Where do YOU go to get work done?

Ask yourself and others the question. You might work at home, at Starbucks, in the pub (we do a lot of that), on the train, the plane (I do a huge amount on flights). When you ask people this question you get a wide range of answers – but rarely do you hear them say “the office”. There might be a few exceptions to this, some folks will get into the office really early, maybe stay late or even come in at the weekend.

What’s the point of offices if most people don’t see them as places to get work done? We used to have an office, a fancy sort of post-industrial revolution mill with art galleries and the like. It was referred to as a creative place … but it was anything but creative. Clocking in at 10am (yes, we had a generous working day) saw folks taking their day and breaking it into tiny 30 minute segments. This framework for the day ultimately goes out the window as people and the office rhythms distract you. I used to look up at around 5pm wondering where by day went and what I did.

Jason Fried, of 37Signals fame, did a lovely TED video at the back-end of 2010. It’s worth 15 minutes of your time, I promise you.

I’ve been inspired by Jason and the team for a good while now, he’s happy to say the unsayable and doesn’t really feel the need to defend his position – he offers a counterpoint to many established business practices and lets you choose.

By Martin Dower

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  • Personally, I beleive that not turning up at an office goes hand-in-hand with not turning up at a time. A past collegue of mine once told me “if your going to be late, it doesn’t matter how late you are”. His point was that if you’re already late by only a few minutes, what’s the extra ten going to make? Rather than rushing, stressing and starting the day unprepared, take that little extra time to make sure you start your day properly.

    Not having an office or fixed working hours removes the stress of commuting and rushing out of the door unprepared. Not only that, you might have already saved a couple hours a day.

    Rather than ask “where do you work”, how about asking “how do you work best”? What are you doing and what environment do you need to best achieve that? If I’m coding away, I can spend hours sat alone (uninterrupted) and when I do look up at the clock rather than have a feeling of ‘where’s the day gone’, I get a more productive feeling of ‘wow that went quick’, the task at hand is complete and I can move on to something else – or head to the pub.

    We knocked meetings on the head some time back, in fact, I can’t actually remember the last time I had a scheduled (toxic) meeting. We do however, make time to meet more often to bat about ideas, collaborate, solve problems and (importantly) socialise.

    So, Where do I go to get work done? Anywhere that has what I need for what I need to do – and so far this year, that’s not been an office.