Daymond John: Get Out of Your Office and Into the Mix

The 'Shark Tank' star shares why it is so important to break down the office walls to open up the communication flow.
Daymond John: Get Out of Your Office and Into the Mix
Image credit: Blueprint + Co
Magazine Contributor
3 min read

This story appears in the July 2017 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Throughout my career, I worked in a traditional workspace. My company had an office, and I had a private office inside it. But when I started seeing incubators -- with everyone at a company, from the top to the bottom, out in the open communicating and collaborating -- I said, “Wow, that’s a much better idea.” When everyone’s behind their closed doors, things are lost in translation. So about two years ago, I moved my staff into an open floor plan, with me dead in the middle. Then this spring, I made an even larger change. I opened a co-working space for executives and larger corporations called Blueprint + Co., and moved my staff into it. Now there are no boundaries between my team and others, including staff from , Ashley Stewart, The Honest Company and Shopify.

Related: 6 Steps for Creating a Strong Company Culture

That’s why I’m not just advocating for the open office anymore. I’m now advocating for no single, enclosed company office at all. (The exceptions: legal, HR and finance departments, which need walls to contain sensitive discussions and material.) Companies do themselves a disservice by walling off their employees. Traditional offices were designed to house all our bulky fax machines, scanners, phones and other equipment. Now everything is digital; you walk around with a computer in your pocket, and you barely need anything else. And that should free us up to think differently about how and where we work. I now believe a company is only as innovative as its workspace. I see giant corporations desperately asking people like me to come speak to their staff about , but innovation won’t actually happen at these places because the old guard are stuck in their corporate offices. They can’t see what’s going on beyond their own walls. Fifteen years can go by without them learning anything new. 

Related: How Startups Are Building Strong Office Cultures

Some larger businesses are finally coming around to this. If a company has a team in , say, housing those people in a space, rather than renting some satellite office, makes much more sense. First off, getting private space means dealing with and infrastructure -- a waste of time and . But more important, those people will learn from and be inspired by the companies they work alongside, and create collaborations that neither of them would have developed otherwise. I see it with my own staff, who mix and brainstorm with others. I see deals made in the kitchen. There’s no more “Have your people call my people.” Instead, it’s just a matter of walking 20 feet -- immediate communication and immediate follow-up, which maximizes everyone’s time.

loading...
More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors will guide you through the entire franchising process, for FREE!
  1. Book a one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Take a survey about your needs & goals
  3. Find your ideal franchise
  4. Learn about that franchise
  5. Meet the franchisor
  6. Receive the best business resources

Book Sale - Save 60%!


Through 6/20/21, save on our collection of recommended side hustle and Start Your Own books, including:

  • Start Your Own eBay Business
  • Start Your Own Business
  • Start Your Own Etsy Business
  • And more

Use code SIDEHUSTLE2021 to claim your savings!

Discover a better way to hire freelancers. From business to marketing, sales, finance, design, technology, and more, we have the freelancers you need to tackle your most important work and projects, on-demand.

Latest on Entrepreneur