I usually don’t pay too much attention to Seth Godin, he seems to live in a very different bubble than I, but for once I agree with him. The office is dead. In these constantly connected times, I don’t think there is much equity left in the tradition of commuting to the downtown core, to do the same work you could have done at home or anywhere else with internet access.
High-street office space is ridiculously expensive, uncomfortable, and I don’t know anyone who actually likes being stuck in traffic twice a day, five days a week. Just the commute itself is a huge waste of time and energy, and then there’s the fraud known as parking… I’m “lucky” in that I pay a higher rent to live downtown, so my job is just a short walk or bike ride away, but it still sucks. Dress codes, food courts, access cards, rent-a-cops, it’s all a steaming pile of bullshit.
I have a better idea: ditch the office, and take the amount you were spending on rent and facility overhead, divide that by the number of employees and give each one half of that. You can keep the other half as a bonus for being a cool progressive boss.
Really, all you “need”, and I use the term loosely, is a place to entertain clients and host the occasional meeting. That can be a restaurant, shared boardroom (rented by the half-day), or for larger events a conference room in a nice hotel. Any of these on-demand venues are going to be more cost-effective and far more enjoyable than the daily stress of gridlock.
When I work remotely, I get into a work mindset. For me, that means getting dressed and defining a time frame, same as I would in an office. There is no lollygagging, if I’m doing 9 to 5 then anything non-work-related is off-limits during that time, I’ll even tell the wife to fuck off if she’s being intrusive. Home is great! No walk-ins, no awkward conversations, and no “Hey check this out” fluff from the cube neighbours. Just a whole lot of peace and quiet to foster deep focus. Shit gets DONE! This is the way of the future for us knowledge workers. Get your ass in gear and make it a reality!