Why Your Desk Is Bad For Your Business

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I’ve met many business owners who love their desk.

It’s a emonument to their level of importance – a status symbol even. The bigger, more complex the desk, the more important and confident they feel.

It gives them a place to feel secure and feel in control.

A desk is where a lot of ’10-cent’ activities occur, if you you read my last Blog you’ll know what I’m talking about…if you didn’t then head back and have a read and then come back and join us…

Business owners can end up doing things which they know they can do, but are not really of any growth value to the business.

A desk is a great place to check emails, respond to emails, browse the web for hours looking for things, pile up physical mail, documents, brochures and folders.

It’s also a great place to procrastinate, where ‘knee-jerk reaction’ things get done, while important things pile up.

A desk is bad for business…. It’s not for you.

As a business owner you were never meant to have a desk.

Desks are for tacticians who implement your strategies and even then, I would encourage them to use a stand-up desk instead.

A desk deteriorates your postural muscles. It’s great for creating a sore neck, a curved back and slouching shoulders.

It slows down activity, and it stifles creativity. Research has shown that your chance of an early death increases if you sit at a desk for very long periods.

So what do I use instead of a desk?…it depends.

If I am with a group of people working on a project, we go to a large enough table where we can lay out things and brainstorm. It doesn’t have to be in an office. I prefer non-business settings, like a café, a home dining room or a picnic area.

It shifts everyone’s creativity and energy levels.

If I am working on a project alone, like I am right now…. writing this Blog, then I use a stand-up desk.

I have my Red Day® Book with me (my personal and business project management system), a pen, my laptop and a 90 minute timer to make sure I don’t work longer than 90 minutes in any given period.

With a stand-up desk, I am able to move around freely – I can think and move, stretch, twist and activate my core muscles to keep me upright and balanced.

Have you noticed that when you are stuck on a problem, often just a short walk will help you get an answer?

I’m blessed to live on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Queensland and some of my best ideas and innovations come on my morning walk along Mooloolaba beach.

We’re meant to think while we are moving. It’s very hard to move while sitting at a desk. It’s very hard to come up with solutions to your business problems sitting at a desk.

You have to try it. It looks strange at first to outsiders, but I can honestly say that it has helped me dramatically reduce my back pain and get so much more quality work done.

I don’t have any in-trays, no cabinets, no paper lying around – nothing but what I mentioned earlier. And here is the beauty of it all: when I’m done with my project, I close everything up and leave a totally clean and empty room. It’s therapeutic to the mind to have that visual cleanliness.

It’s also a great confidence builder to know that you are not bound to a desk for your results.

One of the most valuable activities you can do as a business owner and sales professional is to build relationships with people. High quality relationships are not built around a desk.

Try this: Identify the biggest 20% of the relationships you have in your business and go out there and talk to them. Get rid of your desk for 14 days and do just that.

Connect up with your top clients/prospects/centres of influence and see what comes of it. I assure you, you’ll get rid of your desk in an instant on the 15th day.

My accountant did just that, except he didn’t wait until the 15th day. He did it on the first day he heard about this lesson.

It’s what I truly admire about him. Many people over-analyse an idea, and they do that as a habit over many things in their business. As a consequence they delay progress. They become their own worst enemies in moving their business forward.

Here’s what my accountant did:

Despite having a schedule full of client appointments the next day, it didn’t stop him from removing his desk, removing all shelving, removing all cabinets and removing all traces of paperwork. All he had left in the room was his trusty whiteboard on the wall and four chairs.

No desk.

He went into his first client meeting a bit apprehensive about how it would be perceived by his clients.

At first glance I am sure his clients might have thought that he was finding business tough and was selling everything.

Once they got over the shock of their accountant not having a desk to talk over and he had explained the changes, they actually relaxed and opened up to him a lot more than they ever did previously.

The desk barrier was gone.

But more importantly, his clients now see their accountant as part of their team, brainstorming solutions together in an open environment – not an ‘us vs. them’ desk mentality.

Has this strategy worked for my accountant?

Well, let me share this much with you without embarrassing him. He has restructured his business so that he doesn’t have to work more than 15 hours a week in it. He has been featured in our prestigious business magazine called ‘Business Review Weekly’ twice for his successes in the accountancy industry and has become a self made multi-millionaire.

So where’s your desk going?

Our way of doing things is unique and it’s why it produces unique results for our clients…

We would love the opportunity to help you clear your head on what is the right way for you to accelerate your business… 

We highly recommend you watch this step-by-step case study of how we grew Beefy’s Pies into a Famous Aussie Icon from a small stressed out bakery into a family owned chain. Click here to get all the insights into their success…

Or if you have heard enough about how we work with our small business owners, then let’s have an off the record chat about your current situation and see what we can do to immediately guide you…click this link to see what time best suits you.

P.S. Ask if our Boardroom Program intake is open for enrolments…It works best for business owners who see the benefit of having us on as their ‘external partner’ so that they are not alone in the day to day decisions of their business. 


About the Author:

Wayne Hutcheson is a Coach of the highly regarded Grow Business Grow Boardroom Program. He works closely with a hand full of clients to help them achieve growth in their business and to enjoy 'guilt-free' time away from their business without it affecting their profitability.
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