Do you really need an office?

Some startups are ditching the idea of an office and creating remotely distributed teams, while others feel that an office is key to their success. Here are Bespin Labs we’ve been running remote teams since the very beginning. Most of us have come from organisations with home working policies, allowing us to work either from home or from the office. However, what we all agreed, when we started Bespin Labs, was that we need to either have the whole team working within the same office or the whole team to be fully distributed working remotely. Having a hybrid model just didn’t work and often caused conflict, a “them” and “us” environment between the office team and the remote individuals. Remote individuals often felt that they did the lion’s share of the work, while the office-based folks played foosball. The office-based team saw the remote workers as “remote shirkers” sit around in their PJ’s, watching Netflix.

Culture is Key

We wanted to build something different and we knew that culture was key. Unfortunately, most startups focus too much time on their office layout, and where to put the games table. However, culture isn’t built around a ping pong or pool.

G Suite and Hangouts

We don’t think we could have done what we did without G Suite, especially Hangout and Hangout Chat. Chat is our virtual office, it’s our online version of the kitchen where we discuss business, it’s also used to share news and jokes, and the great thing about Google Chat is that it’s always available, with an archive so we can go back over past conversations. In addition to Chat, we also rely heavily on Google Hangout meetings, having face to face time with people is extremely important.  

In-Person Meetups

As a company, we try to get together as often as we can. We have a group who just love to hike and will often join local hiking groups such as Freshwalks in the UK. We can take our family on these walks which is a great way of learning about things that you just wouldn’t normally discuss during the 9-5.

Make your home office your own

Finally, make sure you create a workspace that works for you. It pays to make your home office as comfortable and well equipped as it can be so you can work effectively without unnecessary distractions. If you’re going to work from home, try to make it the best possible experience and a space you love to work in.

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