Why work doesn’t happen at work | Jason Fried


So I’m going to talk about work; specifically, why people can’t
seem to get work done at work, which is a problem we all kind of have. But let’s sort of start at the beginning. So, we have companies
and non-profits and charities and all these groups that have
employees or volunteers of some sort. And they expect these people
who work for them to do great work — I would hope, at least. At least good work, hopefully,
at least it’s good work — hopefully great work. And so what they typically
do is they decide that all these people need to come
together in one place to do that work. So a company, or a charity,
or an organization of any kind, unless you’re working in Africa,
if you’re really lucky to do that — most people have to go
to an office every day. And so these companies, they build offices. They go out and they buy a building,
or they rent a building, or they lease some space, and they fill this space with stuff. They fill it with tables, or desks, chairs, computer equipment, software, Internet access, maybe a fridge, maybe a few other things, and they expect their employees,
or their volunteers, to come to that location
every day to do great work. It seems like it’s perfectly
reasonable to ask that. However, if you actually talk to people and even question yourself,
and you ask yourself, where do you really want to go when you
really need to get something done? You’ll find out that people don’t say
what businesses think they would say. If you ask people the question: Where do you need to go
when you need to get something done? Typically, you get three different
kinds of answers. One is kind of a place
or a location or a room. Another one is a moving object, and a third is a time. So here are some examples. I’ve been asking people this question
for about 10 years: “Where do you go when you
really need to get something done?” I’ll hear things like, the porch,
the deck, the kitchen. I’ll hear things like
an extra room in the house, the basement, the coffee shop, the library. And then you’ll hear
things like the train, a plane, a car — so, the commute. And then you’ll hear people say, “Well, it doesn’t really
matter where I am, as long as it’s early in the morning
or late at night or on the weekends.” You almost never hear
someone say, “The office.” But businesses are spending all this money
on this place called the office, and they’re making people
go to it all the time, yet people don’t do work in the office. What is that about? (Laughter) Why is that? Why is that happening? And what you find out is, if you dig a little bit deeper,
you find out that people — this is what happens: People go to work, and they’re basically
trading in their work day for a series of “work moments” —
that’s what happens at the office. You don’t have a work day anymore.
You have work moments. It’s like the front door
of the office is like a Cuisinart, and you walk in and your day
is shredded to bits, because you have 15 minutes here,
30 minutes there, and something else happens,
you’re pulled off your work, then you have 20 minutes, then it’s lunch,
then you have something else to do … Then you’ve got 15 minutes, and someone
pulls you aside and asks you a question, and before you know it, it’s 5 p.m., and you look back on the day, and you realize that you
didn’t get anything done. We’ve all been through this. We probably went through it yesterday
or the day before, or the day before that. You look back on your day, and you’re like,
“I got nothing done today. I was at work. I sat at my desk.
I used my expensive computer. I used the software they told me to use. I went to these meetings
I was asked to go to. I did these conference calls.
I did all this stuff. But I didn’t actually do anything. I just did tasks. I didn’t actually get
meaningful work done.” And what you find is that,
especially with creative people — designers, programmers,
writers, engineers, thinkers — that people really need long stretches
of uninterrupted time to get something done. You cannot ask somebody
to be creative in 15 minutes and really think about a problem. You might have a quick idea, but to be in deep thought about a problem
and really consider a problem carefully, you need long stretches
of uninterrupted time. And even though the work day
is typically eight hours, how many people here have ever had
eight hours to themselves at the office? How about seven hours? Six? Five? Four? When’s the last time you had
three hours to yourself at the office? Two hours? One, maybe? Very, very few people actually have long stretches of uninterrupted
time at an office. And this is why people
choose to do work at home, or they might go to the office, but they might go to the office
really early in the day, or late at night when no one’s around, or they stick around
after everyone’s left, or go in on the weekends, or they get work done on the plane,
in the car or in the train, because there are no distractions. Now there are different
kinds of distractions, but not the really bad distractions,
which I’ll talk about in a minute. And this whole phenomenon of having
short bursts of time to get things done reminds me of another thing
that doesn’t work when you’re interrupted, and that is sleep. I think that sleep and work
are very closely related — not because you can work while you’re
sleeping and sleep while you’re working. That’s not really what I mean. I’m talking specifically about the fact
