A well written, inspiring read.
The people you love aren’t interruptions, they’re the reason you work at all. Give ’em a hug.
Remote work continues to be a topic of discussion, and certainly more of the norm in the tech/design world. This article read like a breath of fresh air from all the books, articles, and life hacks about, as the author put it, "MAXIMUM IN-THE-ZONE PRODUCTIVITY".
I really like this bit..."embrace interruptions"...
After you’ve read all the books and articles about keeping on-task when working from home, setting up the perfect home office, avoiding loneliness, staying connected, sidestepping distractions, and avoiding interruptions I’d suggest one thing: embrace interruptions.
Yeah, this guy gets what's important. A lot of times, it takes having kids and seeing them growing for you to re-evaluate what moments/tasks are important at given times.
In the past this work/life balance wasn't a possibility. Even today there are still "modern, digital" companies that frown upon work-from home days (even when you'd get more work done) out of fear of what they can't see/control at any given second. Kudos to the companies that more and more are realizing that it doesn't matter where you work... it's about getting it done and getting it done right.
I'm so glad I work somewhere that is flexible and focuses on providing a great environment where these sort of things are just normal but I get the benefit of sitting with a great team rather than in my house.
That said, as a father I couldn't agree more about how important time is with your family when they're growing up! I have loads of friends who leave for work before their kids are up and don't get home until they're in bed and that's pretty sad.
it's kind of like bragging about a really cool job benefit though, no?
He's definitely touting it as a benefit/perk, though I think his intent is positive. I think the angle he's taking could also be applied to non-remote jobs as well...especially if you focus on this line...
Now take all of that and cut yourself some slack. The work will get done.
Remote or not, having the trust and freedom from your employer to come and go as needed so long as you get things done is a benefit often forgotten about altogether.
I have a dissenting opinion here. This article is a little irritating.
The article was a nice, feel good article with a folksy populist appeal, and yes, one should take care of their families, health and themselves. Soul sucking commutes do indeed sap energy and drain productivity.
Indeed we should focus on and take time for what is important.
Yet, I found the article lacking any real substance - - - - about the working part.
The author touted the obvious benefits of organizing your time and life around close proximity, which results in lifestyle optimizations and small little moments that make life more enjoyable.
Those are great things, but what is the work process?
Further, I take issue with the productivity statements and self-congratulatory bravado of “American workers are the most productive in the world”. Says who? Ohh right, Americans.
We’re not talking about working in coal mines or working in a factory bolting doors on cars. Even comparing the services sectors from 1950 and 1990 to the present is superficial.
And, on that note, what I see are legions upon legions of distracted workers regardless of where their butts are parked. No discipline. Unable to think clearly and focus and execute on one task, let alone many. And we are to embrace more interruptions?
Sitting at a desk all day no matter where you’re at does not equate to work or translate into productivity.
If you’re spending most of your time drifting in and out of work, checking notifications, phones humming at you, kids screaming, dogs barking, having your flow state interrupted then - you are not producing your best work. Period.
Perhaps companies like Basecamp who enjoy a network effect, and legacy incumbent advantage that ensures cash flow (kinda like the Craig’s List of project management tools at this point) - can afford that loose style of remote work for their team, but I don’t think embracing interruptions is a wise or realistic approach for most companies.
Companies should embrace remote working, should embrace alternate means of where and how we work, but I found the self-centered superficiality coupled with flimsy data analogy and zero mention of work process, I found those things or lack thereof in the article to be more damaging to the cause than doing any good.
Still shaking my head at that one... “Embrace interruptions”.
Nice post - its probably one of the reasons 37 Signals has attracted such talent that ultimately led to their success.