Offices are optimized for interruptions and interruptions are the enemy of work, creativity, and productivity. That's what Jason Fried, the co-founder of 37signals (makers of small business online collaboration tools), says. As a result, people who work in offices have to do their real work at home, during the nights and weekends.
I agree, for the most part. The best thing about working at home is that I can shut my phone off and focus fully on a project for a couple of hours without interruption. In an office environment, I have never been able to work for more than 15 or 20 minutes without someone breaking my concentration. That said, good things happen in offices, too. The thing I miss most about working in an office are those times when good ideas and decisions are made through informal meetings. Sometimes, getting people together in realspace is the best way to get something done.
With its constant commotion, unnecessary meetings, and infuriating wastes of time, the modern workplace makes us all work longer, less focused hours. Jason Fried explains how we can change all of this.
UPDATE: David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried of 37signals are co-authors of a book called Rework that goes deeper into ways to get things done.