According to Jason Fried, the modern office is not a place to get work done. It’s simply an ‘interruption factory’.
Well, ain’t that the truth! It’s Deb here, the Founder of Remote Work Hub and I wanted to share a few words with you on this topic.
I started my first business from home, building websites for small businesses, and after 12 months moved into a modern, open-plan workspace within a serviced office building in Sydney, Australia. At that stage, I employed 5 people (some office bound, some offshore) and I was paying a few thousand Aussie dollars per month in rent. Money well spent, I thought.
The office complex had a lovely modern foyer, trendy artwork on the walls, great coffee machine, and comfortable breakout area. Overall, it was an attractive place to come to work each day. Plus, it provided the opportunity to socialise with people from the other companies and share business tips while waiting for the coffee to grind. That part I really enjoyed.
But there was one problem: I found it difficult to focus and get work done when I was in the office. My days were full of constant interruptions. With the open-office layout it was hard to completely switch off from the typical office noisiness – a colleague’s phone conversation, general chit chat, the ping of an instant message. And as the boss, it didn’t feel right to sit there with headphones on all day.
If there was something important I needed to focus on, it was near impossible. I was often leaving those tasks that required deep thought until I got home – which meant that most evenings I found myself burning the midnight oil – eight thirty to midnight became my most productive time of day.
Kind of ironic really, I paid for this wonderful office space so my team could come together to ‘work’ and yet getting work done there wasn’t easy. This is actually very common.
Jason Fried, the Founder of Basecamp and co-author of Amazon’s #1 best-selling book, Remote: Office Not Required, strongly believes the modern office is not a place for actual work. He calls it an interruption factory and simulates it to a food processor; chopping your day into tiny bits.
Jason spoke about this very problem during his TEDx talk, “Why Work Doesn’t Happen At Work” back in 2010. It’s interesting to hear his point of view – watch the full video below.
What are your thoughts? Where do you find you can work most productively? Leave a comment below.