Work doesn't happen at work. But collaboration does.

Watching the TED presentation Why work doesn’t happen at work by Jason Fried, I was struck by the similarities with the office I work in (and many other offices across the world). He makes some good points about people”s productivity in “the office” but I don”t think this is a one sided argument. Here are some things he neglected to mention.

You can”t collaborate in isolation

If everybody worked from a place where they had maximum concentration, we would get stuck in our own world. Streams of work are not linear, priorities change and very few of us have our whole year planned out in terms of projects we can work on alone without input from others. If you need input from others, then how can you work in isolation? Collaboration is key to driving the stream of work forwards.

Distractions from colleagues happen for a reason

People want your opinion. If you are getting distracted a few times a day by people asking you questions, you are a valuable resource to them. That doesn”t make your day wasted, you have provided information to others that helps them get on with their own job.

Balance is the key

Balancing time concentrating on work and time where you allow distractions/collaboration is the key to working smart. I don”t believe Jason”s presentation is something we should act on; merely listen, understand and bear in mind when you have unnecessary distractions.

Speaking of which…