Saturday, September 26, 2015

Setting up your God's Own Office!

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.
God's Own Office by James Joseph - Cover Page
Candid Narration: 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 - - where you will find more of what is depticted in the book!


  1. Nice summary of an inspiring and thought-provoking story on how one can effectively grow in a corporate ladder breaking all stereotypes. The joy of reading this book will be power of 2 while sitting inside a vehicle stuck in a typical traffic congestion :)

    So when are you setting up your God's own office ?

  2. Thanks Sandeep and yes, visualizing such stress free life while stuck in traffic jam would heartening! :)

    Setting up my God's own office is a long way!

  3. Interesting... Looking forward to read this book...

  4. It wud b a mind boggling book for most of the readers who r in the software industry
    Essence of the book is too good..must readable

  5. I have always for sure thought about going back to home town but my only concern was WHEN! This book based on ur review appears as if it talks about nuances of working from home town!

    Let me see how the author talk about such nuances....

  6. Yes Mohan, WHEN is the question. The answer to that entirely rests on you. In author's own words "You can take advice from all mentors, but the decision on when to make the move towards your next phase should be yours. Do it only when you are ready. Always remember, 'When an egg is broken from within, a new life begins, but when it is broken from outside, a life is lost.'"

    I think that should provide some pointers!

  7. Super guru. Idea is good. It's all abt convincing boss.

  8. Good one Raveesh..
    I liked the matter. Pretty cool concept ..

  9. It is possible in India..but there are many other problems which needs to be addressed before everyone starts thinking abt comming back.Affordable education, good health care, pollution free water, air , infrastructure for drainage and garbage disposal , need govt offices free from corruption, better roads..these is just small list but basic one which needs to be addressed in both rural and urban areas of India..

    Nowadays urban and rural villages of India have no significant difference in quality of life..

    Lack of attention in rural areas have made life miserable and it is no longer the way it was 20 years back...Frequent power cuts, lack of drinking water, need for good hygienic environment adds to the above list.People saying going back to village for stress free life may be reasonable 20 yrs back..but not now..rural areas tends to have more problems than urban India.

  10. Ajay,

    Thanks for such a detailed comment. It is the only comment which has projected a different angle to the issue.

    But I beg to differ on few points. I feel in India, urban areas in India have better quality of life. Add to it, there is a mass exodus happening from rural to urban areas in India, which is putting extreme pressure on urban infrastructure. I think you are referring to liberalization which happened around 20 years ago in India and changed the pace of development. But this has not resulted in inclusive development. People are quitting farming and ready to come to cities for a paltry Rs.5000 salary.

    But I agree that there has to be improvement in civic amenities in rural areas. Even then you can choose some areas just like James Joseph where you can experience quality of life.

  11. Super thing to do. One of my colleagues from my company is working from his hometown Davanagere!

  12. Hi Raveesh... priceless read indeed! I am sure the book will be sold within days of release...this seems to be a solution for our generation!

  13. Thank u very much.I will definitely try to get this book and read.



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