Now that we’ve been away from our office for a couple of months, it gives us a chance to step back and examine; what’s our office for?
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An office is a place where we store stuff!
As someone who recently closed an office, I can tell you about all the stuff that’s left once everyone takes their things out of the office. Beyond the furniture, there are big heavy, expensive things (printers, etc.) that are too much for a home office. There’s our wall of awards…
There’s the stuff that needs to go somewhere that might be useful or important to us.
An office is where we collaborate
The conference room used to be synonymous with collaboration. We’d bring teams together around a whiteboard to brainstorm or work out the details of a plan.
But we’ve all found ways to do that without the conference room in ‘Rona time. Maybe we need to get more proficient with tools like Whimsey, or Mural, or even Zoom, but we know now that we can do it.
An office is also a clubhouse — it communicates who we are
I think one of the things I miss most about not having an office is that we had a space that was “ours.” We design and decorate it in a certain way that communicates our hierarchy (or lack of hierarchy) that told visitors something about who we were. It helped us to foster a team identity.
Without an office, we have to work harder to foster that. We need to plan get-togethers and outings to give us some social time. We have to choose how to onboard new people to our culture and get to know everyone.
How do you feel about your office? Are you itching to get back in and return to “normal”? Or are you thinking about how fast you can get rid of that big rent payment and get more nimble and flexible?
I’d love to hear how you’re approaching this decision. Hit reply and let me know!