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Home Office - not the best way to harvest ideas


Of course, there are efficiency gains in the home office, and it is also convenient. But dialogue is not enough, and with it the inspiration for innovation and new approaches is missing. The future of work looks different.

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The time since March has catapulted a lot of jobs into the home office and by now, we all understand how to turn on the video, mute the microphone or split the screen. Also, the children's voices and the dog barking from the background have become familiar, as well as the new, very casual look of the colleagues. And it is comfortable. No travel time, no rushing from place to place, what can't be done in time. So, it's an efficiency gain for everyone, you get more done and the long to-do lists of routine tasks become shorter. 

But we have also learned that dialogue is neglected, that the peace and quiet in the home office can lead to a lack of drive without inspiration, and worse still, innovations are not created in the home office alone. New working worlds must therefore be added, quite deliberately, to create a space for interdisciplinary exchange and to promote creativity. FriesThinkLand, founded shortly before the shut down in February in North Frisia, is such a space. Conceived as a co-working and co-living location, the form of collaboration takes on a whole new significance in the interaction of the new working worlds. 

When you enter the old cowshed in Schrapenb├╝ll, T├Ânning today, you immediately notice that this is a place where ideas are at stake and the future is being rethought. Where calves have been reared on the tarp since the 17th century, ideas are harvested and made marketable today. For this purpose, the 150-year-old farm was extensively renovated and equipped with the latest digital technology, in the middle of marshland. Inspiration also comes from the many contrasts in equipment such as nature and technology, digital and analogue, art and craftsmanship. The long tradition of sowing and harvesting can be experienced in the garden. 

If the home office is supplemented in phases by intensive dialogue times, then more is possible. In addition to the creative power for innovation, there is also an opportunity for knowledge transfer and the mediation of role models for the next generation of managers, just to name a few of the advantages. So much for co-working. But co-living? As the founder of such a location in the middle of a pandemic, I'm often asked how it works with a concept that relies on business travel. Don't lose your nerve now. The longer the home office time lasts, the louder the voices become, "we have to get out of here...". And that's exactly what I experience with demand. Returning to the normal office, restoring the office routine is often not an alternative. In FriesThinkLand there are no locked offices or ordinary desks. In the same sense, there is no separation of work and leisure. "Campus" is the paradigm with garden, coffee, bar, kitchen, ...swing. Everything is accessible and integrated.