Work Therapy


Writing has been a form of therapy the past couple of weeks. I was able to work on several articles about China-related topics for Dutch media. While it’s lovely to be back in Europe, I still miss life in Hongkong very much and writing about Asia-related issues somehow makes it a lot easier to deal with a reversed culture shock.

You can read some of my work for Nederlands Dagblad and China2025 on my blog here. I also wrote three pieces for the June issue of One World Magazine… they curated a special China-edition. Keep you posted on that project. It’s being printed as we speak!


Trend: The Coffice


Never heard of a coffice? It’s where all the cool kids work these days! Rather than commuting to a an office, they take their laptops to their local coffee shop. According to Nicola Millars (futurologist) this will be one of the big trends in the area of work for the next few years.

And it makes sense, you get more done with coffee, cake and good connectivity according to this Guardian article. Millard’s favorite place to work, is somewhere with a bit of a life but no colleagues to distract her. “My four criteria for working,” she says, “are that I need good coffee, I need good cake, I need great connectivity – the Wi-Fi wings to fly me into the cloud – and I need company.”

Even without the coffee, coffee shops are good places to work. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research explored the effects noise has on creativity. They found that a low level of ambient sound, like the one found in a coffee shop, improves creativity. A tech startup in Virginia even developed a coffee shop noise simulator called Coffitivity, you can use in your (home)office. It sounds great, but why not just follow my example and get all the good vibes and noises for real from your local coffee place:)?

The coffice-trend is also useful to keep track of, for city councils. This quartz article asks the question what a city needs to foster innovation. They conclude that it’s coffee shops, bike lanes and 3D printers.


Trend: Shedworking


They’re cheap, chic, eco-friendly and above all – there is no commute. I wrote earlier about the rise of backyard offices here. But now I found out there’s a whole community that calls themselves shedworkers!

The famous shedworkers who have attracted the most attention are artists and writers such as Philip Pullman, Roald Dahl, Henry Thoreau and Henry Moore. But also non-creatives increasingly run businesses from a shed. Alex Johnson, blog author of Shedworking calls it the miniaturisation of the office workplace. Interesting concept.

It is a lot greener to move words, number and ideas than it is to move people” (Lloyd Alter, architecture expert at Totally agree with that!

Trend: the Rise of the Minipreneur


Friends, the last couple of weeks I’m reading so many interesting stories about minipreneurs, it really inspired me. The idea of having a side-business or multiple businesses, feels like a real positive response-trend to crisis-hit industries.

Think of people who can’t make promotions that easily anymore in there day-to-day jobs. They start a micro-business on the side, as a way to keep learning and keep feeling challenged. Or others who turn a hobby into something they can make a bit of extra cash with. There are even people who change multiple personal projects into a carreer like Tina Roth, a New York based designer who quit designing because her blog (, app (Teux Deux), breakfast lectures (Creative Mornings) and temporary tattoo shop (Tattly) were doing so well. Love it!

freelancers, weekend entrepreneurs, web-driven entrepreneurs, free agents, cottage businesses, seniorpreneurs, co-creators, mompreneurs, pro-ams, solopreneurs, eBay traders, advertising-sponsored bloggers… you’re really on to something. I will watch you closely;-) I think this trend will result in a huge amount of new (and often surprising) content, ideas and products.

photo: minipreneur Yastik Izi from Turkey has a very nice etsy-shop with ‘handmade dreams’;-)