that sleep and work are phase-based, or stage-based, events. Sleep is about sleep phases, or stages —
some people call them different things. There are five of them, and in order
to get to the really deep ones, the meaningful ones,
you have to go through the early ones. If you’re interrupted while you’re
going through the early ones — if someone bumps you in bed,
or there’s a sound, or whatever happens — you don’t just pick up where you left off. If you’re interrupted and woken up, you have to start again. So you have to go back
a few phases and start again. And what ends up happening —
you might have days like this where you wake up at eight or seven
in the morning, or whenever you get up, and you’re like,
“I didn’t sleep very well. I did the sleep thing —
I went to bed, I laid down, but I didn’t really sleep.” People say you go “to” sleep, but you don’t go to sleep,
you go towards sleep; it takes a while. You’ve got to go through phases and stuff, and if you’re interrupted,
you don’t sleep well. So does anyone here
expect someone to sleep well if they’re interrupted all night? I don’t think anyone would say yes. Why do we expect people to work well if they’re being interrupted
all day at the office? How can we possibly expect
people to do their job if they go to the office
and are interrupted? That doesn’t really seem
like it makes a lot of sense, to me. So what are the interruptions that happen
at the office but not at other places? Because in other places, you can have
interruptions like the TV, or you could go for a walk,
or there’s a fridge downstairs, or you’ve got your own couch,
or whatever you want to do. If you talk to certain managers,
they’ll tell you that they don’t want
their employees to work at home because of these distractions. They’ll sometimes also say, “If I can’t see the person,
how do I know they’re working?” which is ridiculous, but that’s one
of the excuses that managers give. And I’m one of these managers.
I understand. I know how this goes. We all have to improve
on this sort of thing. But oftentimes they’ll cite distractions: “I can’t let someone work at home. They’ll watch TV, or do this other thing.” It turns out those aren’t
the things that are distracting, Because those are voluntary distractions. You decide when you want
to be distracted by the TV, when you want to turn something on, or when you want to go
downstairs or go for a walk. At the office, most of the interruptions and distractions that really cause people not
to get work done are involuntary. So let’s go through a couple of those. Now, managers and bosses
will often have you think that the real distractions at work are things like Facebook and Twitter and YouTube and other websites, and in fact, they’ll go so far
as to actually ban these sites at work. Some of you may work at places
where you can’t get to certain sites. I mean, is this China?
What the hell is going on here? You can’t go to a website at work,
and that’s the problem? That’s why people aren’t
getting work done, because they’re on Facebook and Twitter? That’s kind of ridiculous.
It’s a total decoy. Today’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube, these things are just
modern-day smoke breaks. No one cared about letting people take
a smoke break for 15 minutes 10 years ago, so why does anyone care
if someone goes to Facebook or Twitter or YouTube here and there? Those aren’t the real
problems in the office. The real problems are
what I like to call the M&Ms, the Managers and the Meetings. Those are the real problems
in the modern office today. And this is why
things don’t get done at work, it’s because of the M&Ms. Now what’s interesting is, if you listen to all the places
that people talk about doing work, like at home, in the car, on a plane,
late at night, or early in the morning, you don’t find managers and meetings. You find a lot of other distractions,
but not managers and meetings. So these are the things
that you don’t find elsewhere, but you do find at the office. And managers are basically people
whose job it is to interrupt people. That’s pretty much what managers are for.
They’re for interrupting people. They don’t really do the work, so they
make sure everyone else is doing work, which is an interruption. We have lots of managers in the world now,
and a lot of people in the world, and a lot of interruptions
by these managers. They have to check in:
“Hey, how’s it going? Show me what’s up.” This sort of thing. They keep interrupting you
at the wrong time, while you’re actually trying to do
something they’re paying you to do, they tend to interrupt you. That’s kind of bad. But what’s even worse is the thing
that managers do most of all, which is call meetings. And meetings are just toxic, terrible, poisonous things during the day at work. (Laughter) We all know this to be true, and you would never see a spontaneous
meeting called by employees. It doesn’t work that way. The manager calls the meeting so the employees can all come together, and it’s an incredibly disruptive
thing to do to people — to say, “Hey look, we’re going to bring 10 people
together right now and have a meeting. I don’t care what you’re doing, you’ve got to stop doing it,
so you can have this meeting.” I mean, what are the chances
that all 10 people are ready to stop? What if they’re thinking about something
important, or doing important work? All of a sudden you tell them they have
to stop doing that to do something else. So they go into a meeting room,
