I originally wrote this text over a year ago in a time before COVID-19. Those were the days! I was getting increasingly tired of having the same remote work discussion over and over every so often. Looking at it now, I find this text has aged pretty amusingly.
Your offices are shit.
Honestly. They really are. Maybe you had a bunch of interior designers come round and create an open plan space for all your creatives so that all sorts of collaboration can take place. Maybe you thought mixing creatives and account people will make cross-discipline magic happen. Maybe you just wanted a space that looks great on your press photos.
Chances are, your office space is an absolute nightmare to work in. Noisy co-workers that love nothing more than the sound of their own volume-insensitive voice. People loudly shouting into phones all day. 6 or more people to a desk group. How on earth are we supposed to work here and have good, intelligent and new ideas – or… you know… work!?
Maybe we’ll go to one of those few fancy isolated spaces you have to work on our tasks in peace. Oh yeah, that’s right. You either don’t have any or you have so few, that you might as well not have any because it’s only a matter of time before someone turns up who really needs the room more than you, seriously it’s for a client call can’t you guys just go somewhere else?
You have got to be kidding me.
Do you honestly think this is the place that good work is created? How the hell is a creative supposed to have a decent conversation in this hellhole, let alone develop good ideas?!
Your offices suuuck!
No one cares about freelancers.
Your offices are shit for employees. But at least they get assigned desks and you’ve got some – if not much – space for them.
Your offices are beyond crap for freelancers. You stick us wherever you happen to have a wobbly, half-broken chair and a surface that can work as a desk. Usually somewhere crowded with absolutely no peace and quiet.
Fantastic. So glad to be here.
The shit doesn’t stop there though.
Nope. Your IT department was probably informed super late that we’re booked and hasn’t had time to prepare our access cards yet. So we get to knock on the door every time we come back from the toilet. Cool.
We’re probably stuck using your guest WiFi that may or may not have usable reception and speeds. And you probably don’t grant freelancers proper server access either, so you’ll be shuttling us files on USB sticks or via wetransfer. Cool. That definitely needs to happen in person instead of remotely.
So why are we even here?
So we can collaborate quickly.
Which means you don’t have time to properly meet with us and discuss our ideas and suggestions – instead you just want a desk you can quickly go to, deposit some random stuff you were thinking, and be on your way again. Oh yeah, no worries – we were just in the middle of something, but this definitely helps us a lot. Cool.
To make meetings easier.
Which means you’re completely overwhelmed by your calendar, can’t be arsed to structure your day and want to just pop up randomly at our desk demanding to see results. Oh yeah, no worries if it’s work in progress still or if now is a really bad time. Cool.
So exchanging data is easier.
Which means you want to send us mails and files. And somehow that’s easier if we’re close by instead of working remotely. Cool.
So feedback is easier.
Which means you don’t have the time to actually look at our work and structure your feedback and what you would like us to change or tackle next. Instead you just want to casually fly over our ideas, throw some spontaneous associations on the table and leave again. Super efficient use of everyone’s time. Cool.
Can we please start working in the 21st century?
Seriously. Let’s get with the program! Let’s replace these pointless meetings with a quick call on FaceTime or Skype or whatever. Let’s give feedback directly on shared Pages, Keynote, Word, PowerPoint or Google documents instead of printing things out for dumb meetings where half the people present aren’t necessary. Let’s keep our files in sync on Dropbox or Google Drive or Teams or let’s work from a remotely and universally accessible server. Let’s keep in touch with iMessages, Slack or Discord or whatever.
There are so many fantastic tools at our disposal that can streamline the way we work and make it more pleasant, productive and profitable for everyone involved. Let’s do this!
My office is better than yours.
I live in a field in the middle of nowhere on an island in the middle of nowhere. That’s not even an exaggeration.
I live and work here for a reason: I have complete peace and quiet to tackle whatever task you have given me. I have an excellent infrastructure and a High-Speed Internet Connection. I have giant screens, fast computers configured precisely to suit my needs and everything I need to not be slowed down by cramped up laptops and stressful working environments. After over a decade in the industry, this is where I have perfected my work environment for maximum productivity and the highest quality output.
You want me to work at your office? Then that’s what you would need to top. Everything else is akin to actively sabotaging my work (which you’re paying me for, by the way).