Have you ever heard of a ‘flipped classroom’?
Flip teaching (or flipped classroom) is a form of blended learning in which students learn new content online by watching video lectures, usually at home, and what used to be homework (assigned problems) is now done in class with teachers offering more personalized guidance and interaction with students, instead of lecturing. —Wikipedia
Flipped teaching appears to be a good approach that engages teachers with their students, instead of just delivering content, which technology can do fairly well now.
In a recent conversation with my Internet Time Alliance colleagues, we were talking about how much time is wasted in commuting to work, which none of us do. Charles Jennings told us about his days of leaving for work at 06:30 every morning and usually returning around 20:30. A grinding routine, which I am sure many readers share. We also agreed that an open office workplace is often a place with too much noise to get any work done. It was noted that in some offices, employees booked meeting rooms for themselves in order to work in peace. Perhaps it’s time to flip the office, I suggested.
Why do we have physical workplaces? To get work done, one assumes. But if you ask people, especially knowledge workers, where they are most productive, it’s not likely to be at their office. You waste a lot of time at work, the main culprits being email, meetings, and constant interruptions.
It’s incredibly hard to get meaningful work done when your workday has been shredded into work moments.
Meaningful work, creative work, thoughtful work, important work – this type of effort takes stretches of uninterrupted time to get into the zone. But in the modern office such long stretches just can’t be found. Instead, it’s just one interruption after another. —Remote: Office Not Required (2013)
It makes little sense to ship millions of people to offices every day in order to be less productive than they could be. So what are offices for in the network era? They should be for collaborating, discussing, and getting to know each other better. People should not have to go to an office to work alone. Nancy Dixon says that, “Forcing people back to the workplace [to be more productive] is not the solution because too often when they are in the workplace they are either sitting in a meeting listening to endless presentations, or in a cubicle sending emails to each other. Neither of those activities is worth the cost in time or travel.”
We know that many collaborative activities are best conducted face to face. The physical workplace should support and encourage meaningful conversations, among ourselves or with our clients. We have the software to handle scheduling so that most workers could have the opportunity to be productive for most of their days. It’s time to flip the office. Instead of going to work, we should be going to socialize, converse, and collaborate. Productive solo time is not for the office. Knowledge workers can be productive anywhere but at the office.