I’ve been terribly remiss in blogging, because I’ve been on the road since the end of September, appearing at a couple events and doing research for my next book, on how companies move to 4-day weeks without sacrificing productivity or profitability.
It’s been a spectacularly useful trip, if rather long. It started with several days at the FOLIO literary festival in Óbidos, Portugal.
Óbidos is a little medieval town, complete with big walls and a castle, and is a wonderfully intimate location for a literary festival.
After that, it was up to Scotland, where I interviewed companies in Glasgow and Edinburgh. I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time there as I would have liked— I always love Edinburgh, and think I’d really like Glasgow if I got to know it.
From there, it was on to Copenhagen.
Copenhagen is another of my favorite cities, though it’s beauty is more domestic and functional than dramatic: it’s beautiful because everything is so well-designed and proportioned, not because it aims to knock you senseless.
By now, the trip is looking like the worst solution to the traveling salesman problem ever proposed!
Finally, it was back to London, with a brief overnight in Gloucester.
I did a ton of interviews with company heads and employees at companies that are now running 4-day weeks, mainly by figuring out ways to make their work more productive, so they’re working 30- or 32-hour weeks rather than 40 (or more).
I also put in an appearance at the SOMNEX sleep tech show in Shoreditch, which is a neighborhood I’d never before visited, and which is really great.
The place is, as one of my colleagues put it, the world’s biggest Instagram backdrop, and is filled with amazing street art.
I think I could do a talk consisting of nothing but images of graffiti, posters, and signage from around Brick Lane Road.
It was a terrific trip, and I got a tremendous amount done (which I describe in detail to my newsletter readers). But after almost three weeks away from my family and dogs, I’m glad to be heading home!