A recent CNN Opinion article by Jason Fried explains why the office may be the worst place to work.
Why? Well, according to Fried, “The modern office has become an interruption factory. You can’t get work done at work anymore. When people walk into the office, they trade their work day in for a series of work moments.”
When you’re in the office you’re lucky to have 30 minutes to yourself. Usually you get in, there’s a meeting, then there’s a call, then someone calls you over to their desk, or your manager comes over to see what you’re doing. These interruptions chunk your day into smaller and smaller bits. Fifteen minutes here, 30 minutes there, another 15 minutes before lunch, then an afternoon meeting, etc. When are you supposed to get work done if you don’t have any time to work?
Fried explains that work is a “process,” that you don’t just begin working effectively as soon as you sit at your desk, but you have to get into a “groove” first. He compares this process to sleep: “I don’t think anyone would expect someone to get a good night’s sleep if they were interrupted all night long. So why do we expect people to get a good day’s work if they are interrupted all day long?”
Fried offers some suggestions for limiting interruptions in the office; “No-Talk Thursdays,” passive rather than active communication (i.e. e-mail rather than face-to-face), and canceling your next meeting (“Life will go on.”).
Do you agree? Where is the best place to get work done effectively?