Wednesday, December 15, 2010

End Of Office Culture?

Lets' take most modern companies and start-ups.  You do not see a walled empire where people are found in offices.  You see lots of people working together with each other in one large room.  There are large steel pillars and high roofs. 

People get fascinated when they have a personal office.  But office culture of staying and working within walls is bad.  And also it is fading away. 

Here is a sweet story.

When companies  are found, they are usually found by few individuals working in one room.  It works out  great for them.  No need to take appointment to talk.  No breach of privacy, as there is no privacy.  No layers of bureaucracy as everyone is at the same level.  Sounds great right.  Yes.  It is great because things work out faster this way.

When companies scale they add up weight to their balloon and the balloon starts coming down.  More departments, more offices, more bureaucratic layers and more need for privacy.  Things go slow and super slow, ultimately leading to crash.

Eventually those companies halt their progress, are taken over by another firm, declare bankruptcy and so on....

A major focus of companies these days is doing things faster.  Because in an internet world, it all depends on who gets there first.  So how they can do things faster?  They started to become more transparent and become more connected.  They started eliminating offices. 

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook doesn't have an office.  Tony Hsieh of Zappos doesn't have any office.  By the way these are fastest growing companies.  Did I missed Groupon? 

If you see pictures of Facebook offices, you will see people working in a large rooms, which aren't rooms they are halls without any walls and higher ceilings.  It gives you a feel of connectedness and a sense of being a part of something bigger than the self. 

More and more companies are adopting the "No-Office" culture where all work, build, and celebrate together under one roof.