they get together, and they talk about stuff
that doesn’t really matter, usually. Because meetings aren’t work. Meetings are places to go
to talk about things you’re supposed to be doing later. But meetings also procreate. So one meeting tends
to lead to another meeting, which leads to another meeting. There’s often too many people
in the meetings, and they’re very, very expensive
to the organization. Companies often think of a one-hour
meeting as a one-hour meeting, but that’s not true,
unless there’s only one person. If there are 10 people, it’s a 10-hour
meeting, not a one-hour meeting. It’s 10 hours of productivity taken
from the rest of the organization to have this one-hour meeting,
which probably should have been handled by two or three people
talking for a few minutes. But instead, there’s a long
scheduled meeting, because meetings are scheduled
the way software works, which is in increments of 15 minutes,
or 30 minutes, or an hour. You don’t schedule an eight-hour meeting
with Outlook; you can’t. You can go 15 minutes or 30 minutes
or 45 minutes or an hour. And so we tend to fill these times up when things should go really quickly. So meetings and managers are
two major problems in businesses today, especially at offices. These things don’t exist
outside of the office. So I have some suggestions
to remedy the situation. What can managers do — enlightened managers, hopefully — what can they do to make the office
a better place for people to work, so it’s not the last resort,
but it’s the first resort, so that people start to say, “When I really want to get stuff done,
I go to the office.” Because the offices are well-equipped; everything is there
for them to do the work. But they don’t want to go there right
now, so how do we change that? I have three suggestions
to share with you. I have about three minutes,
so that’ll fit perfectly. We’ve all heard
of the Casual Friday thing. I don’t know if people still do that. But how about “No-talk Thursdays?” (Laughter) Pick one Thursday once a month, and cut it in half, just the afternoon —
I’ll make it easy for you. So just the afternoon, one Thursday. First Thursday of the month,
just the afternoon, nobody in the office
can talk to each other. Just silence, that’s it. And what you’ll find is that a tremendous amount
of work gets done when no one talks to each other. This is when people
actually get stuff done, is when no one’s bothering them
or interrupting them. Giving someone four hours
of uninterrupted time is the best gift you can
give anybody at work. It’s better than a computer, better than a new monitor,
better than new software, or whatever people typically use. Giving them four hours
of quiet time at the office is going to be incredibly valuable. If you try that, I think you’ll agree,
and hopefully you can do it more often. So maybe it’s every other week, or every week, once a week, afternoons no one can talk to each other. That’s something that you’ll find
will really, really work. Another thing you can try, is switching from active
communication and collaboration, which is like face-to-face stuff —
tapping people on the shoulder, saying hi to them, having meetings, and replace that with more
passive models of communication, using things like email
and instant messaging, or collaboration products,
things like that. Now some people might say
email is really distracting, I.M. is really distracting, and these
other things are really distracting, but they’re distracting at a time
of your own choice and your own choosing. You can quit the email app;
you can’t quit your boss. You can quit I.M.; you can’t hide your manager. You can put these things away, and then you can be interrupted
on your own schedule, at your own time, when you’re available,
when you’re ready to go again. Because work, like sleep,
happens in phases. So you’ll be going up, doing some work, and then you’ll come down from that work, and then maybe it’s time
to check that email or I.M. There are very, very few things
that are that urgent, that need to happen, that need
to be answered right this second. So if you’re a manager, start encouraging people to use
more things like I.M. and email and other things that someone can put away and then get back to you
on their own schedule. And the last suggestion I have is that, if you do have a meeting coming up, if you have the power, just cancel it. Just cancel that next meeting. (Laughter) Today’s Friday, usually people
have meetings on Monday. Just don’t have it. I don’t mean move it; I mean just erase it
from memory, it’s gone. And you’ll find out that everything
will be just fine. All these discussions and decisions
you thought you had to make at this one time at 9 a.m. on Monday, just forget about them,
and things will be fine. People will have a more open morning,
they can actually think. You’ll find out all these things
you thought you had to do, you don’t actually have to do. So those are just three quick suggestions
I wanted to give you guys to think about. I hope that some of these ideas
were at least provocative enough for managers and bosses
and business owners and organizers and people
who are in charge of other people, to think about laying off a little bit, and giving people more time
to get work done. I think it’ll all pay off in the end. So, thanks for listening. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Why work doesn’t happen at work | Jason Fried

