How has the workplace changed?

How has the workplace changed?

Posted on November 27, 2010

This is the third post on Its One Life! series of mindset change.  In my previous post I answered the question,  “How has the work week changed?” , in this day and age.  In this post I will provide my insight into how the workplace has changed.

What is a workplace?

A workplace is where you to “go to work”.  You have a designated area at the workplace.  You have all the tools and equipment needed to get your work done.  Also, all your co-workers come to this place to work along with you.

How has the workplace changed?

Nowadays a workplace is where people still “go to work” but it has ceased to be a “place where work gets done”.  What do I mean by that?  If there is a deadline or very important work, what do most people do to accomplish this work?  Work from home or at a coffee shop, or in a closed conference room. Basically, anywhere but at their designated work area.  If they have to work at their designated area then they either come in early or stay late.  Why is that?

Examples of Interruptions at the Workplace:

Here are some typical examples of the interruptions that make a workplace – “a place to not get your work done”.  “2 Minute Team Meeting that can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 2 hours” ,   “The 5-minute Small Talk that somehow goes on for half an hour” , “The 30-Minute lunch that takes 2 hours” etc.,  How many times in a week can one get an uninterrupted slice of time of say 4 hrs, 3 hrs, 2 hrs or even 1 hr in a typical workplace?

Is uninterrupted time, a big deal?

Some may think what’s the big deal about the uninterrupted time?  Do you actually need uninterrupted time to be productive?  Absolutely !!!!.  There has been a study done where work interruptions decrease the IQ of a knowledge-worker by 10 points which is lower than that of a doped person.  To put this study in its perspective, lets say you give a same task like “Writing a Business Case for a new product” to two people of same IQ and similar skill-set.  One is doped and  the other is put in a typical workplace with all its interruptions.  The output from the interrupted worker will take more time and will have lower quality than the output from the doped person.  That’s how big a deal it is  –  “The uninterrupted time”.


The workplace has now become a place where most knowledge workers put in the hours doing busy work without accomplishing a whole lot.  Most companies have now realized this and are providing work from home capabilities, accomplishment driven work-weeks and results only work environments.

What do you think?  How has your workplace changed?   Are you able to get a whole lot of work done and if so how do you manage the interruptions without being a social pariah?

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply