Yesterday our city had a major water line break which caused an outage of water to the entire city, except those few who have wells in city limits (Thanks Dad!). I think that the water was restored sometime yesterday evening between 6 and 8. So here I am this morning at the office bleeding the water lines, and watering our green friends who are not very pleased that they missed the regular Wednesday shower. If you have read any of my blogs about our office, you know my opinion is that it is the most perfect office that ever officed. I did start to think though about what would kinds of buildings are appropriate for what types of offices. This could go into a whole year long blog series, I am sure, but for now, I want to look at 2 of them. Old house offices as opposed to a building devoted for offices. Both of which I have experience with, so while this is an opinion, it is a more educated opinion.
Office Buildings as Offices
Let’s begin with buildings that are built with the sole purpose of being for offices. Companies that have several employees greatly benefit from having the space to accommodate more people. These usually consist of some actual closed-in offices, and open spaces for cubicles. You can fit more people into a workspace this way. Think about it like this. If you own a chain of stores and you have a main corporate office, which of these buildings make money? The corporate office is necessary for accounting, human resources, media, marketing, and those types of things, but the products you sell and make money on are at the stores. The stores are where your money is made. That is where you spend the money. You spend the money on those to make them bigger, cleaner, brighter, hold more equipment, and all of these wonderful things that we shoppers expect.
While your corporate office is important, it does not make the money. It does not even house the money unless you have a vault in it and do not have a bank. It is a necessary building to have, and not a waste of money, but you would not be wise to put more money into your office than you do your actual stores. Spend the most money where your money is made the most. It just makes sense to me.
Of course as a business grows, you need more space. I have heard and seen employees sharing offices, and even cubicles, because that department just exploded with growth and there was nowhere to put more people. This may not be a very good situation long term. I do not personally do well with someone else crammed into my work space, and I have seen the fallout when that happens. If you do not remedy that situation as soon as possible, you will not have to worry about not having enough room for long. Amenities in offices like gyms, cafeterias, lounges, etc., are really great ideas and wonderful incentives, but do you honestly have the space for it? Just ponder that for a moment, and move on to our second type of office building when ready.
Old Houses as Offices
Who doesn’t love an old house? They have a charming and lived-in atmosphere. One difference I see from where I have worked before to now is that in an office building, you get to your office building and go inside your cubicle. No windows. No natural lighting. Someone either has the thermostat turned onto Glacier or Face of the Sun, and by the time you have been at your desk just long enough to see your log in screen show up on your monitor, you are ready to leave.
Now travel with me to an old house. There’s lots of natural light, I have had days of never turning the light on in my office, because I didn’t need it. One thermostat that we can all agree on, with fans available that help move the air around. It is a more comfortable setting being “at home,” and I find myself looking up and thinking “Wow! I just got here! How is it already 4 pm?”
We could probably fit another person into my office, and we have an empty office at the back of the house, plus the office for Lee and Sue Ann, and the two rooms upstairs that are occupied by Andress and Three. So we still have a little room to grow here. We have a full kitchen, and the back yard is a great place to take a break. We have birds and plants, and different things to look at when we have to look away from the monitor for five minutes.
Would Lee be wise to build a gym here, or to hire a chef? No. I don’t think so and would try to talk him out of it (not just because I hate gyms). I also love food, but would still talk him out of chef. As bitter as those words look coming from me, I hold fast. As much as I love this office, it doesn’t actually make the money. The houses we are invested in do, though. The money needs to go there.
Happy to Be Here
Our set up here is perfect for where we are at this time. We are not cramped, an we have what we need to be comfortable. Most people walk in and the change on their face from “I don’t know how to talk to these people,” to “I could live right here!” is visible in most cases. I want visitors to see how homey our office is. We maintain a functional office that you could take a comfortable nap in (first hand experience one long Saturday), but business is still conducted.
In the corporate world, you may need those large marbled walls to exude that you are ready to acquire more of whatever it is you’re selling. In our business I will steal a quote from Lee that I think he got from someone else, “You want to look like you can buy the house, not the neighborhood.” In another business like a chain business, you might want to look like you could buy the whole county.
For us Hermits, we can buy your house, and we can also match you with a house that will earn the title of home when we are done with it.