Friday, December 23, 2005

New office

I have to say something about moving into the new office.

Lots of us are excited to be moving into a 'real' office. Others are glad to be closer to mass transit (my window looks down on part of the loop and front door of the building is about 200 feet away from a stop). Some are yearning for a door that they can close to block out everyone else and maybe actually get some work done and some for the variety of lunch choices which will be available. A few are lazy and dread having to go to an office more than 20 feet from where they live.

I am hoping the move to the new office will do the following:
1) improve employee output. Currently there is much distraction caused by close proximity of everyone to each other, also the breakroom is very near to where 2 people work, and if you go to get coffee or something, you often feel compelled to talk with them. Also - some people are getting private offices which should lead to those people working with their door closed more often and getting more things done. I know that I can get more done between 5pm and 6pm, after everyone leaves, than I can between 3pm and 4pm.

2) improve office decorum. Currently some staff members are pre-occupied with dick and fart jokes. There is always a time and a place for that stuff, but as our company grows we need to focus a little more on business and a little less of fucking around. We are at a critical juncture . If lots of things don't all start moving in the same direction, shit could start to hit the fan. There is also something to be said for going to work at a real office. People should generally feel that they are at work; and while at work they should be doing work. Current attitudes are more on the play side than the work side, though most people get their work done. Eliminating the feeling that people are not 'really' at 'work' should help this. The goal should be for everyone to work hard, but also play hard. Make going to work a good experience, yet getting the most productivity out of everyone. If we keep this goal in mind, the new office will not seem as crappy a place to work as people might think.

3) get us out of the ghetto. Simply stated the neighborhood of the current office is shitty and most of the time I dislike going to and from work. Plus there are fewer and fewer places to eat or get coffee or whatever.

4) improve customer and vendor relationships. Being in the loop should lead to better business relationships with vendors and customers who now know we are serious and successful. It has been said that within the first 2-3 months or so we will be having a 'lot' of vendors and other people coming to visit us. This will be good but also probably waste a lot of time.

5)Provide better working space. The new office has 2 conference rooms, wherein we can have good meetings with good numbers of people. The senior offices are large enough to have meetings of 3-5 people and those meetings will no longer bother the people working nearby. Even the junior offices are big enough to have a meeting of 2-3 people. The breakroom is closed off and away from the work area. There is a reception area. There is a storage area. All of these things were generally combined into one giant area in the current office.

All of the above being said, when I was going in to college and when I was in college, I always said that I didn't want to have a job where I work in an office all day doing the same thing over and over and over. That is why I became a theatre major. It was a chance to be doing something different all the time. When I was about to graduate I realized that the job opportunities in theatre involved a lot of non-steady work or long night/weekend hours - so I went for something that was more secure, more 9-5 and less corporate. The current job is getting more and more like what I didn't want to be doing each day. I do have responsibilities and experience that I probably would not have had studying for an office job, but they come at the cost of being overall less fulfilled, tired and frustrated a lot.

Conslusion? New office will be good for the company in general. Hopefully it will lead to good things and a change for the better for the company. If in 12 months from now, everything is still in basically the same state, just in a different location, then it might be time to move on or start changing things myself.

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