Hello, I’m Michael Sliwinski, founder of Nozbe - to-do app for business owners and their teams. I write essays, books, work on projects and I podcast for you using #iPadOnly in #NoOffice as I believe that work is not a place you go to, it’s a thing you do. More…

Some companies still need an office because… they want an office!


Before the covid pandemic hit I was promoting Nozbe’s way of working - our #NoOffice lifestyle. However people were skeptical about it. They’d pull out the it’s good for you but it won’t work for me argument. Now that the pandemic is basically over, some companies are reluctant to keep working remotely and I believe that the ones that will insist on strictly going to the office will eventually lose, however they keep brining up the same arguments:

Some companies still need an office because… they want an office!

“It’s good for you, it won’t work for us” conversation quickly becomes weird.

As I’m talking to someone and explaining them how our #NoOffice lifestyle works and why I believe in treating people as adults and letting them work from whenever they want, they respond:

Great, you can work remotely, that’s good for you - but it wouldn’t work for our company, it wouldn’t work for our team… because we’re more of a normal company so we need a normal, traditional office for our culture to thrive.

So basically what you’re saying is that I’m not normal and my company is not normal, while yours is, right?

No… I mean… you have this company with just one product so it’s easier for you, our company’s offering is different and we need to be creative, we need to brainstorm ideas and have ad-hoc meetings!

So I’m not creative then? My team isn’t creative?

No, it’s not what I’m saying at all. You didn’t listen. We just need an office!”

And the conversation ends. It’s gotten too confusing. And how can I explain what “normal” or “creative” means when I’m running an un-creative team that creates an abnormal productivity software used by close to one million users.

We need one because we want one because…

So basically it comes down to this:

We need an office because… we want an office.

Done ✅ . That’s the argument. They want an office. They don’t know why they want it (maybe it’s a mix of control, ego and other reasons?) but that’s what they want.

Again, I’m not saying, you shouldn’t completely get rid of the office. If you want one, get one. But telling people and forcing them to go there just because you have one?

I originally posted a version of this as a comment to Rodolphe’s post on LinkedIn.

P.S. A student beer 🍺 joke

This whole conversation reminded me of an old student joke about beer:

Cheap beer is good, because… it’s good and cheap!

Friday, December 2, 2022 /office-need/