Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work (Jason Fried TED Talk)


Although he jumps around a bit and doesn’t complete some of his points, this is a nice little TED presentation from Jason Fried. (via mnmal)

Points I agree with:

  • Interruption-free environment: whether this is allowing employees to work remotely on occasion, setting rules in the office like “no-talk Thursdays,” or some other solution, give your employees time to do their jobs without interruption.
  • Fewer, better meetings: meetings are necessary. But not in the traditional format. Not all meetings have to be 30 minutes or an hour. Have a goal for your meetings, and accomplish it, with no other distractions or discussion points. If it takes three minutes to accomplish the goal, then your meeting is over after three minutes.
  • Focus on the real distractions: it isn’t Facebook or Twitter that’s keeping people from being productive. It’s the fact that they can’t access what they need to in order to do their job better, or it’s because a coworker or manager disrupted them while they were in the “zone.” Facebook, Twitter, E-mail, IM, etc. are all voluntary distractions. Managers and meetings (and coworkers) are involuntary distractions. Avoid them (or avoid being them).
  • Work stages are like sleep stages: for some workers, this might not be the case, but for many (knowledge workers, designers, etc.) this is spot on. It takes a while to get through the initial stages of a work session and really get into the zone. Sure, some can work well enough in short bursts, but we are missing out on the best they have to offer if they are never allowed to get into the zone.

Watch this video, then do what you can to provide a better working environment. Arguments and comments are welcome, of course!

Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work

More from Jason on Big Think: “Interruption and collaboration are different things.”

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