“Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.”
— Henry Ford
Jason Fried, at a recent TED conference, presented his thoughts on why work doesn’t happen at work.
There’s a lot of what he said that I can really resonate with; I work in an open-plan office, and for the most part find that quite difficult. My best work (and probably my best thinking) happens in a quiet atmosphere, or somewhere I can tune out the background noise. One of the pitfalls of an open-plan office is that noise-levels are, in large part, dictated by others: some people like to think aloud or in conversation with others, and their ideas thrive in connection with other people. Some people just enjoy an almost constant background banter. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy that too, and find external processing of ideas and creativity with others incredibly stimulating. But when I need to get something done, I prefer a quiet calm, or at least somewhere I can tune out the background noise.
There are certain tasks that need me to be able to think clearly and coherently. For example, coding often needs you to be able to plan how one piece of functionality could be coded in a number of different ways, and determining the best route requires being able to consider not just the next line of code, but the implications of that on the next 50 lines.
Unfortunately, it’s often when doing those tasks that need my highest concentration that I find it all the harder to tune out what’s going on around me. And I’m not a nice person when faced with those conditions.
Jason compares work-patterns to sleep-patterns. When we sleep, it’s not a simple binary. You are not just asleep or awake, but your sleep is characterised by cycles and patterns. Medics and psychologists alike recognise how disruptive it can be to have your sleep disturbed, and Jason suggests it can be equally disruptive to have a work cycle interrupted; something that might happen many times every day in most offices. “The best gift you can give to a colleague is four hours of uninterrupted time.” He even goes as far as suggesting ‘silent Thursdays’, or even one silent Thursday afternoon each month, to see what difference this makes. It doesn’t sound terribly realistic, and I know many people in my office would (rightly?) balk at the idea; but as I think about it, I wonder if it might redress the balance of ideal working conditions for different types of people. If we work in an open-plan and ‘disruptive’ office for 160 hours a month, suddenly 4-16 hours a month given to conditions that might be more favourable to other people doesn’t sound a lot. Although that does assume that you can do your best work, under those conditions, in a specifically allotted time.
I think one of my major problems with Jason’s presentation, though, is that it feeds my selfishness. The working conditions he describes are my ideal, and I would love to be able to regularly have quiet space to get things done. But deep-down I know that’s not realistic. Part of my value to the organisation isn’t just my individual productivity, but the shared value of connections; being disrupted to help another, and having the freedom to interrupt someone else to get the help I need.
And people work differently. My ideal would be, I suspect, far from ideal for a good number of my colleagues; people whose creativity and productivity is catalysed by constant connection with others. One colleague (not based in our office) explained to me recently that when he needs to get something done, he turns his wifi off; but he also admitted that, as an extrovert, he thrives on ‘distraction’.
People are different, and that is good. People work differently, and how we accommodate those differences is important.
As we consider an office move this year, with potential to change and shape the way we organise that office, this certainly does give food for thought.
Dear Andy and Mooresport
Here, belatedly, are the results from Silverstone; does anybody else think we could do with a bit more movement at the top and bottom of the table?
I might delay publishing results from Germany until the FIA World Council decide if Ferrari should face further penalty after bending the rules concerning applying team orders. But what do you think? Should team orders be banned? Do you think they inevitably affect F1 anyway? Do they spoil the sport for fans?
Let’s see what happens in Hungary…
|1||–||Chris Illingworth||Four Wheels||1122|
|2||–||John Rhodes||The Pheasant’s Revolt||1108|
|3||–||Simon Rodden||Last Minute||1074|
|4||–||Gaynor Bingham||No Hope||1028|
|5||↑ 1||Lynne Rodden||The Gherkins||1016|
|6||↑ 5||Al Briggs||Alabama GP||965|
|7||↓ 2||Andy Moore||Mooresport||961|
|8||↓ 1||Josh Rodden||Creme Egg||960|
|9||–||Andy Showell-Rogers||Eat My Dust||948|
|10||↓ 2||Ruth Moore||Moore’s Movers||929|
|11||↓ 1||Tracy Forster||Penelope Pitstop||926|
|12||–||Jackie Moore||Shiny Happy Speedy||917|
|13||–||Oscar Leitheiser||F1 Circus Clowns||888|
|14||↑ 1||Dave Coyle||Aotearoa GP||846|
|15||↓ 1||Scott Boyes||Scott Racing||825|
|16||–||Peter Jones||No Driver Aids||798|
|17||–||Ron Jones||Win Or Bust||737|
A young engineer was leaving the office when he found the Acting CEO standing in front of the shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.
