Why Work Doesn't Happen at Work

I’ve been thinking about this video for three days now, ever since I saw it on Swiss Miss. As a freelancer who regularly works on-site contract gigs for lots of different kinds of companies, I’ve gotten to audition lots of different work processes. Despite all of them having their own quirks and vastly different personalities, everyone (including me) struggles with how to manage time and distractions. But I’ve only seen a few businesses that have an approach anywhere near what Jason Fried talks about in this video.

It’s basically everything I struggle to articulate about working at home versus in an office. Further, Jason’s tips for making people WANT to come to the office are brilliant. Less talking. Communicating online as much as possible. Cancel the weekly status meeting. Yes, just get rid of it. It doesn’t matter in the end. Distraction are still distractions, but they’re far less of a hindrance than interrupting someone. Because interrupting someone ambushes their train of thought, effectively sending them back to square one.

If you’re as excited about this kind of thinking as I am, go read the 37Signals’ book, Rework. It made quite an impact on me when I reviewed it last year, and I still refer back to it occasionally.



in all fairness, I think he struggled to articulate it also.. but I completely understand what he’s getting at. In a changing world, I believe certain models of behavior haven’t evolved quickly enough to keep up, and doing business in big expensive office buildings is definitely one of those things!
And yes.. ambushing the train of thought.. very well put!


as i creative person myself, i could not agree with this more. it’s not the first time i’ve heard the idea that every time your train of thought gets interrupted, it takes a good 20-30 minutes to get back to it. now, if only everyone followed this advice!


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