The Way We Work – Another Perspective
If you were to land on Earth as an Alien and observe the way we work, you would assume the following:
- That we are our most creative, prolific selves between 9 AM and 5 PM
- That group meetings are bastions of productivity
- The best way to accelerate thought is by confining it inside walls.
When you think about it that way, our work patterns sound ridiculous. But, decades ago, when we moved from assembling widgets to assembling ideas, we failed to re-construct our work spaces to optimise our work as thinking beings.
The 9 to 5 Fix
Instead, we built offices that constricted thought and creativity, and we forced people into patterns that may have been based in reason (the 40-hour work week, for instance, was a carry-over from the worker’s rights movement during the Industrial Revolution), but that have persisted long past the point where they’re effective.
In fact, these practices are destructive, making it difficult to recruit the best people and retain the best talent. They don’t want the 9 to 5 fix anymore. Talented workers want freedom, creativity, space, accountability and to be managed by outcomes.
So where do we go from here?
Slowly, the knowledge about how our brains work—once relegated to academic papers—is finally getting the attention it deserves. Companies that have stumbled with the old model are starting to innovate.
Of course, cubicles aren’t going to vanish but we know that open flexible working environments help with creativity and well-being.
The bottom line?
Work happens in Brains – not offices
Think outside the eight-hour, cubicle-based workday.
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