To work or not to work: working “on the pause”

The idea of working “on the pause” is interesting one. It asks us to be efficient in our work. On the other hand, stopping work even for a moment, is important as a way of recovering. Traditionally, advice for health in the office has always included things like walking to the printer to “take a break”. Of course, this will change a bit with the idea of follow me printing in activity based work. 

Knowledge management gurus talk about watercooler conversations, and how this helps people find out what’s going on. In the knowledge economy, just bumping into someone has value. Increasingly, it’s even seem to have commercial value. Many buildings are now even cutting into the floor plate to put in internal staircases so that people can not only see each other, but talk to each other when they’re moving around.

The idea that we work “on the pause” is at odds with the idea of “taking a break”. The right to take a few seconds, a few minutes to win some slack in the work day is a precious thing. Managers and other people who set up work should struggle with this problem a little bit because work is so mobile these days. Being available for work all the time means that we never have downtime. Maybe it’s more about having a choice, knowing how you work best, and choosing to work or not to work in a specific moment. So it comes down to being aware of your personal workstyle, including working at home and being aware of the different options you have for work in the workplace.