Where does work happen? For the knowledge worker, the answer is typically “at the office.” However, as technology has made us more connected and allows us to collaborate on projects from different locations, “home” has become an option for many. The topic of working from home versus working at the office has been in the headlines recently as Yahoo! CEO, Marissa Mayer, put an to end the work-from-home program and insists that people come to the office.
In this TEDx Talk, Jason Fried makes the case that the office is the worst place to actually do work. As you listen to his argument, see how many of the bad practices he highlights are alive and well where you work.
Fried’s talk centers around the interruptive culture in most offices. Working from somewhere else eliminates them.
On the other hand, when we are in the same location and looking eyeball-to-eyeball, we can hold each other accountable. We can bounce ideas off of each other. We can validate the old saying “Two heads are better than one.” How many times have the best and most creative ideas happened when you and someone else were communicating in a face-to-face setting? How often has the motivation to move forward come as a result of human contact?
I found Fried’s talk to be filled with points that accurately describe the culture in so many offices. It’s a talk to watch again and again as we remind ourselves that smart people often do things which inhibit productivity.
If we value the other peoples’ time and structure practices which demonstrate that respect, we really can get work done “at work.”