Archive for February, 2017

Why we don’t have an office and neither should you

February 14, 2017 by Alison Foxall |

In my senior year of high school, my goal that I declared publicly in economics class was: “to own and operate my own advertising agency”. I wanted to build it. I had a dream of having a fancy office (you know, the kind where you get awards for having a “cool” office), working with national big named brands, and having a stellar award winning team. I was already interning in the afternoons at Clarke Advertising, which later merged into Eric & Mower, then merged out.

When we started Gobble Logic in 2012, we briefly romanticized about having a brick and mortar office in either downtown Tampa or Ybor City. However as we started building our team and theorized about how people will be working in the future–we realized that having a physical office is neither economical, practical, nor is it even productive for the average office worker. These are the greater reasons why we don’t have an office:

1. Traffic congestion and concerns reduced

If you live in any metropolis, you’ll at some point during the course of any given year, hear about the traffic problems. An hour and a half commute they say. Huge problem, must fix it, they say. Build more roads (muh roads!) or mass transit, they say. You know what people aren’t saying? No one (to my knowledge) has even suggested to change how the work day functions and where we work.

Imagine that all office workers suddenly telecommuted and perhaps only went into work one day a week, if that. Maybe even once bi-weekly. How many cars would that be off the road in any given city? It’s a hard thing to even measure because each city is different– they all have their focus industries. If the majority of office workers did indeed telecommute, it would be assumed that traffic congestion would significantly be reduced.

This has positive consequences as well. Fuel not used commuting would be used elsewhere–and office workers’ money could be allocated for other budgets. Time is also better spent by the office workers. The one to three hour round trip commute now would possibly be spent with their families, exercising, or spent doing activities that make them happy.

2. Land utility and re-classification

In less dense cities, office space tends to be spread out across many acres of land. If companies elected not to have office space, this land could be used in other ways because it would be freed up. It could be anything– a small farm to help feed the community, a new restaurant, or a multi-dwelling apartment/condo high-rise.

Land is an important resource not to be wasted on unnecessary or redundant activities.

3. General energy use, and decreasing waste

The energy to maintain an office building could be better spent elsewhere. Think about this: your residential home is sitting unoccupied all day long while you are at work. Depending on your locale, you must spend energy to keep your dwelling temperature controlled. Would it not be considered wasteful if you did not occupy your house half of the time? Your house can be multi-functional, and can be used to house you while you work. There is no need to burn through more fuel to power an office building.

4. Productivity increases by cutting down distractions

I have noticed throughout the course of my career that lack of productivity is associated with two things (in regards to environment): being comfortable, and the amount of distractions. When one first starts their job, they are still acclimating to their environment. It’s hard to really jump in and be productive on day 1. While some offices are obnoxiously quiet, others can have extremely…lively…environments that ultimately are toxic to being productive– especially with several people dropping by your desk unannounced to chat about a specific issue–or worse, the latest gossip about Mary Ann from Creative.

At home, it’s obviously a different story. You are already comfortable with your work environment and it’s familiar. You know where you keep office supplies and you have already made an effort (one would hope) to make adjustments for ergonomics and to limit distractions. It’s as quiet or loud as you’d like.

5. Home life balance

It’s frustrating for a typical office worker when they have worked a long day, only to be stuck in traffic for another hour. Some office workers are away from the home 12 hours a day. When you combine that time with regular routines at home that need to be completed, it leaves little time to the modern office worker to enjoy or spend with loved ones. How many times have you planned to get laundry done and cook a decent meal after work, only to get home exhausted, look at the overflowing hamper and declare you’re going to go get Chipotle for dinner instead? We’ve all been there. But if you’re already working remote 100%/full time, cooking dinner and doing chores are already easily factored into the day.

6. Cutting equipment costs

Some companies provide laptops to their remote employees. Some don’t. There are pro’s and con’s to both approaches. We don’t provide equipment to our remote workers because it’s too much of an overhead to our business. I’ve also heard of horror stories about terrible confrontations after remote workers have been terminated and fail to ship back your equipment. But, if your workers’ have their own devices, there is risk of their computers being previously infected with viruses which may compromise your own systems and data.

7. Yearly or Quarterly Meetings

What you save in office space you could use to send your team on a yearly retreat, especially if your team is spread out globally. Your team should be meeting digitally every so often via Hangouts, Skype, or some other software that allows for video chat. If you’re a very large team, host quarterly meetings depending where your concentration of people are located. Perhaps 80% of your team is located in Tampa Bay? So, rent some space to have quarterly meetings. Smaller teams can meet more often locally almost anywhere, restaurants, coffee shops, or even opening up your own home office is desirable.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Close down your offices and follow #RemoteLife! Or start slowly: hire some remote workers. They can be independent contractors to start, then gradually move into part time workers or full time ones. Once you get used to the idea and can cater to it, your current workers can try it out as well. After a while you’ll be paying for an empty office that no one uses. Either rent it out or let it go. Some great examples of companies already working remote are the WordPress companies like Automattic, 10up, Modern Tribe, etc. Are you next?

Free Stock Photos (2017)

February 12, 2017 by Alison Foxall |

Many times we work with companies that have no budget for stock photography, or don’t see the value in it. When you can’t afford photography, and stock photography prices seem obnoxious, take a look at these free stock photos that don’t necessarily have that “stock” look. Check out these eight free stock photo resources:

1. Unsplash

A personal favorite of beautiful free stock photos. Most of the shots have brilliant composition. Unsplash is very much a lively community; you can save your favorite photos, as well as artists and companies. I highly recommend!


 

2. Pexels

Thousand of free images to choose from on various subject matter. Search is easy to use and they are supposedly adding up to 100 new images per day and are continually growing their library.


3. PicJumbo

Another comprehensive library of free stock photos, they also sport a photoshop plugin that you can use to automatically fill in photos into placeholders. However, when I searched for ‘husky’, nothing came up. This made me sad. Download process is long and annoying, takes about three clicks to get to the image.


4. Stockvault

Another library of free stock photos, just be careful what you click on. The photos in the white background are the free stock, meanwhile the photos in the dark background are not free.


5. Pixabay

If you want to download anything other than a small version, you do need to pass through an annoying captcha test. If you want to avoid this, you can register with the site.


6. Negative Space

Alas, no husky photos. -1. Download of these free stock photos is simple and straight forward. The shots are nicely composed, however they are lacking in a comprehensive library that many of the others have. Still, it’s a good place to find unique shots at no cost.


7. Gratisography

This free stock library is hilarious. I won’t deduct points for not having any husky photos, only because these photography options are strangely unique. If you’ve been around the advertising block and/or are a traditional ‘mad men’, you’ll remember these types of shots in many of your stock photography catalogs. Remember those?


8. Magdeleine

Ability to sort through photos based on color! I love that option. No huskies to speak of, so here’s a cupcake instead.


6. New Old Stock

Vintage free stock photos. Because sometimes you need something old. There’s other places like Free Historical Image Stock from Ancestry Images — this site is more comprehensive but takes digging to find what you’re looking for.


7. LibreStock

This is more of a service to find free stock photos from some of the sources mentioned above. Type in your query and the images will take you directly to the download page for each site.


8. Creative Commons Search

This searches through Flickr, Google, etc. Simply type a query and hit a search engine and pound that return key!