LIP or Location Independence

We live in public.  And even if you think that you don’t live in public, you actually do. Well this isn’t about that but it’s about another concept that shares the same acronym – location independence.

I have been doing location independent work since I was young but it has only been 2010 when I first found that term.  When I was 12, I was doing graphic design work for a website that was owned by a then 18 year old owner based in the Netherlands.  When I was in Year 9, I had my first cheque from a client in NSW. The year after high school, my first cheque from an international client was based in Canada.  So I grew up doing paid work that is location independent but the difference here is that I wouldn’t call it serious, long-term work.

I feel like I am taking step backwards now.  I feel more and more that I have to be physically located at an office to do certain work.

There are benefits of being physically there – being able to discuss in real-time, being able to gauge the person’s body language and voice tone which can’t be grasped in an email and hard to attain via video conferencing.  Any days which requires lengthy processes when it comes to decision making requires you to be in an office.  Days rules with tasks straight-forward, autonomous work which doesn’t require a lot of discussion or decision-making with a team should be done LIP or location independent.

Not just location independence but also time independence

Why am I advocating LIP?

Other than being introduced to this at such a young age…

LIP is going to be an asset for the organisation.  Rather than dealing with the overhead costs of an external being in the office, LIP allows an external to work on certain tasks out of office hours.

LIP allows me to do other work, also important and relevant, during the day.  I may bill 15 minutes for a task before doing another task for another client in the next 30 minutes.

LIP acknowledges that certain hours of the day carries more weight for certain tasks and for certain organisations.  For example, 8.30am to 5.30pm holds more weight than 7pm to midnight for work that requires results for certain tasks within office hours.  Weekend LIP work for heavyweight workshops or autonomous planning or tasks holds more weight than conducting it on a Monday because certain tasks on that day will have more importance.   Therefore, LIP is about quality of time (what is the optimal time for this task?) rather than quantity (this task requires a bulk set of time in a weekday).

LIP’s focus is on the importance of individual contributions rather than the importance of individual contributions based on geography.  For example, just because I live on the other side of the world does not mean that I may not hold the same professional values and goals as someone living in Portland and nor should it stop me from conducting work with them.

The use of LIP is steadily growing – more agencies facilitating externals that fit the project brief, more organisations making use of specialised skillsets and networks that externals can provide, growing preference to work at an abode (ie due to children) etc.

And of course, there is also the lifestyle.  Some people conduct LIP work for clients around the globe while changing their ‘home’ locations every so often, some people love to travel too much but they wan’t to be able to conduct work that’s relevant to their non-travel related industry.  With me, my personal reason is that my professional goals requires me to use LIP to maximise my time or to find the best time to do certain tasks.  I can’t be in an office for a non-negotiable amount of hours for a non-negotiable amount of days and focus on that particular organisation – I need to have LIP to conduct work for other organisations and projects as well.