A great place to work: a place where you can actually get work done
We hear a lot about companies that are highly praised for being great places to work. It is a good thing, because being comfortable at work is an important condition for doing great work, develop yourself, and help others give their best effort.
But there are also two commonplace complains:
A lot of time is wasted on badly planned or unnecesary meetings. (Sometimes it seems that all the best practices about effective meetings are forgotten the minute a meeting starts.)
It is really difficult to get even an hour of interruption-free time at the office. If your work requires creativity or advanced problem-solving skills, interruption-free time is essential for doing great work.
Sometimes we loose sight that a great place to work is, in first place, a great place for doing work. That is, a place where you are not only doing things, but actually working, in the sense of giving your best effort and adding value.
As managers, we put special emphasis on recruiting high-potential, high-talented candidates. After hiring them, do we create the conditions so that they can work on what they do best? Or maybe we have them just doing things most of the time?
Jason Fried, founder of 37signals.com and author of Getting Real and Rework, talks about this and other ideas around work and personal productivity on this TED video.
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