In the entirety of my career, which is now longer than I like to admit or care to remember, I have probably worked out of a conventional office about 1/3 of the time – and much of that was in the early days. Even then, while “office-ing,” I worked hard to spend most of my time with clients and prospects.
I guess as a long-term results-oriented technology services seller, it came natural and probably an obsession to be out focusing on sales results. No interest in water cooler talk, what the next football pool might look like or, as a married man, office romance. Managing other sellers changed that slightly to include understanding and “enabling” them for success. But, it was still natural to focus on “sell-through” results. And, in internal meetings, no one can buy from you.
Cloud technologies that securely enable SOHO (Small Office/Home Office) are a great enabler for people like me. And, apparently, so many others. Walk into any Starbucks or Panera Bread, at just about any time of day, and you will see several mini-offices set up and people actively working. And, you know all of those people are not solopreneurs. Businesses of all shapes and sizes, from start-ups to the largest corporate enterprises, are enabling their mobile workforces.
Unless you simply have a poor work ethic, in my view, the benefits of SOHO far outweigh being cubicle bound. There are a handful of disadvantages which primarily revolve around household noises or distractions intruding upon your business activities. Kids, lawn workers, home repair activities and pets can all wreak havoc during an important conference call. Admittedly, I have apologized a time or two for my “home office security system,” Jimmy Page, “going off” at a bad time.
Cloud technology is also enabling other types of non-traditional work environments. Those where face-to-face collaboration is highly valued and beneficial, but traditional “office-ing” is still to be avoided. Here is the first part of an article with some great examples of “anti-offices:”
At Airbnb’s headquarters in San Francisco, every meeting area is decorated to look, in remarkable detail, like some Airbnb rental somewhere in the world. One conference room is modeled on the War Room in Dr. Strangelove. In New York City, product innovation company Quirky’s offices in a former warehouse look like a cross between a hip nightclub and a giant preschool, outfitted with a conference table made from industrial fans and a giant map that shows where your colleagues are going on vacation. (All employees can take as much vacation as they want. Yay!) The sign on the front entrance says: “Deliveries & humans: 7th Floor. Suits: Go away.”
You can read the rest of the Newsweek article, Cloud Computing is Killing the Traditional Office, by clicking here.