The Virtues of The Office

This New York Magazine piece offers a caution against the rush to make everyone entrepreneurs. It’s worth the read. Here’s a money quote:

Offices are fundamentally social ­places, and in an age of dwindling social capital, in which Americans are less and less apt to visit with neighbors, join civic organizations, or have their friends over to dinner, having a community of professional peers is no small thing.

My friend and colleague MaryAnn announced this week she’s venturing out on her own, launching herself into full-time freelance writing, editing, speaking, and consulting. She’s going to kill that gig (she’s already got a book and an appearance on PBS under her belt).

I’ll be wishing her well as I goof around with the Church Custodian and shout questions to my Head of Staff across the hall.

I fear I’m an office creature.


4 thoughts on “The Virtues of The Office

  1. carolynkingshill says:

    There’s nothing wrong with being an office creature.
    I’ve been one like that for a good many years.
    Right now, I think I’m about half of one.

  2. Lots if interesting tidbits in this article. Entrepreneur is not always a freelancer working from home, at least if you are successful it does not stay that way. Husband is an Entrepreneur – and an office creature too. I liked the comment about risk, it’s not just about risk. I found that Mr Entrepreneur has “colleagues” -ahem-supporting, also the mentor, the networking ability and the endurance.

  3. holy crap…TLDR

    Dr. Csikscnemihalyi. author of Flow, talks about how work is one of the primary sources of Flow. The flow state is frequently achieved in The Office.

    I would like to say that the office is the “kit” (of seth godin denigration) for flow. Coming up with a self-generated flow environment is more stable and secure.

    But it’s a lizard-brain kind of safety in the office.
    Books that talk about it:
    Revolutionary Road
    Run Rabbit Run

    All of which are highly unflattering to the office creature. Still. I’ve leveraged my office career into a decent life. I may find myself ready to shed it before too long.

  4. THIS is why I wanted you to read this article 🙂

    For me, it’s not the safety as much as the interaction. I don’t have the experience to go on here, but I trust what Judy is saying about entrepreneurs making their own interaction. If I didn’t have an office and the people in it to goof off with, I would certainly need to create regular ways to do that.

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