Saturday, August 17, 2013

Working In An Office - The Good, The Bad & Ugly

The Bad & Ugly

Today about 70% or so of the work is done in front of a computer and in some kind of office space. Computers became affordable by the middle class. So, how come the movie Office Space is still relevant? Can't we just do our work at home, save time and be happier? It's simple - boss control

“How in the hell could a man enjoy being awakened at 8:30 a.m. by an alarm clock, leap out of bed, dress, force-feed, shit, piss, brush teeth and hair, and fight traffic to get to a place where essentially you made lots of money for somebody else and were asked to be grateful for the opportunity to do so? ”

― Charles Bukowski, Factotum

Remember the boss from Office Space ?

Everybody has a boss, right ? You have a boss, the boss has a boss and the boss' boss has another boss who is usually working for another boss taking orders from his own boss. There is one thing that all bosses share - they want control over their employees. The easiest and cheapest way to achieve that is to make them people like slaves in office environment. 
Big Brother Is Watching, You Mad Son ?
Big Brother Is Watching You

Remember The Office Space Story ?
Everyday I lose 2 hours on the bus while traveling from my home to the office. I work a low paid office job which can be definitely done from home or even McDonalds (if you own a laptop). The boss however wants us there so that he can watch on us. While this will never change despite the fact that there are successful companies without many offices (Wizz Air) I don't believe working at home exclusively is the answer. 

Did you know that there are no paper tickets labeled "Wizz Air ?"

The Good

People tend to be social animals. We need to meet other animals. We are not ravens or tigers. We live like lions - in social groups. If you work at home where are you going to meet people ? The gym? The bus? The Mall? While all of the mentioned places certainly offer opportunities to bump into other representative of the mankind you cannot build a strong connection with another person unless you have the chance to face various difficult situations together. For this reason people tend to remember their class mates and co-workers forever but quite often forget the cute boy they once met at a cinema. 

Another important benefit is the increased focus. At home it's really hard to achieve great concentration. There are too many distractions such as - TV, food, kids, neighbours. The office still has its fair share of distractions (yes, I am thinking what you are thinking) but in the end of the day you are there to work. 

Blondes Are...
Yes, I am thinking what you are thinking.

While working in an office has it's negative sides I am against the idea that everything should be done from home even if it's possible. It would be damaging to mankind as a social animal. The best approach would probably be somewhere in the middle - working in an office but also being able to freelance from home.