Business: Why I Stopped Working From Home and Opened an Office
I hated working in an office a few years ago.
I didn’t like wasting time in traffic. I felt “trapped” having to go an office each day.
Once I made it in affiliate marketing, I worked at home for a few years. It felt amazing to work in my pajamas and only spend 5 seconds to get to my office.
I’ve been able to build up my team the past few years working remotely. We assign tasks in Asana. We chat on Slack. We do a webcam call when needed. It has worked. Many large companies such as Basecamp and Buffer are 100% remote.
Why did I decide to get an office?
Momentum. My companies are doing well right now and I wanna hit things as hard as possible. We get shit done online, but I can’t help but feel that being in person together each day would help us become more productive.
There’s been a huge shift in my mindset the past few years. I thought I wanted the easy life. I thought I wanted to hang out in Asia, with virtual assistants, and work from home. I don’t value freedom as much.
Now I’m killer. I want to make progress as fast as possible. I want to keep growing. If it means I don’t get to work in my Pajamas then so be it.
With anything I do I like to experiment. Would an office be better? Why not try one out for a few months?
I’m on Day 4 of having an office and here are some of my findings.
The overall productivity of the team is much higher.
When you have a company, you can’t just think about your own productivity. You have to think about the output of the entire organization.
I knew plenty of people who had straight A’s in high school. As soon as they went to college the grades went to shit. They couldn’t handle the freedom of college, and worked best under a routine / structure. I feel some of my colleagues work better because they have a set structure everyday.
The leader sets the tone. They see how hard I’m working and they’re stepping their game up as a result.
Communication with me is much, much faster. Sometimes my colleagues have an urgent matter, but I’m away from the desk for a few hours. Now they know what I’m doing and where I am during work hours.
I do feel a stronger sense of loyalty from my colleagues. We’re spending much more time together. They see how hard I’m working on a daily basis. Stronger bonds means I can retain them longer hopefully.
I’m introvert and working alone at home has never bothered me. But it’s definitely nice to be able to see people everyday. I know some people need to be surrounded by others to feel happy.
It costs money. We’re leasing an office around $4,000 a month and we have a 6 month contract. I had to ask myself if I can make more than $24,000 because we’re renting. Don’t think in terms of the price – think in terms of value.
Your employees can become reliant on you for answers. When they have a problem, it’s easy to just ask you for the answer. But this doesn’t help them grow. I don’t pay you to ask me questions, I pay you to solve problems. I have a rule where I’m the final answer. Exhaust every option possible, and only come to me for a solution when you can’t figure it out.
There is commuting time. When I looked for my office, I searched for places that are super close to me. I’m a 3 minute drive so it’s not an issue.
You might be limited in talent pool. By working remote you can hire talent from around the world. Having an office means you either hire locally or they need to be willing to make the move. This could be an issue if you insist on living in a smaller city and need specialized talent.
There’s nowhere for power naps! Whenever I’m tired at home I can just go to my bedroom for a na