When I got my first ‘real’ job I had a big office and a huge partners desk. Ironically as I moved up the corporate ladder my offices got smaller and smaller until I found myself working from home without an office. By the time I was running my own company I was very focused on the location and size of my office. In one memorable case I recall explaining to one of my co-founders why I took the bigger, corner office without discussing it first (not my finest moment, sorry Scott). Then one day it occurred to me that my office was actually holding me back.
I needed to get back in the game, connect with my team. So I packed up my office and began sitting in the bullpen with our developers, product managers and salespeople. Suddenly I was in the mix. I was having more fun and I was more connected to our product and our customers. My new office is a very stylish leather case containing my MacBook. I’m just as comfortable and as productive sitting in Cafe Express as I am sitting in the common area at CultureMap or Architel.
If you’re a startup CEO or founder I’d encourage you to pack up your office and turn it into a conference room. Give it a try for a month and let me know what you think. Good luck.