“Listen,” said the Acting CEO, “this is a very sensitive and important document, and my secretary is not here. Can you make this thing work?”
“Certainly,” said the young engineer. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.
“Excellent, excellent!” said the Acting CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine, “I just need one copy.”
Lesson: Never, ever assume that your boss knows what they’re doing.
After a topsy-turvy race – especially for Mark Webber – here is our topsy-turvy table, which has lots of movement, and our first competitor to reach 1,000 points this season. Will anyone catch these Four Wheels?
See you after Silverstone.
|1||–||Chris Illingworth||Four Wheels||1015|
|2||–||John Rhodes||The Pheasant’s Revolt||971|
|3||–||Simon Rodden||Last Minute||933|
|4||↑ 2||Gaynor Bingham||No Hope||902|
|5||↓ 1||Andy Moore||Mooresport||899|
|6||↑ 4||Lynne Rodden||The Gherkins||885|
|7||↓ 2||Josh Rodden||Creme Egg||882|
|8||↓ 1||Ruth Moore||Moore’s Movers||849|
|9||↑ 2||Andy Showell-Rogers||Eat My Dust||844|
|10||↓ 2||Tracy Forster||Penelope Pitstop||836|
|11||↑ 1||Al Briggs||Alabama GP||825|
|12||↓ 3||Jackie Moore||Shiny Happy Speedy||822|
|13||↑ 1||Oscar Leitheiser||F1 Circus Clowns||791|
|14||–||Scott Boyes||Scott Racing||754|
|15||↓ 2||Dave Coyle||Aotearoa GP||752|
|16||↑ 1||Peter Jones||No Driver Aids||708|
|17||↓ 1||Ron Jones||Win Or Bust||683|
Just in time before the European Grand Prix tomorrow, here are the results from Canada. Chris Illingworth still holds his position at the top of the table (can you guess how his team is made up?), with most movement in the bottom half of the table.
Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
|1||–||Chris Illingworth||Four Wheels||936|
|2||–||John Rhodes||The Pheasant’s Revolt||861|
|3||–||Simon Rodden||Last Minute||820|
|4||↑ 1||Andy Moore||Mooresport||796|
|5||↓ 1||Josh Rodden||Creme Egg||783|
|6||–||Gaynor Bingham||No Hope||772|
|7||–||Ruth Moore||Moore’s Movers||763|
|8||–||Tracy Forster||Penelope Pitstop||749|
|9||↑ 1||Jackie Moore||Shiny Happy Speedy||739|
|10||↓ 1||Lynne Rodden||The Gherkins||733|
|11||↑ 2||Andy Showell-Rogers||Eat My Dust||726|
|12||↑ 3||Al Briggs||Alabama GP||710|
|13||↓ 2||Dave Coyle||Aotearoa GP||705|
|14||↓ 3||Scott Boyes||Scott Racing||699|
|14||–||Oscar Leitheiser||F1 Circus Clowns||699|
|16||–||Ron Jones||Win Or Bust||610|
|17||–||Peter Jones||No Driver Aids||592|
Here are the latest standings in the FF1 league following the race in Turkey, with Gaynor Bingham and Jackie Moore sharing the spoils for best improvement.
So, was the Red Bull collision Vettel’s fault, or Webber’s? Would you have given Vettel a hug when he reached the pit wall, or would you be handing him his P45?
|1||–||Chris Illingworth||Four Wheels||814|
|2||↑ 3||John Rhodes||The Pheasant’s Revolt||741|
|3||↓ 1||Simon Rodden||Last Minute||734|
|4||↓ 1||Josh Rodden||Creme Egg||711|
|5||↓ 1||Andy Moore||Mooresport||693|
|6||↑ 4||Gaynor Bingham||No Hope||671|
|7||↓ 1||Ruth Moore||Moore’s Movers||665|
|8||↑ 1||Tracy Forster||Penelope Pitstop||655|
|9||↓ 2||Lynne Rodden||The Gherkins||651|
|10||↑ 4||Jackie Moore||Shiny Happy Speedy||642|
|11||↓ 4||Scott Boyes||Scott Racing||639|
|11||–||Dave Coyle||Aotearoa GP||639|
|13||↓ 1||Andy Showell-Rogers||Eat My Dust||636|
|14||↓ 1||Oscar Leitheiser||F1 Circus Clowns||610|
|15||–||Al Briggs||Alabama GP||608|
|16||–||Ron Jones||Win Or Bust||540|
|17||↓ 1||Peter Jones||No Driver Aids||536|
After confirmation of Mr Schumacher’s penalty for his final-lap overtaking manoeuvre, here are the results for the FF1 league post-Monaco; and what a fascinating race it was!
