Escape key on keyboard

Copywriting tip 25: Get out of the office

Escape key on keyboard - trimmed

I don’t find offices very creative.

(And by office, I mean wherever you’re working. Dining room table at home, or socially-distanced desk in the city.)

A great quote from de Bono:

‘Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns
in order to look at things in a different way.’

If you want fresh thinking, get a different view. Literally.

I’ve worked from a home office for the last 20 years. (FYI: this 2-year study shows the productivity boost of working from home.)

But, every now and again, a client will ask me to work out of their office.

Boy, are they unproductive places.

I remember working at one client’s office.

I turned up at 7.30am. No-one there.

People started turning up at 8.30. I settled into a desk, then it’s: ‘We’re doing the coffee run … what do you want?’.

Half an hour of banter. (‘What d’you mean you don’t drink coffee? How come?!’)

Around 10am, a tap on the shoulder: ‘Do you want to join us in this meeting? I think it’ll be useful.’ (It wasn’t.)

Just settling back into work, and then: ‘Right, we’re doing pizza for lunch: pizza? Pizza, Jon?’.

Barely time to get going.

Anyway. Whinge over.

Like most people, you wear lots of hats.

The Excel budget hat.

The supplier meeting hat.

The manager update hat.

The mum/dad/partner/friend hat.

I’m just talking about when you’re wearing your copywriting hat.

When it comes to coming up with ideas and writing great copy, get away from your usual working spot.

Get away from that desk.

Find a park bench. A café. Walk round the block.

Don’t plug in your headphones: look around. Look up.

Listen to what people are talking about.

You’ll see something that’ll spark an idea. A different way of looking at things.

You’ll hear something that makes you itch to fill a blank page.

Next time you get stuck, go for a walk.

Change your view.

Which is exactly what I’m going to do now.

Catch you later.


This tip is based on my 30 Tips in 40 Minutes webinar.

Feel free to download a version of the slides and watch a video of the one-hour webinar.

Image source: Pixabay


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Jon Maxim

Jon is a multi-award winning copywriter. For over 30 years, he’s helped clients – large and small – develop engaging concepts, content and copy. For 25 of those years, he’s been teaching people how to do it themselves. His courses on copywriting, ideation and presentation skills are highly sought-after and highly effective. Jon lives in Sydney, Australia: but is often found on a plane, heading to where he’s most needed.