Working in the sweet spot


Posted by Steven

Yesterday, I was working at the office. This is an unusual thing for me to do because since a couple of months, I'm working from home. My 6-headed team consists of three developers in Romania, one business consultant working from home in Hannover, one part-time project lead working from different places and me. It really makes no sense for the whole team or even the three of us living in Germany to share an office. So we are working from wherever we like. After some months of finding the right way of communication, organization and roles, this is working great.

Because of appointments, yesterday I went to the office of the company I'm working for. Between the appointments, I planned of working in a shared office space. I even had special tasks prepared for this and brought my noise-cancelling headphones with me so I can be really productive.

However, that time turned out to be exactly ZERO productive. ZERO as in "nothing was getting any progress whatsoever". On my way back, I thought about the reasons and came up with:

  1. Technical issues with the network. Without a really fast and reliable network, I can't work. Period. And with "fast internet" I mean fast in both directions.
  2. Distraction by "other people's problems". A colleague had a problem and asked for help. Of course I tried to help him, however in vain. This is a normal thing that could have happened to me even when I'm at home. However, it simply doesn't happen that often. I'm simply getting less distraction by "organizational noise".
  3. Demotivation by surroundings. At home, I have my PERFECT working space. Seriously, it's the most awesome office I ever had. I have a height-adjustable desk, two big screens, my favorite mouse and keyboard, the best coffee in the world, a beautiful view out of my windows (see picture above), a green garden to relax in after a long coding session - it's just working out pretty damn well. Yesterday in the office, it was white/grey walls, standard chairs and desks and no view whatsoever. Not motivating. My employer is building new offices right now, however these are not yet finished. They look promising though.

So, what's the conclusion? Right in this moment, I think I simply won't work in any place I'm not as productive in as I could be. My life is too short to work in a place where I cannot leave the biggest-possible productive-footprint. That doesn't mean I won't work away from home ever. If there's a nice office that provides me with the surroundings I need to produce Rock'n'Roll software, I will work there. It also doesn't mean I won't work temporarily in another space. Between meetings I have to physically attend I will work in shared spaces, other peoples offices or even the coffee bar. No problem here.

It's just that I tasted the taste of extreme high-productivity in the last month and I think I became addicted to it.

TL;DR

I'm planning on only working from places that guarantee highest-possible productivity.

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