It looks like there’s some friendly family-rivalry underway, with Simon Rodden’s jump up the table being followed by Josh and Lynne in hot pursuit!
|1||–||Chris Illingworth||Four Wheels||701|
|2||↑ 1||Simon Rodden||Last Minute||644|
|3||↑ 3||Josh Rodden||Creme Egg||639|
|5||–||John Rhodes||The Pheasant’s Revolt||612|
|6||↓ 4||Ruth Moore||Moore’s Movers||592|
|7||↑ 2||Scott Boyes||Scott Racing||570|
|7||↑ 3||Lynne Rodden||The Gherkins||570|
|9||↓ 1||Tracy Forster||Penelope Pitstop||569|
|10||↓ 3||Gaynor Bingham||No Hope||565|
|11||↑ 1||Dave Coyle||Aotearoa GP||560|
|12||↑ 2||Andy Showell-Rogers||Eat My Dust||548|
|13||–||Oscar Leitheiser||F1 Circus Clowns||528|
|14||↓ 3||Jackie Moore||Shiny Happy Speedy||523|
|15||–||Al Briggs||Alabama GP||495|
|16||↑ 1||Peter Jones||No Driver Aids||465|
|16||–||Ron Jones||Win Or Bust||465|
Here is the (belatedly) updated table following the race in Spain. Monaco results to follow… dependent on the results of Mr Schumacher’s appeal against the time penalty for his final-lap overtaking manoeuvre.
This week’s award for the biggest mover goes to Simon Rodden! Well done.
|1||–||Chris Illingworth||Four Wheels||577|
|2||↑ 1||Ruth Moore||Moore’s Movers||511|
|3||↑ 9||Simon Rodden||Last Minute||510|
|5||↓ 3||John Rhodes||The Pheasant’s Revolt||501|
|6||↑ 1||Josh Rodden||Creme Egg||499|
|7||↓ 2||Gaynor Bingham||No Hope||494|
|8||↓ 2||Tracy Forster||Penelope Pitstop||484|
|9||↓ 1||Scott Boyes||Scott Racing||480|
|10||↑ 3||Lynne Rodden||The Gherkins||477|
|11||↓ 2||Jackie Moore||Shiny Happy Speedy||469|
|12||↓ 1||Dave Coyle||Aotearoa GP||462|
|13||↓ 3||Oscar Leitheiser||F1 Circus Clowns||454|
|14||–||Andy Showell-Rogers||Eat My Dust||446|
|15||–||Al Briggs||Alabama GP||405|
|16||↓ 1||Ron Jones||Win Or Bust||395|
|17||–||Peter Jones||No Driver Aids||371|
Here’s the latest update from the FF1 league, and the final part of the asia-pacific leg. It sounds as though most teams have made it all (or at least some part) of the way home after the ash-cloud problems, so hopefully the exciting racing will continue in Europe!
|1||–||Chris Illingworth||Four Wheels||476|
|2||↑ 3||John Rhodes||The Pheasant’s Revolt||436|
|3||↑ 1||Ruth Moore||Moore’s Movers||430|
|4||↑ 2||Andy Moore||Mooresport||411|
|5||↑ 5||Gaynor Bingham||No Hope||404|
|6||↑ 2||Tracy Forster||Penelope Pitstop||402|
|7||↓ 4||Josh Rodden||Creme Egg||398|
|8||↓ 6||Scott Boyes||Scott Racing||397|
|9||↑ 5||Jackie Moore||Shiny Happy Speedy||385|
|10||↑ 2||Oscar Leitheiser||F1 Circus Clowns||373|
|11||↓ 4||Dave Coyle||Aotearoa GP||372|
|12||↓ 3||Simon Rodden||Last Minute||370|
|13||↓ 2||Lynne Rodden||The Gherkins||360|
|14||↓ 1||Andy Showell-Rogers||Eat My Dust||351|
|15||↑ 1||Al Briggs||Alabama GP||328|
|15||–||Ron Jones||Win Or Bust||328|
|17||–||Peter Jones||No Driver Aids||268|