Theory On Unproductive Work Spaces Justifying Laziness?

Sure, most people have endured the annoying co-worker or a day full of meetings, but is the office really the worst place to work? According to Jason Fried the co-author of “Rework,” the modern day work space (or what he calls the interruption factory) doesn’t necessary encourage a high level of productivity. He explains in his lecture:

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?

I have experienced full-time work days at home and in-house, and call me crazy, but I personally prefer working in an office. I must admit that working at home has it’s benefits when it comes to wearing pj’s or sweats all day and saving money at lunch time, but working at an office offers a priceless sense of comradeship. Productivity should come from within, and we should be able to properly allocate our time between meetings, office talks, or casual Friday’s.

Fried’s speech sounds like a real life version of the movie “Office Space.” He advises people to try passive forms of communication, skip some work meetings, and launch no-talk Thursdays. Is his theory justifying laziness or boosting productivity?

My answer is don’t try this at work.

Source: CNN


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One thought on “Theory On Unproductive Work Spaces Justifying Laziness?

  1. This guy is full of shit and doesn’t deserve his spot on TED. A lot of his points rely on the same assumptions that are used in arguments that claim that there is a perfect form of government. Everything is ideal and assuming that everyone wants to work. In the sense that people want to have a job yes, they want to work. However, let’s be honest, most people would rather chill the fuck out even if it means the day goes by slower. Not to mention that he never really specifically retorts any of the current arguments or methods of work. He just claims they are wrong, and we’re supposed to assume that everything about them is wrong.

    And one of his revolutionary solutions is IM? Really? As if this wasn’t existent as one of the most prominent forms of communication in the workplace already. Also, No-Talk-Thursdays? So apparently the only time people will get shit done is when they are restricted from talking…”What is this, China!?” Everything is just over simplified.

    For instances, his argument against meetings. He claims that since meetings take up time, they should be abolished. I’m sorry but most of the work meetings I’ve had are a necessity. Ideas flow more freely when they can be described in every possible medium (verbal, text, visual, etc). It depends on how the meeting is conducted, not whether it exists or not. In my sector of IBM, meetings are conducted very efficiently and most definitely increased productivity. When there are large amounts of near-identical looking data and concepts, it’s easier to take one second to point and verbally describe, than trying to guide 5 other people through IM chat room. Any ambiguities can easily be resolved when you have more tools of description available.

    This guy has no data, nor experience to provide this kind of insight. He started one Web Application company in 1999. Ten years of experience, running a successful “hot field” business doesn’t mean you know shit about the workplace. He’s new, found some success and now thinks he can over simplify issues at the workplace. ‘People aren’t working in the office? The office is the problem,’ ‘Conventional meetings aren’t efficient? Oh the problem is meetings themselves,’ ‘People talking at work is taking up time? No more talking.’ His ideas are less rational than removing facebook from the workplace. He never retorts specific arguments or methods, he just claims it’s all bad. Sure, he’s a great talker, but he doesn’t have shit to say. I have so much more dirt on his argument, but this comment is already longer than the post.

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