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Surf, tan, work in a van.

November 11, 2017

The daily goal of our company is to create things we wish existed. The public gets to watch us create "better for you" alcoholic beverages that you can feel good about consuming. At the same time, we're building a company that you can feel good about being a part of, whether as an employee, customer, vendor, or contractor. 

Part of our strategy to building a great company is to ditch our offices. We just haven’t found an advantage to adding the expense of having an office. It made sense maybe 5 years ago, when your powerful computer was plugged into the wall, and connected to the internet by wires, and you had to have a printer to print things out to fax to other people. That’s not true any more, so why are companies still making employees sit in traffic and come to an office when everything they need to communicate is in their pocket?
Some say that the forcing employees to huddle under one roof creates essential interaction.  I don’t think all the inefficiencies that come with offices are worth the few benefits. Human interaction is very important, but I want my team out there building relationships with our customers. We have plenty of opportunities to meet as a team, but it doesn’t always have to be in the same location, at the same time, day in and day out.
Offices also serve to let bosses monitor the productivity of employees. I think that if your team believes in the company’s goals and the company values their impact, they don’t need to be monitored like workers on a chain gang. 
Your productivity is measured by what you're producing. If we were all assembly line workers, then yes, it would be important for us all to show up at the same time in the same place. That’s not what we do. Our jobs involve creativity and building relationships.  Is spending an hour getting ready for work, putting on clothes you don’t want to wear, and spending another hour sitting in traffic, productive? Once your work day actually starts, how much more productivity are you capable of after spending hours of your morning on monotonous tasks.
Humans are not machines to be maxed out and then replaced when they burn out. If one of my employees works on something for 14 hours straight on Monday, and takes the day off on Tuesday, that is being productive. They don’t need a schedule that says “no, you only get paid until 5pm and you'd better show up by 9am on Tuesday”. They’re adults. We do measure our productivity, but it’s not by counting the number of hours we all spend sitting in the same building.

I believe work spaces will continue to look and feel different than the traditional offices most people use today. There will always be some benefits of having people with a shared goal being in the same place, but today's model was made for the industrial revolution. Technology has made standard office equipment and practices obsolete. Running a company with no office, no paper, and no schedules won't create an organization with "no worries", but maybe we'll get to worry about more important things than long commutes and fussy printers. 

 

 

 

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November 11, 2017

November 11, 2017

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