A long time ago I wrote a post entitled “When an office becomes a liability”. It was about how having an office was shifting from being a status symbol, a place to get things done, to being a place where the network was slower than at home, someone controlled what apps and technology you could use, and your creative energy was sapped by endless meetings.
Ten years later, having experienced over that time the joy and increased effectiveness of being a freelancer in charge of my own productivity, I marvel at organisations agonising over whether or not to give their staff the choice to work at home, over engineering the technology they feel is needed to allow them to do so, and having time wasting meetings about whether they can be trusted not to waste their time!
Work is more about attitude of mind than place. Most of us can do it anywhere. I am writing this on my phone in bed! It could be a report or an email. I could even be taking part in a phone conference – with the camera turned off!
Too often being at work is about being seen, about politics, about insecurity. Given how much time and valuable natural resources we waste getting to and from the places where we may, or may not, be able to get things done, we need to get braver about taking the alternatives seriously.