Why do you go to the office?

by Volker Weber

Seth writes about meetings and conferences. Interesting quote:

And here's what a conference organizer owes the attendees: surprise, juxtaposition, drama, engagement, souvenirs and just possibly, excitement.

It's exactly what has made ILUG 07 so great. And I trust it will happen again at ILUG 08. What I find even more interesting however is this:

If you're a knowledge worker, your boss shouldn't make you come to the (expensive) office every day unless there's something there that makes it worth your trip. She needs to provide you with resources or interactions or energy you can't find at home or at Starbucks. And if she does invite you in, don't bother showing up if you're just going to sit quietly.

I've worked in three companies that had lots of people and lots of cubes, and I spent the entire day walking around. I figured that was my job. The days where I sat down and did what looked like work were my least effective days. It's hard for me to see why you'd bother having someone come all the way to an office just to sit in a cube and type.

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Nice in theory, but a massive amount of companies still don't believe in homeworking.

Ben Rose, 2008-05-20

Seth isn't saying, you should stay at home. He says if the office does not give you more than a home office would, the company is wasting an opportunity. And then there are companies who rent your ass and not your brain.

Volker Weber, 2008-05-20

I believe that for many companies the loss of (physical) control is the main obstacle. If you get over it and lead by objectives, it should not matter where your people are. I have already 10 years back managed people in my group that were based for different reasons in home-offices without any problems.

Where I work now, also working from home is supported and I use it more and more myself. After all, my boss does not care where I am as long as the work gets done.

In fact, when I am in the office, the most important part is the networking with colleagues. You can solve a lot of issues while having a chat near the coffee machine ;-)

Armin Auth, 2008-05-20

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