Would We Work Better … With No Offices at All?

1024px-CubeSpaceMost of the LLL ladies (with the exception of Monette and our recent retiree, Lynn) work the Evil Day Job (EDJ).

I do, except that I really do love my day job. Lucky for me, I’m a virtual worker. Though I have to see clients on a regular basis, I can determine when and where. I haven’t had to battle ‘rush hour’ in years.

Why an I introducing this topic?

Because I read a recent OZY article entitled — Would we work better with no offices at all? The argument intrigued me. Here’s the bulk of it:

Office space is expensive — In San Francisco, companies dole out as much as $100 per square foot.

Commuting — The census shows average American commute time is around 25 minutes, but add to that the hustle of getting yourself or kids out of bed, fitting in a half-hour at the gym, attempting to cram a healthy breakfast down your piehole … oh, and don’t forget commuting’s adverse impact on marriage, health and women’s participation in the workforce.

Transparency — With  today’s technology we have full transparency now. You can see the trail of technology — when you called, who you emailed, which conference call you jumped in and out of. We know exactly what you’re doing. Who cares where you’re doing it from? Who cares, indeed, since apparently the panopticon is now officially inescapable.

Of course, the advantages of the physical office, everyone agrees, are essentially twofold, and obvious enough: Casual chitchat begets both good ideas and a brain break for the weary. Plus, sometimes you really need to get away from your kids, or spouse, or roommates. Which is why in some cases, you need to beam down to real life — and  arrange a physical meeting space for creative work.

So, what does this have to do with writing? Not much for me, because I am a virtual worker. But most of my author friends do the commute to an office and work at least part-time. Imagine the exponential increase in productivity if they could work from home? Not to mention the reduction in stress.

What do you think? Is it time, in most cases, to abolish the office as your permanent workspace? Could you do your job from home?

Cheers,

Jianne

Parts of this blog are taken from an OZY article—Read more: OZY – Smarter, Fresher, Different

8 thoughts on “Would We Work Better … With No Offices at All?

  1. Interesting post, Jianne. Because I work in a library, I don’t know if virtual work would work for me in my position, but libraries have definitely become more virtual over the years. I see more of this in the future of libraries as well. They keep up with technology pretty well, so lots of changes. Although I tell myself it’s nice to step away from the desk every so often. 🙂

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  2. I so agree with you, Rosanna regarding libraries staying current with technology. Over the past couple of years, all my library borrowing has been virtual. I can’t remember the last time I actually visited our town’s library, which is a regional branch, and therefore large, save for a class, or an event.

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  3. I think the reality is having unlimited time to write is not what it’s cracked up to be. Other things take a new precedence…you’ve got alllll this time! Certainly, you can manage it better than the few hours you had before to write.
    Truth is, for me, it’s harder to carve even a small space out to write. I think because I have this illusion of TIME, PLENTY OF IT, I keep saying, I’ll take care of it later, after I do this, I’ll write, I’ll write once the house is clean, etc.
    Before, I had a very limited time to write and I treasured every minute of it, and worked hard to fill that time with words.
    Now, I’m constantly distracted by my new relaxed life.
    I need a new job so I can write.
    LOL!

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  4. I could easily work from home unless my boss is in town. He lives in another state at least 6 months out of the year. I print his e-mails and fax them (yes, that’s my job, neat right?) to wherever the little darling is. I never have enough to do at work, so I sit and read books on my computer. It’s great for my TBR, but not a lot of job satisfaction.

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  5. Even when I was still actively practicing law (I’m still licensed, just decided not to take new cases), I worked from home most of the time after my son was born — but I could do that since I was in a sole practice at the time. 🙂 I traveled to my clients and my arbitration cases – I really liked that.

    As Lynn so succinctly put it with the illusion of all the time in the world to write there are still other things that manage to intrude — in my case, husbands being “so lonely,” that load of laundry sitting in the basket taunting you, the dust bunnies dancing around your feet, and well, just life.

    So, it takes extra organization and A-typeness of the extreme variety to carve out that writing time. I need a nice routine which I have yet to manage since my husband retired 9 years ago — that is when my book production went from two and a half long books a year to one and a half.

    Life happens but it is better than the alternative — so I will keep writing in between paying attention to the hubby being lonely (I almost lost him this year) and those evil zombie dust bunnies. The laundry – it can wait.

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