Growing PainsTuesday, 24 April 2012 14:58
Single Office, Arrangements, Benefits of Having All Staff Concentrated in a Single Office Space: Growing Pains Blog by Michael Fox
Should your team be based in one office?
We're currently advertising to hire five new roles for Shoes of Prey, and have had a few people contact us to ask if the roles could be based in cities other than Sydney.
I've read about quite a few start-ups with people based in different cities all working together remotely, but I really struggle to see how everyone could be effective working in that way.
There's so much additional value that comes from being physically located in the same space.
By nature, start-ups are chaotic. The ability to move, react and change quickly is critical to their success.
By sitting in the same office together, we get to hear each other's conversations. We live and breathe what works and what doesn’t in the business, allowing everyone to react quickly.
Even having two offices, one in Sydney and one in China, creates some barriers to reacting quickly and for the team working together. While we do a pretty good job in managing this, it's not perfect.
Thinking through our values and culture, much of what is core to our business would be very hard to do with people based in different locations.
Recognising great work becomes harder if you haven't been able to witness first-hand what someone has achieved on a project. Communication becomes much harder if you're doing it all over email, chat or Skype.
It's harder to be inspired by your colleagues if there's no one physically around you.
Despite advances in communication tools, such as video conferencing, there's still nothing quite like sitting at a desk, surrounded by a group of amazing colleagues working together to achieve the same goal.
So while we're happy to help an awesome hire relocate, all the roles we're hiring for will need to be based in Sydney.
What's your view?
Michael Fox managed Google’s online sales and operations agency team for Australia and New Zealand before moving into entrepreneurship. He's a co-founder of Shoes of Prey, an online retail website which allows women to design their own shoes and Sneaking Duck, which sells fashionable prescription glasses online. He blogs in detail about the process of running Shoes of Prey at his blog www.22michaels.com.
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