This blog got it roots from another blog that I just read on "information work" in which the writer was concerned about our brains and also this current open office working culture with constantly disruptive colleagues.
Every morning when I drive from Helsinki to Lahti to work, I wonder how patiently hundreds of cars on the motorway are queuing to work towards the center of Helsinki and the metropolitan area. At the same time another four highways are blocked also, when everyone of these information workers, I assume, are driving towards their offices. In the late afternoon these same people are queuing out of their offices heading back to their homes. This same phenomenon happens in all countries all over the world in the mornings and late afternoons. I wonder why this happens, if the most of them are so called information workers.
I have following questions for the information workers now in April 2011:
- do you work side by side in an open office where you are trying to work in peace and hope that other coworkers don’t disturb you,
- could you work at home with Web- connections instead of traveling to work everyday,
- how much do you have face-to-face meetings with your coworkers; 20 %, 40 %, 60% or 80% of your working hours and
- if you have collaborative online working facilities (e.g. video conferences, social media- tools like shared documents, chat and group discussion tools), how much do you use them instead of face-to-face- meetings?
I also wonder, why I drive 100 kilometers twice a day to work in an office with people whom I know very well from seven common years. Nowadays I wonder even more, why 80 % of the working hours I work in face-to-face meetings, where people are doing something else like reading and answering their emails, accepting the bills and surfing on the Web, these were not included in the meeting’s agenda. Why are we coming together to the face-to-face meetings to look at laptops instead of each others, which was previously the practice at face- to-face meetings. Is this something that happens just in my workplace here in Finland or this a global phenomenon?
Let’s be patient, the future will be much better, because we have the green social media vision by 2017:
- we have understood that information work does not happen in offices between 8-16 or 9-17,
- we use our collaborative online working facilities including all social media tools more effectively,
- we have created well functioning online-offline working cultures where also The Net Generation feels comfortable working with us and
- we have also understood that we are saving the environment, when we stop this unnecessary traveling after information work between organisations and also homes and offices.