How to turn your phone into your office, just like Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings

Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings runs a global platform that generates more than US$6 billion ($8.1 billion) a year and he does this all without his own office.

According to the New York Times, Hastings often holds his meetings at the cafeteria of Netflix’s headquarters and the majority of his work is conducted on his mobile phone.

“My office is my phone,” Hastings told NY Times.

“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 epitomises the new age of business where traditional processes, systems and workspaces are quickly evolving as our lives become more and more concentrated on mobile devices.

With the abundance of new apps and tech emerging, the ability for small, ambitious entrepreneurs to operate effectively on a mobile phone is becoming more and more feasible.

Geeks2U head of technology Anthony Hill says small business owners with limited staff requirements can operate on mobile very well with the right apps in place.

“Unless you’ve got to have face-to-face meetings with clients coming in, there’s really no need to run an office,” he told SmartCompany.

Choosing the right apps, tech and systems to make your phone your office really comes down to what your business needs.

“It depends a lot on the business and what their requirements are,” Hill says.

If it’s an online business, apps that link up with content management platforms such as WordPress are a great tool.

“There are a lot of ways of controlling and managing a website with apps,” he says.

“You can actually get apps to install, manage and run content.”

Install the basics

But Hill says there are some core components your mobile should have if you’re planning to use it to manage your business, starting with basic communication and documentation.

Hill says basic email apps like Outlook or Gmail are critical.

Google and Office apps suites can easily replace the need for office hardware, says Hill.

Make payments possible

For payments, Hill says platforms such as Square, which enable users to process payments with a device that attaches to their mobile phone and reads card chips, are helping mobile business owners operate anywhere.

He adds that DropBox or Google Drive are useful for synchronising documents, while newer apps with spreadsheet template technology, such as Invoice2Go, can help with quotes or invoices.

“There are a number of different options,” he says.

Get apps that work for you

The Entrepreneur Social Club founder Jessica Williams operates her networking events business without an office.

She likes to mix things up working from home and co-working spaces and told SmartCompany her favourite mobile app is Airtasker.

“It allows me to outsource low value tasks so I can  free up my time for high value tasks,” she says.

“It’s also a cheaper option than hiring staff.”

Have you got a mobile app you love for your business? Tell us in the comments.


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Leopard Group
Leopard Group
5 years ago

Mobile phone and laptop is all you need. A place to sit can be anywhere and everywhere.