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Friday, January 02, 2009

Work From Home and the Corporate Office Move

Most of you who read this blog by now know that by the end of January we will close our Lakeview offices and move almost all office jobs to the Corporate Office Building. This is a tremendous opportunity for our company in terms of savings, teamwork, and tightening iteration and product development cycles, but that's a subject I'll take up in another blog in a few days. For now I want to address how the move to corporate, which was one of my goals for WFH, changes this program going forward. It was a significant downsizing, not WFH, that made this move possible this quickly but I'll take it however it comes.

In my opinion, the move of all office operations into one building leaves us no choice but to accelerate the program into the space sharing phase. It is my understanding that we're getting LVP employees into the Corporate building with about 3 open spaces to spare; that's all. Those spaces will most likely be used for temporary workers and the occasional contractor working on site, which means we have zero room for growth. When business picks up, as it eventually will, every single new job added will have to either work remotely or share space with an existing employee.

Right now we have limited space sharing going on in HR and Production, and this is working well. Were it not for even this limited amount space savings, we would have had to build out offices in the warehouse in order to make the LVP move possible.

After the dust settles on this move I will begin calling meetings with each department head to discuss the how and the who of space sharing. For those of you who are still skeptical, please take a few of these slow post-holiday workdays to come to grips with the choices in front of you for next year; two to a cube or office, an expensive office build-out in the warehouse, re-leasing extra office space and moving your team again, or implementing WFH/space sharing. While I don't have the authority to mandate such a program, I do have a pretty good perch from which to observe trends. In my opinion, this program is quickly becoming inevitable and the discussion must quickly shift from if to how we implement this broadly across our operations.

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