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Sea Change: This Company Just Moved Its Office To A Boat Floating In The Mediterranean

Boatsters, a peer-to-peer yacht rental platform, is trying out a new concept: working seaside.

What is an office, but a space containing a few tables, chairs, and computers? The founders of Boatsters, a peer-to-peer yacht rental platform, have ditched their land-based office for one that floats in the Mediterranean. Six members of the company are now operating from a boat that mainly docks outside of Mallorca in Spain. The yacht has a crew of two: one captain and one attendant, “But of course, they do a lot for themselves,” says Robert Davids, a representative for the company. By which he means employees are supposed to do their own cooking and cleaning.

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Of course no one is forced to be on the boat. There is still a small office in Mallorca the team can use, which they do when the yacht is being rented out on their platform. “In July, the yacht was rented out for two weeks,” says Davids. This is part of the deal the cofounders of Boatsters have worked out with the yacht’s owner: they can use the boat so long as no one else wants to rent it. The company also has a larger office of 12 in Amsterdam; mostly developers and marketing people. More people would like to work from the yacht, but there is only enough room for 10, maybe 12 people, Davids tells me.

When I ask him if its weird for coworkers to live with each other in a confined ocean-bound vestibule, he says that it hasn’t been a problem. He has only heard that it is “a lot of fun.”

The company is pitching this concept as the first-ever boat office. Not to state the obvious, but Boatsters founders are not the first to bring a laptop onto a boat to do office work. Many rich people have done this #workingfromboat.

The company views its new office as not only a perk, but also a way to sail into new markets and dock with local boat owners. The platform hosts over 10,000 boats and mainly caters to Europe, Thailand, Australia, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Brazil. Boatsters is currently discussing a possible move to the Caribbean with the boat’s owner as the temperature gets too cold to lounge up on deck. But they may find the climate less than hospitable this time of year.

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About the author

Ruth Reader is a writer for Fast Company. She covers the intersection of real estate, technology, and the future of work.

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