  1. As an entrepreneur and an independent thinker i completely buy his presentation, and if my office was a group of people like me or him, it would work perfectly. But not all people like their job and hence not everyone wants to "do" any work or apply themselves to it. They need to be told what to do and follow ups are critical, like the guy who you hired to mow the lawn or fix your car. I feel this talk is only applicable to small startups or just senior management in bigger companies, and for people who are extremely motivated and driven. Alas, that's not the world of normal work places.

  2. So true!!!  (I have resorted to wearing workshop ear muffs at my desk to fend off office distractions)

  3. This is really interesting to me because I am a teacher at a cyber school so I actually DO work from home.  And while I do have IM open and email open, as well as access to YouTube and Facebook and all those other "distractions" – they don't actually distract me from doing my job.   Just like Jason states, I may see an IM come in, but I choose when to read and respond.  If I am in the middle of something, I just ignore it, and no one has died yet!  I couldn't help but relate these types of involuntary distractions to a classroom.  While my students work from home and can be set up in a quiet room with little to  no involuntary distractions, students in classrooms are constantly being distracted.  Whether it be by other students, teachers, fire alarms, etc.  It is not a surprise to me that cyber schools such as the one I work at are popping up all over the country.  The ability to be in a comfortable surrounding and work at your own pace without someone looming over your shoulder checking to see what has been completed absolutely changes your productivity!

  4. Thanks Jason for the ideas, even as a one person operation I feel I can implement them to improve my workflow and eventual service that I offer.
    Johnnie Lawson

  5. I agree with him to an extent, but he gives no proof to back up his statements and uses broad strokes to describe everything. 

  6. I gave this a try. I noticed my workers started to wonder around and had frequent hallway social talk.

  7. Some good points but I think it is basically all just stuff people want to believe said in a convincing rhythm like a song so the crowd is like yeah yeah yeah right uh huh In a way Ted talk in general has a kind of hypnosis aspect to it, or public speaking in general uh huh uh huh meetings never accomplish anything at all ever right right 

  8. Most people work in offices?  News to me.  How does one get one of these cushy gigs with such little work?  I, and many others, actually have to work for a living!

  9. I was with you until you slipped in your example, "no talking on Thursday". It would be better to create a completely different work atmosphere such as we see at Google.
     People who like to make and probably already have too many rules will find this as another way to add even more. I have worked around people who like rules and it is a terrible virus.  Many people will feel resentful when controlled if told when they can or cannot speak or have similar laws imposed upon them. It is validating to those who thrive on control. I realize that this is one of many points that you made but I was so alarmed that you slipped that in with the other good points, it is all that I can now remember from your speech.

  10. The irony of having to pause that video 3 times because someone was talking to me.

  11. what my boss said? the fengsui is bad causing we lose money and all employee left.

  12. Does this guy work at a 50 employee startup or something? Some meetings are useless and repetitive, yes…. but most have a purpose and are important.

    Go apply your hippie ways to silicon valley.

  13. It's all about balance. If you create a company where everyone is working remotely, talking passively and avoiding meeting together in the name of productivity, you might have some real issues.

  14. I'm not sure that the premise of answering your emails or instant messages on your own time and when you want to makes complete sense for an organization because when you decide to finally respond maybe the person who generated the IM or email is now onto something else and you're interrupting THEM.  Or, by not responding at the time the question was generated, you are holding up the process for other people who need an answer before THEY can proceed.  And no where did he mention the use of the good old telephone.  I tell people if it's really important and they need a fast answer use instant messenger and if I don't respond —- call me!

