Thursday, June 17, 2010

Where Do You Work?

My main gig for nearly 8 years has been a group of radio stations in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

I also do some work for a Hispanic newspaper, (and I don't speak Spanish!), plus I have my own advertising and marketing firm, ScLoHo Marketing Solutions.

But where do I work?

Where ever I want.

My laptop is my virtual office. 6 years ago I gave up my desktop computer at the radio stations because I didn't need it.

Yesterday we brought on a new salesperson who doesn't want a desktop computer either. She'll use her laptop.

So, for the price of a cup of coffee, I can "rent" an internet connection at any local coffee shop, McDonalds, and coming next month, Starbucks will be offering free wifi.

Read more about this from Seth Godin:

Goodbye to the office

Factories used to be arranged in a straight line. That's because there was one steam engine, and it turned a shaft. All the machines were set up along the shaft, with a belt giving each of them power. The office needed to be right next to this building, so management could monitor what was going on.

150 years later, why go to work in an office/plant/factory?

  1. That's where the machines are.
  2. That's where the items I need to work on are.
  3. The boss needs to keep tabs on my productivity.
  4. There are important meetings to go to.
  5. It's a source of energy.
  6. The people I collaborate with all day are there.
  7. I need someplace to go.


  1. If you have a laptop, you probably have the machine already, in your house.
  2. If you do work with a keyboard and a mouse, the items you need to work on are on your laptop, not in the office.
  3. The boss can easily keep tabs on productivity digitally.
  4. How many meetings are important? If you didn't go, what would happen?
  5. You can get energy from people other than those in the same company.
  6. Of the 100 people in your office, how many do you collaborate with daily?
  7. So go someplace. But it doesn't have to be to your office.

If we were starting this whole office thing today, it's inconceivable we'd pay the rent/time/commuting cost to get what we get. I think in ten years the TV show 'the Office' will be seen as a quaint antique.

When you need to have a meeting, have a meeting. When you need to collaborate, collaborate. The rest of the time, do the work, wherever you like.

The gain in speed, productivity and happiness is massive. What's missing is #7... someplace to go. Once someone figures that part out, the office is dead.


  1. Great post, Scott! While I enjoy working for a local coffee house, occasionally, I find it is a very tough place to conduct a meeting, make a phone call or leave personal effects when I need to get up for something. My members have concluded that OurSpace works at a great place to conduct business outside the home or office; coworking allows them to work hard, keep connected and ensures safety and privacy.

  2. Jodi, I agree. Coffee Shops are not for everyone. There are so many alternatives to the traditional "rent an office" these days and the Co-working concept that you are pioneering in Fort Wayne should fit the bill for a lot of people as we become more portable in the manner that Seth describes.