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Avoiding Insanity with an Office

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Tom's avatar
  • 30 Apr, 2012
  • 600 words
  • ~2-4 mins
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After working from home for nearly a year now we're very happy (and a little relieved) to announce that Scirra now has a new HQ!

Tom spoke at last Thursday's London HackerNews meetup and briefly mentioned the virtues of moving from the bedroom/garage into a dedicated work space. For many, understandably, keeping costs to the bare minimum is an essential tactic to keeping costs down (part of a strategy known as 'Bootstrapping').

A slide from Tom's talk at HN London last Thursday

However there comes a point where the cost associated with moving to a dedicated work space (an office!) is outweighed by the better quality of life you hope an office will provide you:

  • It helps you get out the house every day!
  • Working in an office is often far less solitary than working from home
  • Clear separation of work/life
  • More daily structure
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Increased productivity

A lot of the listed benefits sound cliche and quite frankly dull and unimportant. (Structure? Who needs structure in their life?) Yet the benefits are real and important. If you've been working from home for extended periods of time the negatives can gradually creep up on you like a frog in boiling water. Once you switch, the benefits become quickly apparent. The longer you've been without these benefits for the more impact they will have on your daily life when you do switch.

Perhaps the most apparent benefit so far has been the work/life separation. If you're working and living from home and work frequently it can be difficult to keep proper working hours. It also starts to become hard to relax at home as you're always in 'work mode'. A dedicated away-from-home workspace clearly separates your work from your life and really does help improve your quality of life. Weekends are back from extinction!

Granted it's still the honeymoon period with the new office (we've only been in here for a week or two) but the benefits so far are extremely beneficial in just about every aspect of our lives. It's also an exciting milestone in any startup's life!

As previously mentioned it's common for startups in the early stages to bootstrap and have tight reins on outgoing expenses to elongate the window of opportunity they are able to work in - therefore taking on an office might not be a good fit for everyone. However it is something to consider and can make a lot of sense. It's important to time decisions for relatively expensive costs such as an office which coincide with a monthly commitments correctly (unless you are bestowed with great fortunes). Too early and it's an expense that can stunt your growth, too late and your startup can become mentally fatiguing and possibly even demotivating.

It's not top floor of the Shard but we love it!

Fortunately for us we think we've timed it pretty well and of course are very excited for the future of Scirra! (And we're far from insane, I think!)

As you can see from the above photo we have a big empty white void on our wall (just above Ashley's computer) which we need filling! So we've created a new badge, The Postcard Badge!

Send us your Postcards!

If you're able to send a postcard from wherever you live we would love to pin it up in that big white space! Simply send it to Scirra Ltd, Electroline House, 15 Lion Road, Twickenham, Middlesex, TW1 4JH, London, United Kingdom. Don't forget to write your username somewhere on the postcard so we can give you your badge!


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