The myth of a stylish office
Modern offices are supposed to be the places where all the magic happens. This is where work is done most efficiently, right?
I mean, it must be true, as companies all over the world are sweating the details of their offices. They design the space and bring in the foosball tables, the relaxation lounges, the colorful walls, the lightning and all the things they claim will improve a team’s productivity and morale.
Don’t get me wrong, I like nicely-designed spaces as much as the next guy, but…
Very rarely do these design tweaks improve a team’s work, because the fault is in the fundamentals.
Over many years of talking to other businesses and improving our work within Nozbe’s all-remote team, we’ve identified three major problems with current offices and the way teams work within them.
The three sins of modern offices
- Bad habits – Office space is conducive to creating bad habits in a team, like “brainstorming sessions” or “impromptu meetings.”
- Open workspaces – Most office spaces are very open, so people working there have trouble focusing on their work. Too many auditory and visual distractions!
- It’s all in the office only! – The physical space of an office places an artificial limit on work and forces the organization to depend on the office (papers, documents, meetings, whiteboards…). This makes doing work so much harder or even virtually impossible outside of it.
In this section of the book, I’ll be tackling these problems. I aim to show you how to transform your work so that you become less dependent on the physical constraints of an office, or, if an office is required, how to better use your office space for your work. Either way, you know very well that “work is not a place to go; it’s a thing you do”.
An office does not make a business
A business doesn’t exist because of its office. It exists because there is a need of a service or product, because it provides the world with some additional value…
It’s time to start questioning why you need an office, and if you do, how should it look or work to give you the best results?
If anything, the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us all that much of the work, especially for knowledge workers, can be done outside of the office just as successfully as in the office, if not more!
So before you dive into this section of the book, ask yourself these questions:
- Does “having an office” make you a better company?
- Does it help you get things done more efficiently?
- Does it improve the quality of your team members’ lives?
- Does it make your team more productive?
- Does it enable you to get the best talent you can afford?
- What’s the real purpose of your office?
- How can you make it better?
Let’s answer these questions in the next chapters.