Almost all of us have been to the office i.e the building where we go in and do work. But how many of us actually do the work we want to do in the office. Better yet answer the question “Where do you go when you want to work?” surprisingly most people we know off will not say the office. They will either point to a location or a time of day.
In this scenario are offices are really the right place for us to work? This question not only has sociological impacts but also economic impacts as well because operationally after human resource costs, real estate costs come in a close second for most companies and offices are nothing but that real estate.
In offices, people do not do meaningful work, they do a series of tasks like conferences and meetings. But in professions like programming, content writers and designers long stretches of uninterrupted time is required to really look at a problem and solve it. But how many of us get 7-8 stretches of uninterrupted time to actually do our work?
And herein lies the problem with Offices. In the video given in the end of this article, Jason Fried has a radical theory of working about how workplaces can actually be places where people work.
According to Jason social media doesn’t stop us from working nor does a smoke break. Please note that social media gets a bad reputation for decreasing worker productivity no major studies (as far as I am aware of) has shown a significant decrease in worker productivity. But please note this is different from time spent in social media by employees during working hours. Studies have shown that whilst people spend more time in social media during work hours than ever before, for most them it is just a mental break and please note that Water coolers and cigarette breaks have been around for a much longer period than Social media. But companies think that it is one of the main reasons why productivity is decreasing and ban these sites in their network
The main culprit as to why today’s offices are not the best places to work is because of Managers and Meetings. Meetings run over schedule and managers interrupt employees for status reports. How can this be improved and workplaces can be the place where people do the best work? Jason offers the below suggestions:
- No Talk days. Block certain parts of a week as a know talk days
- Replace active communication like F2F communication with passive modes like e-mail unless otherwise necessary
- Have fewer or no meetings
If you are interested to know more, watch the video where Jason talks in detail about the topic