Getting work done isn't about luck

by Mark

Recently the New York Times took aim at office culture, more specifically the idea that putting all the people together in one place leads to some kind of special magic that you can’t get any other way. The article is perhaps best summarized with this quote

“All of this suggests to me that the idea of random serendipity being productive is more fairy tale than reality,”

Ethan S. Bernstein (Harvard Business School)

For decades we have all been told that workplaces that look like busy beehives are happy, productive, and effective. People bouncing around, interacting will inevitably produce better results. Ask anyone who has tried to do complex solo work in an open office space and you will quickly hear a different story.

Have we set up our work infrastructure for a kind of appearance of business and communication that looks good from above, but actually makes it more difficult to get things done? Have we actually designed our workplaces for extroverts who like to socialize?

Most work goes though several stages, maybe some discussion, ideation, creative work at the beginning, then a team or individual gets the implementation done. The first phase is usually glamorized, exciting, and the highest profile, but most of the actual work is in that second phase.

For some professions, that implementation phase is actually incredibly focused and one interruption can cost a ton of time.

Great work isn’t an accident, or serendipity. It’s the effort, talent, skill and grit that takes you from an idea to an outcome. At untasked we believe that this is what we should be optimizing for. Your ability to spend your work time focused on the problem you are trying to solve.

We all need space to do our best work. Sometimes this space is about time and opportunity, sometimes it's about being able to keep all the moving parts in one place. At that moment when you are getting ready to get something done there is no substitute for having everything you need at your fingertips, and being able tune out the distractions. Setting up that environment for yourself is one way to set yourself up for success.

When you know how to do it, and just need to manage a backlog, we let you automate the intake work by defining your own capabilities so no one needs to stop getting things done to talk about getting things done.

When it’s more complicated, we let you work with people so everyone can keep their eye on things while staying focused on their part.

So many of the tools for work these days seem to make your computer just another way to let the open office get past your headphones. We designed untasked to be like your own office with a door. It’s not about serendipity, it’s about getting your best work done.

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A better experience for your team, fewer headaches in your quest to get things done. Set yourself up for success in minutes.