I have worked in small offices for all of my professional years — from when I started interning as a college junior up until now. I personally prefer the smaller environment, but I can assure you, it’s not for everyone. Whereas there are many pros, there are also many cons. Yes, you will find good and bad in any working environment, but obviously these differences vary.
You get your feet wet in different fields.
Yes, I work and specialize in communications, but in a small office, it’s all hands on deck. If someone in another department needs help, you bet I’m there working on it. I personally love this as my work each day is never the same — it doesn’t get mundane. Plus, I get experience and knowledge even outside of my field, which can help better me in the future.
Everyone knows each other…
The CEO knows me by name. I work directly alongside the Director of Communications. By everyone knowing each other, you develop relationships with higher-ups that you may not develop if you were in large companies. I have many friends who have never met their CEO, meanwhile I speak to mine almost daily.
…which can lead to drama and gossip.
If two people get into a disagreement, you bet the entire office knows about it. This happens in any small environment, but of course it’s a bit tricky when it’s your professional working environment. Just don’t get involved in things that are going on between others, and focus on your own personal work and development.
Your work is recognized.
The CEO and the Directors know what work or projects you completed. Your name is attached and associated with them. People are aware of what you contribute, especially those higher-ups. In fact, in some cases where applicable, even the Board of Directors will know your work and contributions as well.
You have more responsibility.
As there’s only a small amount of people to get work done, you’re given more responsibility. No one has time to look over your shoulder and watch what you do, or tell you what to do, as they have to get their own work done. You need to be a go-getter and a self-starter/motivator if you work in a small office.
Have you worked in a small office? What was your experience like?