Netflix CEO Reed Hastings runs one of the hottest companies in the world, which will spend $6 billion on TV shows and movies this year — but he doesn't even have his own office, and does most of his work using just a smartphone.
The reason isn't a nod toward egalitarianism, or a need to feel in the midst of his employees, but rather that he simply doesn't need an office, or often even a laptop.
"Probably about 2008 is when I gave up my cubicle, because I didn't have to sign papers," Hastings said on Reid Hoffman's podcast "Masters of Scale." Hastings said that by 2008 Netflix was mostly using DocuSign, and his need for physical papers, and an office, went away.
“I found I was rarely using my cubicle, and I just had no need for it. It is better for me to be meeting people all around the building,” Hastings told The New York Times last year.
"My laptop is my office," Hastings continued on Hoffman's podcast. But even that is changing. "I carry my laptop and even some days I can do just phone, no laptop now, I'm emerging that way," Hastings said.
Hastings also shared that in 2005, when Netflix was a DVD-by-mail company and only operated in the US, he spent a year living half the time in Rome with his family. He explained that he had kept postponing an "international year" with his children, and then decided to just bite the bullet and do it.
He spent the year living two weeks in Rome, then two weeks in California. He said it was a challenging year in some ways, but made the company more disciplined.
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