  15. Sure, as a patient I would just gladly wait until Dr. John is ready for his Facebook break – rather than push him into having a meeting about my urgent surgery. Just get back to reality, Mr. Fried.

  16. Jason Fried hit the nail right on the head. So much of my work used to be done to and from work with no-one disturbing me. A meeting culture can be very counter-productive. The M&Ms are so frustrating for most employee's. I also like the idea of testing the idea of not talking for a full day.

  17. honestly my company is like what he said, everyone is so quiet and keep focus on their own job, well, most of them, and we only have meeting like several week a time, sometimes when I adjust my mood quickly, it do work well and I can finish a lot of things, but a bit depressed when I've been there for long time but still not getting along familiar with my colleague. Since everyone do their job very fast and on time, and leave on time, I don't want to disturb their time, so basically, reluctantly have a chance to conversation and I've stopped my eager to communicate a lot with people…when in work

  18. i am an digital artist who worked one year in thecompanies office.. everybody was talking.. it was a nightmare and i had to do high q jobs. i talked to the ceos and suggested to work at home.. now i am really free. nobody s commenting and interrupted me.. i wprked yesterday 18 hours cause it was much pleasure.. not everyday.. one day i can only bring 4 hours my creativity .. then 12 hours.. ideas are coming in the breaks.. in that part where i am not at my home office. i have to go some steps away ofthe work.. now i can meditate an hour before work.. then i can do all i want.. and yes.. i can nearly create everthing.
    in my office i was mobbed of persons who are so unsatisfied (and here in germany almost everybody is unhappy) with their life and the job etc…. no way i will do that again.. thank you boss ,)
    btw i have no face book.. no twitter.. just yt.. people and my family i have in REAL life.. really cant waist my time here with…'hello, how are you? what are you doing right now…bla, bla.. yes i drink a coffee now and you? i slap my dog..bla bla'

    people i give you the best drug ever on earth.. it took many years for finding it..
    the drug is called.. doing things you have to do.. than you will have a natural high.. than again enjoy sitting still and meditate … uuuh wonderfull.. the loving self is there ,)

  19. I agree with most of his points. Especially in reference to meetings. In a meeting with 15 to 20 people it is especially difficult to keep the main purpose of the meeting on task. It is very easy to slip down rabbit trails and things are not done. I am all for collaboration and sharing of ideas, but large meetings are not the most productive place . Often times when there are " too many cooks in the kitchen" productivity is radically decreased and frustration is increased.

  20. This is a phenomenon for governmental and not for profit and diplomatic offices such as World Bank, IMF, UN, thinktanks, etc…(including staff from private consulting Companies).. managers usually call meetings to show that they are doing something and it also fills up the day for non-producing staff who run out of ways to show that they are busy. In these organizations managers fight very hard for budget to to staff for such positions just to become a general for a huge army in peace time. There is no planning for using available human resources… and so many talents go to waste… and so many non-talents who make a career of beefing up the managers' ego just to get promotions for fill in unnecessary soft and unnecessary position… I am sure we all know about the mafia-like groups in work environment. I work for such an organization for 15 years as an IT staff (which was one of the most active groups) and I can assure you if %75 of staff would not show up to work the final product would not be affected. This type of organizations are specially fertile grounds for parasitical women "professionals" to hunt for high position husbands and put their sexual gimmicks to work.

  21. No meetings!!!! I wish. People like to hear their own voice too much. Blah…blah…blah

  22. First a company really needs offices ,why .because when they bid big jobs . Customs need to see the real thing to give them million dollar jobs. Second ,why a good employee needs get on a airplane to work efficiently. Trust me those people who will take their work on a airplane have no problems work anywhere else !That what separate winners and losers. Losers find excuses. They blame manager and other people for their work not done.

