Why Working at the Same Time as Everyone Else Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be

Just read this article about how coordination failure makes people unhappy. That’s economist speak for: if you’re working while your friends are playing or vice versa, you’re likely to be unhappy. Free time you have while unemployed is less valuable than free time that overlaps with your loved ones’ free time, because you won’t have anyone to hang out with you. In college, it’s fun if you skip your 2 pm philosophy class if your friend joins you for coffee on a sunny patio, but less fun if your friend decides to go to class and you ditch and drink coffee by yourself.

While I appreciate the insights of this article, I’m also a strong advocate of Rework principles. Coordination in the workplace is critical, but complete overlap of work schedules is not only unnecessary, it’s often counterproductive. In any work environment, you need some time to coordinate with colleagues, but you also need some time to get shit done. For INTJ people like me, that means silence, no meetings, and freedom from interruption.

I think that the benefits of flexible work schedules are understudied and underappreciated. What we do know is that commuting makes people miserable.

And if given the choice between the disadvantages of coordination failure and the misery of commuting, I pick the inconvenience of coordination failure over the misery of commuting every time.