Do we have to work at work?

old streetDuring TEDxMidwest Jason Fried talks about ‘why work doesn’t happen at work’

Did you ever wonder what is the best place for you to be able to concentrate and do your job? is it really your office? or maybe you can concentrate sitting on your porch or at the library? where is the best place for YOU?
The other question is: how you are concentrating during your work?

According to Jason Fried (and researches he mentioned about) we can divide place into 3 categories when we ask people where do they like to work if they need to make things done:

  1. place/location: porch, kitchen, coffee shop, library
  2. moving object: train, plain, car
  3. time: early in the morning/late at night/etc.

NOT too many people will tell you that’s the OFFICE. So why we need to stay at the office for 8/9/10h per day?
How much money employer pays for the great office (rent, equipment, etc.) and people – don’t really want to work there…but when they are in their ‘favorite places’ they will work better/faster creating new ideas.

Can you stop for a moment and try to think about your day at the office:

  • how many tasks you were able to finish?
  • how many people interrupt while you were working?
  • how many emails/phone-calls you checked/answered before you got back to your planned tasks?

ok, and now think about this scenario:

  • you are at your favorite place you like to work in
  • imagine that you have more than 15min. to stop and think on your task. That you can sit down or walk if you want to and think and be able to think how to accomplish your project

ok ok ok I understand that some jobs required your presents at the office…I get that. What about all those jobs where you really don’t need to be every day at the office, that you can go to the office like twice a week and rest of the time be able to spend where you want to and get your job done!

ohhh I know! now you might ask – and how about our bosses? your supervisor is not able to check what you are doing – and we both know that YOU SHOULD WORK. The thing is that even with all of those external factors like social media application (which we know you will use at your home, you are already using that at the office) – you will work better outside of your office.
Just wonder how much work you were able to get done when you were very early at the office – when nobody was able to interrupt you? A lot right?! so isn’t true that sitting somewhere else (not at the office) you will be able to do a lot of work….choosing your own pace, choosing your own distractions (breaks, social media apps, etc.).

I really like how Jason compare all social media apps to smoke break! I agree in 100% employees are allowed to have a smoke break but not allowed to use social media websites at the office. WHY? What is wrong in using Twitter or Facebook instead having a smoke break?
Jason used a term ‘M&M’ – for Managers and Meetings – that those two are the biggest problems in modern office work. Because of those two many things are not done on time at the office.

The advice Jason gives us is to create something like 1 day or 1/2 day once a week/month – ‘quiet time’, time when employees won’t talk to each other. Do the test, try it once and see how many more things you will be able to get done during that day.

check Jason’s TEDtalk video

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Jason Fried is the co-founder and president of 37signals , a Chicago-based company that builds web-based productivity tools that, in their words, “do less than the competition — intentionally.” 37signals’ simple but powerful collaboration tools include Basecamp, Highrise, Backpack, Campfire, Ta-da List, and Writeboard. 37signals also developed and open-sourced the Ruby on Rails programming framework.

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