Leadership

Why Richard Branson prefers to work in a hammock or tub rather than at a desk

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Contributor | Michael Ward | Getty Images

Over his 50-year career, billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson has never had a desk in a traditional office setting.

"I prefer to work in the bath or in a hammock or on a sofa," he says in a video he posted on his blog that gives a glimpse into his life on Necker Island. That's where he resides when he's not on the road visiting the hundreds of companies that comprise Virgin Group.

In fact, "the most interesting telephone call" he ever took, he says, was from his bathtub, when Nelson Mandela called asking for advice regarding a chain of health clubs in South Africa that had gone bankrupt.

Richard Branson spends about six months out of the year on Necker Island
Contributor | Jack Brockway | Getty Images
Richard Branson spends about six months out of the year on Necker Island

Branson believes in creating a flexible work environment. "I think work should be fun. It should be enjoyable. It should be satisfying," he says.

"Too many companies don't realize the monotony of a lot of people's day-to-day life at work. … I try to encourage chief executives worldwide to make sure that there's as much flexibility in the workplace as possible."

Working from a hammock or sofa is not only relaxing, but a change in scenery can provide a different and valuable perspective.

"If you're too close to a situation, like in an office, you get bogged down with the minutiae," Branson says. "If you can step away from the situation, you can think about the bigger picture and that's what I'm able to do on Necker."

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