Is The Office Still Necessary?

Happy 4th of July everyone.  I hope all of you are enjoying a quiet, relaxing day off of work.  Following my own advice I decided not to put any agenda together for today.  No to-do lists, or tasks I should accomplish by days end.  Instead I have just let the day flow naturally.  This morning I slept in, made a wonderful breakfast, played on Star Wars: The Old Republic, and I even got a chance to catch up on some reading.

While I was catching up on some reading when I came across this article by Chris Brogan.  Even though it was a sponsored post, I think Chris brings up some valuable insights.  Most of my career I have worked in some type of office.  A physical location where my employer, at the time, expected me to show up and “work”.  The problem was no matter how nice the office was it was never really my element.  I never felt completely comfortable, and because of that I never found myself entering a complete state of zen like focus as I worked on various projects.

On occasion, over the years I have been working, I have found reasons to work from home.  Every time I found myself sitting on the couch, with my feet up, and my laptop surprisingly on my lap.  With no distractions around me, or people to interrupt me, I found myself entering that rare zen like state of focus.  I could concentrate better, and more efficiently.  By the end of the day I would have accomplished a huge amount of meaningful, and valuable work.  Often times accomplishing more in one day then I would usually accomplish in a week at the office.

I have spoken to other people about this subject before, and 90% of them all say the same thing, “I wish I could work from home”.  If so many people wish they could work from home, why do we have so many offices?  I think Chris hits the nail on the head when he says this.

“So, costs if you want to work from the beach:

Laptop.
Software.
Wireless.
Trust.”

Can you see the main problem with this statement?  Trust.  The bottom line is to many employers simply dont trust their employees.  They feel they need to keep an eye on them, or they feel that if allowed to work from home employees would be lazy, and slack off.  I know that many employers will never admit this, at least not out loud, but I am convinced this is the reason why so many are forced to work day after day in uncomfortable environments.

Here is a question I have always asked when faced with these kinds of situations.  Why would you hire someone you don’t trust?  Its a question I don’t think many employers have answers for, but its a question I think is important enough that it should have an answer.

So why do you think that employers don’t allow employees to work from home?  Why do you think that employers don’t trust their employees?  What is the best way we can face this problem to bring about a significant social change in our society?

Give us your best answers in the comments below.  Till next time have a happy 4th of July!

-Jason

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