How does it apply to people working as software developers? With James Joseph being an executive, a typical day at his God’s own office looks delightful even with the massive collaborative efforts needed. But for a software developer, this should be less tiring as most of the time you should get your broadband connection working like a charm. As the meetings (though there are exceptions nowadays) tend to be short and less frequent for software developers, it should be an ideal setting. With tips from James who has mastered the art, working from home town looks promising as well as rewarding!
Following video will add realistic visuals to the mental picture of the place where James set up his God's own office! I suggest you see this after you read the book :) Also, you can visit the website for the book - www.godsownoffice.com - where you will find more of what is depticted in the book!