- There is no office. There is only work!
- Office is not the goal - it’s a tool
- Office can be optional or non-existent
- It’s all about the way things work, not how they look like
- After all, a team is anything we want
- The one last thing!
There is no office. There is only work!
Now that you’ve read the book I hope you get it what I’m trying to argue here. First and foremost, that:
Work is not a place to go, it’s a thing to do.
Which means that we should optimize our labor activity for the work that needs to be done and for the lifestyle we want.
No. I don’t want all the offices closed.
No. I’m not arguing that a fully remote company is the only way to run a business going forward.
No. You don’t have to work from home if you don’t want to.
But I want some conscious choices for everyone involved:
Yes. Choose where, how and when you get your work done.
Yes. Choose your lifestyle to fit your work and not the other way round.
Yes. Choose to embrace modern technologies to do your work so that everyone around you actually gets to have the two choices above.
It’s a better and more sustainable future for everyone involved.
Office is not the goal - it’s a tool
Once these choices are embraced, the role of the office shifts from being the only room where it happens to just being a tool that’s used when needed to get the job done.
In the first part of the book I’ve walked you through this transition in detail. How slight changes in the way you help people find focus at work, change habits from oral to written communication and stop using old technologies like email can boost your team’s productivity and joy of work.
Later by making meetings regular, optional and well prepared, where people can safely argue, you give them a chance to make better decisions and have more agency over their own schedule. Some types of meetings can even be dropped altogether.
Office can be optional or non-existent
In the second part of the book I argued that work can be done very well even if there’s no office. However, there are quite a few conditions one has to meet to make it happen.
Work should be based on trust first and foremost. The team must embrace new technologies and mobile devices on one hand, and learn to respect each other’s time on the other. After all, when all of our devices are connected to the Internet, it’s so easy to be interrupting everyone all of the time.
As an extrovert, one of the ways of coping with these challenges for me is using a mobile computer for work and changing offices depending on the task I need to get done.
When working like this, security cannot be an afterthought but a regularly reviewed process among all team members.
At the end of the day, a company that’s not build around an office, is built around a set of completely new values. One of the main ones being transparency which empowers everyone on the team to do their best work.
It’s all about the way things work, not how they look like
When there is no office, there’s less focus on appearance and more on substance.
It doesn’t matter if the office is fancy. Or how anyone dresses for success when they go there. The ego games are less important as nobody has truly a chance to boast it among their peers.
It’s much more about results and merits. It’s about getting stuff done not talking about it. You make your mark not by sitting the hours but by demonstrating achievements.
This all creates a much more leveled playing field for everyone on the team. The introverts as well as the extroverts. The geeks and the stars. The shy and the outgoing. The handicapped and the healthy. The handsome and the ones who don’t care as much about their looks.
After all, a team is anything we want
This whole book and the way I lead Nozbe reflects the way I perceive reality. Over the years of running a #NoOffice company I kept changing and improving it. And I still do. This book is by no means finished. It reflects my thoughts as of 2021 and I hope to keep improving it every year. Just like in software we have version numbers, this book is currently at version 1.0. I hope that by publishing it and offering it free to read on the web as an open source project1 I’ll raise awareness of #NoOffice companies and teams and at the end of the day we’ll all learn from each other how to do it even better.
I strongly believe that #NoOffice is the future of work.
One of my main inspirations for writing all this was a short book by Derek Sivers, “Anything You Want”.2 To quote him:
When you make a company, you make a utopia. It’s where you design your perfect world.
Yes, #NoOffice is my perfect world and I wrote this book to hope to share this utopia with the rest of the world and create more #NoOffice companies. To make it not just a book or a one way of running a business.
I hope to make it a #NoOffice movement. Are you in?
The one last thing!
Now that you’ve read my book, it’s time to leave you yet again with the same thing I started this book with:
Work is not a place to go, it’s a thing to do!
I hope you’ll be able to apply the lessons from this book in your own professional life and we’ll all create a better future for ourselves and the generations to come.