Ditching The Office

from the some-good,-some-bad dept

A few years back, we went from what had been a virtual office to actually having a real office. Yet, since the company had been virtual for a while, we've maintained something of a hybrid between a virtual office and a real office. Not everyone goes into the office all the time (some of our employees aren't local, though the majority of them are). Some rarely go into the real office at all. Still, there are days when we do try to make sure that everyone's at the office, and that can be quite useful. However, Wired is suggesting that more companies ditch their offices completely and move entirely to a virtual office arrangement. I can understand the appeal, but I think that a hybrid approach may work much better. There are times that having a real office space is quite useful, such as in allowing for more impromptu brainstorming and discussion. It also opens up the lines of communication much more. While our staff is good at using instant messaging, chat rooms and phone calls, there have been times when just sitting across from one another has helped get things done more quickly. Both the real office and the virtual office have pros and cons, but I'm not sure that it makes sense to go completely to one extreme or the other. Having a space that can function as an "open office" area, while allowing employees to telecommute most of the time seems to create a nice balance.

Filed Under: office space, telecommuting, virtual office

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Oct 2008 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Telecommuting vs. Old Schoolers

    Currently, I can't telecommute much because of policy, and it's a real pain.

    At home, I have a 15Mbps/15Mbps internet connection that is basically all mine during the day. At work, we have a 3Mbps/3Mbps connection that is shared by the 50 people here. Much of my job requires me to VPN into client systems, so the internet connection speed is important.

    At home, I have 24" widescreen monitor (1920x1200), 750GB of fast hard drives, and 4GB RAM in my main workstation, while work provides a 17" 1024x768 monitor with an 80GB SATA-1 hard drives and 1GB RAM. Since I need to run VMs to test software configs, more RAM and fast, big hard drives are a must. But, everyone must have the "standard build", so that nobody feels slighted because their machine isn't as good.

    It's kind of sad that more managers don't understand the gains you can get from telecommuting employees (especially when the physical commute is at least 30 minutes).

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