Do you hate your office? You should. It makes no sense that employees spend their full workweek slaving away in an office.
This is the sentiment of Jason Fried, who has a radical theory of working: that the office isn't a good place to do it. At TEDxMidwest he laid out the main problems and offered three suggestions to make work work.
And he's not alone in his thinking. Dr. Marla Gottschalk, an organizational psychologist and management consultant, wholeheartedly agrees.
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"I'm not sure when it became set in stone that we spend our entire work week at a desk in an office," she writes. "It seems to be yet another example of an antiquated workplace law that needs to be repealed, or at the very least overhauled."
Offices are a great place to organize your files and hang your coat. However, as others have expressed over the years, I am not convinced that the lion's share of "thinking productively" consistently happens there. As they are currently configured, I suppose offices suffice as a home address, when people need to actually locate you. However, how offices function as a tool for enhancing our capabilities and completing our best work - every day of the week - year round, is unclear.
She identifies the following problems:
1. "Spending time in the same office, day in and day out, isn't the best recipe for success."
2. "The amount of time employees spend getting to their designated office is significant - and bears heavily on their well being."
3. "I have visited office spaces that were shockingly depressing. Nothing in these spaces was conducive to either creativity, or work for that matter - and that is not going to propel us forward."
4. "The penchant for endless, useless meetings remains a huge offender."
5. "I hear descriptions of days at the office that sound more like a 'fight for time' than a work environment."
6. "Ideas occur 24/7 - not from 9 to 5. Not everyone has their most productive moments during traditional office hours. Many do their best work at odd hours of the day."
7. "Office politics - Need I say more? We'd all like a little less of this."
Most offices suffer from at least a few, if not all, of these afflictions. The good news? They're all preventable - assuming your managers are willing to embrace a new age of working.
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