  23. Let me try to explain (english is not my first language) I've been work on a website as a writer for over almost 2 years now (I'm 22) and I think the hardest is to feel inspirated when you spend too many time alone.
    I really like to work with the other writers, I like how we sit to take coffe and chat about our articles and ask help, it's really nice (thing that doesn't happen online, because I don't know, it's not the same).
    So, yep people, work from home is really confortable but make sure to take time to go out, eat, talk with friends, read, and runaway from family because it will be the same if you don't set your space.

  24. I was expecting some studies at the end of the video to show results of this work method. Because the thing is, and I agree with you Luivir Rangel, we go to office to meet people and share ideas and get inspired from people when we're talking to each other. Ideas we probably won't get working alone. I worked on different team projects, and yes, I've done quasi the all work in the evening because i was alone at home and then i didn't get disturb by other people. But we had really great ideas talking about this project in team cause we've shared ideas and talked about that. We do meetings to resolve problem, to do better. I believe that the office is also a place to connect people, share and develop new ideas that would never have been found before. Maybe the best method is having some moments alone but also find time to share ideas and discuss about it.

  25. 10,000 applicants for only 1 position there are so many ways you can just pick somebody and let him throw papers
    #i cannot get this job done#without

  26. excuses excuses, now job is not getting done because of managers, please grow up worse TED ever!!

  27. Great talk – but am wondering if the girl at the end is still using her Blackberry?

  28. The meetings are usually boring and nothing is really, effectively, discussed there. The managers are often disrespectful towards their employees, they harass them, shame them, threaten them and, afterwards, they really expect them to have the job greatly done. C'mon, wake up, would ya?

  29. The Blackberry ad at the end really provided some extra comic relief. The keypad is amazing!

  30. I just watched this clip from my office….in Africa….we dont just all sit on rocks drinking beer out of dried pumpkins around a camp fire. 🙂 Great talk terrible stereotyping.

  31. This is very true! I always think about this: what's the point of staying in the office for 8 hours but your mind is actually not at work most of the time?

  32. MMmmmm… I don't like the conclusions he pitched. For a while, my office didn't have meetings and people were in disarray and so many things fell through the cracks. The thing he's really trying to tackle is "How do you communicate between your employees without disrupting workflow." I don't think he came to a professional conclusion in this video.

  33. my manager would hate this..i got warning letters for getting caught watching youtube during office hours altho i got a number of recognitions by the dept for getting a lot of tasks n projects done on time n great performance..

  34. This doesn't apply to everyone, this is writers and graphic designers and that kind of people who work on the porch on at the beach. If you're an engineer and working on a complicated problem, and you're collaborating with others, it helps to be at the office with coworkers! Also, we also have offices in Africa.

  35. I wish facebook and online surfing was quick smoke break distraction for me.  I can spent half work day reading crap I don't need to read about.  I have bad self discipline

  36. "Uninterrupted time"

    Best productivity advise. This can beat every method, every app out there.

  37. Actually I prefer going to work to get work done. I cant get peace anywhere else.

  38. is it better to walk left and right and talk or stand and give your talk?cause i seriously paused because of him moving to and fro

  39. 'UNLESS YOU LIVE IN AFRICA???? It annoys me every time these people purport to be experts in certain knowledge areas yet portray their folly in the same breath. Africa is not a country where everybody lives the same way or follows the same script of life!!!!! And yes, there are offices in Africa, please…

  40. I agree what he said about no disruption. Disruption makes people need to go back to the start phase again. Also using some internet communication tools can be useful because you can choose when you want to communicate. However, meetings are important too. Meetings force people to come together and discuss a solution or idea and follow up after then. Also it's still important to review and appreciate what do your employees have done during an open phase.  Can't deny that there are some old fanshioned folks don't want to accept change and keep sticking in old and inefficient communicate ways and keep complaining about young folks don't communicate face to face.
    Sometimes when they communicate with their "mouths" , they didn't actually communicate, they just hide those problems and pretend they did the "communications".

    We all can find a balance with that, as long as we are willing to listen other's perspective and be flexible.

