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The Worst Place to Work

Thursday, January 13, 2011 by Slaughter Development

We think of the office as where we work. Yet if you really want to focus on crucial tasks, heading to our desks during regular business hours is a terrible idea.

That’s the premise of a recent opinion piece on, Why the office is the worst place to work. The full article, by entrepreneur and speaker Jason Fried, includes gems such as the following:

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?

In fact, Fried has summarized his entire thesis in two simple, profound sentences:

The modern office has become an interruption factory. You can’t get work done at work anymore.

There are all kinds of suggestions in the article for making the workplace somewhere you can actually be productive. Fried promotes everything from skipping meetings to having days where no one is allowed to talk to each other. These might sound like radical ideas, but the problem is so profound that crazy might just be needed. Work is, in fact, a place where you can’t get much work accomplished!

Here at The Methodology Blog, we’ve covered the irony of workspaces many times before. If you want more productivity, give employees more freedom over the manner, place and time they conduct their work. Some will abuse the privilege, but most will take to the skies.

Learn more about how workspaces impact efficiency, effectiveness and satisfaction. Contact Slaughter Development today!

Thanks to reader Eric Marasco of Proforma Distinctive Marketing for the idea for this post.

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Like this post? Here are some related entries from The Methodology Blog you might enjoy:

Remote Work Week - This week, The Methodology Blog at Slaughter Development will be covering the latest perspectives on  working remotely. Read on »
The Worst Possible Decision - Sometimes, it’s hard to evaluate which choice is the best for your business. But it’s clear that one is always the worst: dismissing an employee. Read on »
Disenchanted At Work - Peter is a talented graphic designer at a mid-sized marketing firm in Chicago.  And despite his well-known reputation for innovative ideas in the office, his motivation at work has fallen drastically. Interestingly enough, it’s not the financial praise and appreciation (or lack thereof) that has him down. Read on »
Want to learn more? Register now for the 2011 Productivity Series

2 Responses to “The Worst Place to Work”

  1. Tristan Says:

    100% agreed. I’ve implemented some of the steps he recommends, and always find my productivity increasing - but decreasing when interruptions happen.

    Fried also has a TED speech here:

  2. Robby Slaughter Says:

    Thanks for the comment, Tristan! Thank you as well for the link to Fried’s TED speech.

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