Andrew McAfee has an interesting post about The Surprising Benefits Of Solitude in HBR. In it he questions some of the assumptions of collaborative working in “the real” world that tend to be taken for granted. He also suggests that people working together online can avoid some of the dysfunction and group think that sharing the same space can lead to. I recently wrote an article for a corporate real estate newsletter about the changing needs for space that we can expect to see over the next few years. In it I suggest that people will become increasingly aware of where they work better and for which activities. Some will be better at working in the same space and some will be better done online. It will be the transitions that will be interesting.
Spookily, shortly before I read Andrew’s article, I ordered Solitude from Amazon. Its description includes: “In a series of biographical sketches it demonstrates how many of the creative geniuses of our civilization have been solitary, by temperament or circumstance, and how the capacity to be alone is, even for those who are not creative, a sign of maturity.”
What do you reckon. Is our need to work together in the same space over rated?