      I am a fan of using internet tools like email or message to communicate. Because if it's me, I don't want to be interrupteed if it's not neccessary. Also with text I can have time to organize and think about my thought or try to using a more polite way to pursuade or communicate with people.
     I also would call people on the phone or talk to people face to face if things were urgent or complicated that need to be explained so I can understand or others can understand. And I wouldn't deny that vocal communication have some so-call "Warm and gentle" style.
    Last but no the least, after a stage of work, it's still important to have meetings then all of the workers can review what has been left and what are the mistakes we have made and contribute the solution or idea that you came up before the meeting and can be used next time or after then.

  41. You just explained my exact vision of work in all the multinational public and private companies' offices I've worked in (more than 30 different ones ^^) worst of them being the "open offices" It's impossible to concentrate in those giant open spaces !
    I'm happy with the part-time CEO assistant job I have today cause there is only the Boss and I… no middle management and no "other administrative person" (usually women) to tell me how to do my job every 10 minutes.
    I'm a HPE and an artist . I really have a hard time being creative already at home with my boyfriend interrupting me and my "everyday duties for 2" having to be "regular" cause someone else is depending on it too…
    So had to find a way to not be annoyed like that all the time everywhere !
    And like you explained, I love public transports, walking (1 to 2horus per day) and the rare hours of total peace I can get just because it's only then that I can "think" for god sake ! imagine, build, organise, create, … WORK.
    I'm really thinking of setting myself as a freelancer (first part-time and if it works well full time)
    Thanks allot for your presentation !
    It's a relief to know notorious minded people like yourself think this way too and point out the "should be" obvious lame thing we're all still doing…
    Your 3 suggestions are awesome too ! Solutions ! guidelines ! love it !

  42. Couldn't agree more. Funny how much money companies are drowning in ridiculously stupid and useless meetings.

  43. "If they work at home how do I know they are working?" Why is it ridiculous?

  44. what he said about China and Africa is really discriminative

  45. I wonder if the speaker has ADHD. His viewpoints would work very well for someone with ADHD.

  46. An overview of 6 of the key insights:
    • Companies spend a ton of money on offices, while employees indicate they get most work done outside the office.
    • For creative work,​ you need long periods of uninterrupted time to get work done. In the office this is rarely the case (or only very early/late on the day).
    • The use of social media for private purposes can be considered as a smoke break for your employees.
    • The real problems are M&Ms (managers and meetings) which you can only find at the office.
    • Meetings aren’t work; they are things you are supposed to do later. Moreover, they are very expensive to the organisation.
    • Two of his suggestions: experiment with quiet time in the afternoon and transition from active forms of communication to more passive ones.

  47. List three “take-away points”: What are the three most important things you learnt from each talk? Anyone can help me with school work?

  48. This is really bad. Some jobs don't get done if you don't go through meetings, if you don't interrupt others, exchange information, and what not. Really bad.

  49. Don't agree… Facebook is a distraction at work, certainly! Wouldn't call it the pre-dominant one, though. But certainly, it is one. People need to check on to their facebook profiles to see who has "liked" their pics, why someone has "not liked" their pics, whose pics does this girl that I'm trying to check out likes, etc. It has affected a number of grad students too. It's stupidly liberal to say Facebook is not a distracting tool at work. On the other hand, work places these days are not motivating enough. We have stupid managers, whose main job is to relay and please their managers – as simple as that! We don't have mentors in managers these days… We don't have managers who personally evaluate his reports' skills and motivates them to scale up the ladder in a customized fashion. They are totally disconnected!

  50. I just think the reasons why people can not work at work articulated by the speaker do not shed much light on the root cause of the problem (let’s not forget ordinary human laziness and inability to pull together when it’s required). Moreover the issues with work in offices are more related to creative professions. By the way many companies that require such workers provide them with the choice: they have flexible schedule, they can work from home. etc. Nowadays the work result is the most important thing and not the way how to achieve it. Many jobs indeed require presence of employees in an office, personal participation in teamwork. But anyway it was interesting to listen to the speaker and his suggestions how to improve work in office also deserve attention.)

  51. Great talk. Totally agree & I think working away from the office works best for those performing creative or mentally intensive tasks that require high level of concentration and uninterruption. I probably spend about 2-3 hours per day actually doing any real work because of the level of distraction but occasionally when I work from home I get about 7-8 hours of actual work done.

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