While finding new ways to work at home efficiently during the Covid-19 pandemic, Jeremiah Owyang, an independent tech analyst’s solution is original and affordable.
Needing office space, and unable to afford Silicon Valley rentals, he invested in a small 22-footer Airstream RV, taken on a 30-year loan, moved it to his back yard, enhancing its video calls capacity. Having surveyed the local real estate market, with minimum rentals@ $2,000 monthly, he took a 20-year-loan at $370 monthly for a $50,000 Airstream ‘Sport’ trailer. As the owner, he claims a business deduction now but could re-sell later. Instead of flying to conferences, he now prefers to walk out to the backyard, for work.
The New Work place
He describes the Airstream studio, just 29 steps away from home, as a quiet corner to work, doubling as a pandemic age production studio, when he really needed to change his workstyle. As money rolled in the from speaking at conferences, he needed to show some setup studio in the backyard. As he posted on his Medium blog post, his primary stage is from his own home/ backyard. To ensure that his message is received by the market, decent audio-visual setup is vital during isolation. So in his backyard-office-studio, he flips on ring lights, turns on the Sony A6400 camera, attaches the Movo lavalier microphone to his shirt lapel, hooks onto a video conference program, and he’s totally ready to interview executives and deliver his speeches.
Apart from the camera, Logitech webcam, lav mic, and Samsung 30-inch monitor, the most important tech tool in the trailer, would be his 1-gigabyte Comcast internet signal so that he has massive speed. For back-up support, he uses an Orbi Mesh Wireless Router to gain access to internet .The entire setup makes it seem like an executive suite so that when people see him via their video program, they think that it is all made up, and that he has inserted a background image. Actually, a client asked if he operated from a trailer and he was worried that the client would feel he didn’t pay enough money but that never happened as cultural reactions differ about trailers.
Positive People Responses
People have responded with envy and not disdain. Recently, he acquired gigs doing a keynote speech from the Airstream, about innovation culture for the Hewlett-Packard Enterprises. Owyang will not cruise this summer on the open road as it’s a permanent backyard fixture. As a dedicated office, it’s not meant to be taken out. However putting Airstreams to novel uses is not a totally unique idea. Tony Hsieh, the Zappos founder bought some Airstreams for his workers while Elon Musk, the Tesla CEO set up an entire village of Airstreams in the desert. Owyang feels that this is the future with people opting for quiet and dedicated working places and will be seeking alternatives like moving from a high-density, sky-high rent location like New York or San Francisco to lower cost offices, out of state, besides upgrading from a one bedroom apartment to a two or three bedroom one, or setting up separate units like a Tuffshed or Airstream in the backyard. He is very proud about commuting to work just 29 steps away from his home.