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Are you more productive at home?

by John Coates | December 11/2010 | 37-signals, freelancing, jason-fried, remote-working

Jason Fried gave an interesting talk at Tedx Midwest, discussing how real work gets done at home. How so? It’s all about distractions. At home, people only have distractions that they choose to give into: TV, checking email, cooking elaborate lunches etc. At work, employees get distracted by M&Ms - managers and meetings. For example, managers can come by and completely disrupt a thought process. To really get something done, workers need a few hours of uninterrupted thought (about three). If not, employees are limited to a bunch of working moments until their next scheduled and unscheduled interruption.

But is home the perfect solution? According to The New York Times, in the article “Laptopistan”:

“At home, the slightest change in light is enough of an excuse to get up, walk around, clip my nails or head into the kitchen. Though home offices seem like the perfect work environment, their unrestricted silence, uninterrupted solitude and creature comforts breed distraction.”

What do you think? Where’s the best place to get work done?

At FreshBooks, employees need to be present in office so we can collaborate and create the best work we can as a team. We’re expected to be in the office almost all days as it’s key to FreshBooks’ culture and success. However, if we need to get something done, people may work at home to avoid the distractions of the office.

Bonus: If you’re looking for strategies on how to be more productive at home, watch Workday Nirvana by FreshBooks CEO Mike McDerment, who used to be a freelancer working from home. For Mike, it comes down to routine, discipline, and self-respect. The video was originally shown at International Freelancers Day.


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