Smart working is becoming more and more popular, so why not choose a location that, just off the peak season, is beautiful, quiet, comfortable and convenient, like the island of Elba? Many smart-workers have already decided to spend time away from the “continent”, in the peace of country life, at a stone’s throw from nature.
Here is “a day in the life” of a friend and colleague of ours from Bologna, G………, who spent a few months on Elba last spring, benefiting of the convenient rates for mid-term rentals.

So, G…….., tell us how was the experience of working remotely from Elba?

First of all, contrary to my expectations, I took up healthy habits. I woke up at 7:15, had breakfast at home and then I went for a 20-minute walk to the beach. I did not miss a single morning!

Weren’t you tempted to spend the whole day on the beach?

Well, yes and no…In fact, the sea air full of iodine was an energy booster for the day, and the morning walk on the beach became part of my daily routine. Afterwards, I felt motivated to go home, turn on my computer and start working. I have to say that I love my job: I am a web designer and luckily I have a lot of work.
Here is my first tip: even if it could be distracting, chose a workstation close to a window overlooking the sea: the noise, the smell, the view, even if from some distance, can be really a mood booster. There are things – how shall I put it? – so “enveloping” that you can only find on an island. If you have been there you probably understand what I mean.
At lunch, I sometimes went down to the village, where I had found some very good restaurants, perhaps those where the locals also go to eat. Otherwise I would cook a nice lunch at home.
Another tip: in the morning, after your walk, you can go to the farmers’ markets to buy your fresh food for the day. Of course, fresh fish was never missing from my shopping bag (especially octopus, which I really love!)

Would you recommend the experience to couples, too?

Absolutely! For a couple of weeks, my boyfriend joined me. Elba really has a lot to offer, in a couple or on your own. Here is what I like to do the most:

  • hiking along the paths in the middle of the greenery and woods of the island;
  • go to the beach to get those last 3-4 hours of sun, which they say are the best; in
    four months, I haven’t spent half of that time on the beach. But it’s already a lot!
  • play sport! For me, in particular, ride around the island with my mountain bike
  • visit the cultural sites of the island, especially this year, as Napoleon’s bicentenary is being celebrated.

In the evening, during the week, it depends on how tired I was at the end of the day.
Sometimes, I would just watch a movie and go to bed. But several times, at least two or three times a week, I went for a stroll and explored the towns of Elba, which are all at a short distance. The streets, at night, are a bit dark, but after all, I love this country side atmosphere.

All in all, would you recommend smart working on the island of Elba?

Well, for me it was a great experience. I confess – I would gladly move there. I had a “long vacation effect” and, in the end, I started meeting a lot of people and felt at home.
Anyway, in low season, if you don’t expect a house right on the beach, the rents are really affordable. And there is a difference between inland and coastal towns, where the shops are almost all closed out of the peak season.
By the way, getting to the island is very easy all year round: there are several ferries and hydrofoils connections. If you want, you can also get there by plane. To move around the island, especially in the evening, a car or even a moped can be convenient.

PH: Roberto Ridi

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