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4 reasons to ditch the corner office

(MoneyWatch) You worked hard to get to the top -- and score the private corner office that comes with it. But now that you're leading a large team, are you sure you want to sequester yourself in the room with the nice windows?

New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg famously works in the middle of everyone else in the city government's "bullpen," and other leaders say there are plenty of reasons to ditch the corner digs. "I want to be in the middle, talking to the team about what's going on in real time," says Ted Devine, CEO of Insureon, a startup that focuses on insurance for the small- and micro-business market.

Devine spent 12 years at McKinsey, the management consulting company. "I got ingrained in this with the way McKinsey operates, which is not in an office," he says. "You're with the team constantly," and with that constant contact comes "free flowing ideas."

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Other reasons to emerge from your cave:

1. You're not insecure. If you're the boss, everyone knows it. Why do you need a special office to show you're in charge?

2. You want people to talk to you. If team members have to queue up outside your office and check in with a receptionist to see you, many won't bother. Which is fine, except if that little thing they don't want to bother you about -- say, a customer complaint that turns out to be about a major product flaw -- becomes a big deal.

3. You want to work fast. If your entire executive team is working within 20 feet of each other, decisions can get made just by shouting and getting a thumbs up.

4. You have other options for privacy. They're called conference rooms. Devine retreats to one two or three times per day "just to think or have a private meeting," he says. The rest of the time? "I want to be in the mix."

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Jordan Davis
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