Where Do You Go to Get Into the Zone?

I work from home. I used to work from a corporate office, but now I work from home most of the time and I have to tell you, I love it. I’m a hundred times more productive working from my home office than a traditional corporate setting. So as IHAF wraps its discussion on work environments this week, I thought it might be interesting to find out where people go to “get into the zone.” Here’s what they had to say:

“I could never work from home. I’d spend more time watching TV and going back and forth to the refrigerator than I would getting stuff done.”

“My home office is completely tricked out—from my swivel chair to my workstation to the flood of natural light. It’s where I go to catch-up on everything I can’t get done at work.”

“I do some of my best thinking outside. So I grab my laptop and go down to my company’s courtyard a few times a week.”

“There’s this great couch in our office and I work there a lot. It’s not in the middle of anything so there aren’t a lot of interruptions. And it’s more comfortable than my desk chair so I’ve kind of taken it over as my own.”

“I can work anywhere, as long as I have my headphones. Sometimes I listen to music—but always instrumental. I avoid songs with words at work because they can be distracting. Plus, I don’t want to wind up singing out loud without realizing it!”

Accidental showmanship aside, the majority of people find it hard to get everything done working solely from the office. Meetings are the biggest reason—so working from home, the library, or even the local coffee shop helps avoid meeting mania and boost throughput.

The second biggest productivity buster is “water-cooler chat.” Essentially, the things people wind up sidetracking each other talking about throughout the day, like who wore it best at the Oscars? Or, have you read the latest John Green novel? Or, I’m so excited about my trip to the Grand Caymans!

Social conversations have their place at work—and they certainly help build relationships. It’s when personal banter takes up a disproportionate amount of time that productivity suffers. And sometimes the only way to break the pattern is to break from the environment.

Tell us where you’re most productive—from the office to the car to your kitchen table. What places and spaces have you found that help you get into the zone?

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