As you’ve probably realized, right now I don’t have an office. My companies are fully remote. It didn’t start like that though. Here’s the story…

Going fully remote is something that happened slowly over the course of years. Each time, it took me a while to realize when I did and didn’t need an office. At certain times we did, and at other times we didn’t. Right now we don’t, but maybe in the future we will again.

It wasn’t an overnight decision

A long time ago in a land far, far away, there was a web design company. Technically it was incorporated in 2002, and we immediately had an office because that’s what you do, right? Back then if you had a business, you had an office.

  • At the time, things were a bit different:
  • The internet wasn’t so fast.
  • We didn’t have most of the tools that we have today.
  • We needed an office.

In The Beginning (of the business)

So we started out with this great office. Then we hired some people, and the company got bigger. Then we got this bigger office… then a bigger office… and the economy crashed. We let go of a bunch of those people and moved to a smaller office… and then to a smaller office. Finally, we just closed our offices and we went remote.

That was when I realized, I don’t really need an office. Because we had a handful of people then, and it was working great without an office.

Then it grew again

Then I moved into a coworking space, and the company started to grow again. We had a coworking space office, and then we moved to a bigger coworking space office. As the team increased again, at a certain point, I realized, nobody comes to this office! I was the only one who was ever there!

On top of that, we never saw clients there. At that point, I had to ask myself:

  • Why do I paying all this money for this place?
  • Nobody likes to face traffic.
  • Nobody wants to come in.
  • Everyone is getting their work done.
  • Clients don’t know the difference.
  • Why are we doing this?
  • What is the point?

It was really nice to have when we had company meetings, but it’s not necessary. So at that point, I made the call to closed the office. And I can say for sure, I have not regretted it at all.

So here’s what I learned.

You need an office when you are training lots of people. If you have a big team, and they’re training, they need to sit beside one another and be able to point at things and work together.

If you don’t have an office, you can still do this.

You may want an office if....

You can do this using all sorts of different tools for screen sharing and webcasting. But it’s really helpful to have an office. The second reason you may need an office is if you’re doing something if you have to be all together. For web development and marketing, we don’t have to be together, and it even works better when people are separated a lot of the time.

If you’re making tee shirts or pottery, you probably need an office or workspace. Or, if you really have to manage people and keep an eye on their workflow, you may need an office.. But as far as I’ve seen, these days, that’s really about it.

It’s not out of the question

I think if we ever got over maybe 25 or 30 people again, then we might want to strongly consider it. We’ll see. At this point though, it’s not on the table.

Let me know if you have any questions!