Office Hours: Good or Bad (for a startup)

As an owner of a small startup operation, I get the pleasure of working half-days. The only problem is deciding which 12 hours of the half-day I want to work. Weekends are the days where I can get s*#t done without getting sidetracked. Sound like you? If so you probably share my dilemma about setting office hours.

In a theoretical office, everyone in the building would have my work ethic cloned. If I could find a way to put this behavior into the coffee, I would. The core problem is making a decision to manage my results or manage by results and force office hours. Recently someone said my office was like a dorm room. (Which is pretty cool BTW) I want my office to be open and free of the big business cubes and BS that comes along with it. However I’ve noticed that Massimo (my business partner) and I have had to spend more time cracking the whip with staff to get stuff done.

For example, one of our crew members recently quit due to the “work/life balance.” I later found out that this person was actively running a side business. Well no wonder there was a problem!

As an entrepreneur I get it, but when I was 22 working at Numark, I busted my ass working doing whatever it took to get the job done. I had pride in my products and making a good mark for my resume and my company. I still have a tremendous amount of respect for Numark and the ION Audio guys. I chalk this behavior up to work ethic,knowing my job, and having the tools to get it done.

At Livio, I make sure that everyone knows their role (it’s printed out on their wall) and everyone has all the tools to get their job done (every week in a quick weekly report there is a section called “Things I need help with”)

So… I’m still on the fence to set office hours from 9-530 or to keep things how they are now (currently work times are flexible with core hours from 10-4.) I’m more inclined to keep my style, and if it doesn’t work for someone in the crew, well, it’s a free country and they can work somewhere else.