Yesterday, I considered the definition of work. Today, my thoughts turn to – where do we do our best work?
Running a firm of knowledge workers, I have always been conscious that many of my colleagues did their deepest work from home. Those pieces of work which demanded no interruptions, for it was too important to get even the teeniest bit wrong. For years, I have encouraged working from home, for at least part of the week.
For most knowledge workers who aren’t furloughed, working from home is the new normal. Many may never return to working in the office, for it is usually the commute which is most objectionable.
Faced with this new work order, a colleague kindly shared with me Sam Harris’ podcast with the founder of Word Press, Matt Mullenweg (worth $400m). In it, Matt extolled the virtues of working from home: everyone in his huge company does. The key take-away for me was Matt’s statement that with home workers, they are entirely judged by their performance, rather than for how long they were chained to their desks. Presenteeism is irrelevant. Unlike office-based work, those who can get their work done quickest aren’t penalised with more work. Matt argues that this a true work meritocracy. His ideas are compelling.
Although I foresee more of my colleagues wanting to work additional days from home, I am convinced that most of us have missed interacting with each other in person, eager to return to the office when it is safe to do so. We may do our best work at home, but we humans need to see each other in person.