Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mixing work and family time

Many people would find the notion of mixing work and family time ludicrous. They'd find it unprofessional and rail against it. Yet, the separation of work and family is a rather recent change when taken in the context of human development. Sending the children off to their own version of a factory school while the adults go to their separate workplace is decidedly anti-freeranging. It's not natural, and until the last 200 years or so it was not the way we humans lived.

That's why I found this article Busting Down the Office Door about mixing family and work time so refreshing:
The gurus of productivity would say that by mixing work and family time I’m shortchanging my family and killing my efficiency. Which is true to a point, and I wouldn’t want to spend all of my time splitting my focus like this. But for me, the ability to work from within the living system of my family is one of the reasons I chose to work at home.
This is absolutely the kind of thinking you'll find at the heart of freeranging. I'm sure many organizational people would find this shocking. But, when most of us are now working as knowledge workers, creatives, and makers we need to be optimizing our work spaces for creativity and ideation. Family is an essential part of that equation.

Productivity is an obsolete concept unless we're talking about robots. People need to work more naturally in order to be creative in ways that only humans are capable. We have a long ways to go before this type of working environment is considered the norm, but it's exactly what is needed for where our world is headed. Let the change begin.

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