Today, like many other days, I will be working from home. Mike and Greg however, will also be working from home. Meaning that for the first time in our company history, our warehouse will be run by our employees.
In some ways this really isn’t a big deal. Charlie, our warehouse manager, has shown that he is more than capable of running the show. There have been many days where I’ve been in and haven’t had to do much at all to keep things moving in the right direction out there. I have all the confidence in the world that today will run just as smooth as it would if I was sitting in the office.
Then again, it kind of is a big deal. Since we moved in to our warehouse in early 2008, an owner has been there every single business day. So when we made the decision to start doing this on a regular basis, it was really exciting. It gives us a lot more flexibility with our schedules. It also gives us the opportunity, for the first time, to have meetings off-site during business hours. We can grab lunch together, work collaboratively at someone’s house, and have our weekly meeting without having to stay late or get together at night or on the weekend.
We’ll all still be there at least once per week. We all have tasks that have to get done in the warehouse. Plus we all want to make sure that we’re still involved in the day-to-day operations semi-regularly because we see value in that. And of course there will be plenty of days where it’s so busy that we have to go in to help pack orders to ensure that they get out in time.
While I truly enjoy the atmosphere at the warehouse, it’s also not the right environment for me to get much of my work done. There’s a lot of social interaction, and a lot of interruptions. I can get email and small tasks accomplished, but if I have to sit down and do some serious development I highly prefer the peace and quiet of my home office.
Right now we’re only doing this for one day a week, but the plan is to have the right team in place in the next 3 – 6 months that allows us to do this on the average business day. Once that happens it will be a huge change for all of us. This is sort of the beginning of that, which is why I think it feels like such a big step.