Hard Work Isn’t the Point of the Office - Deepstash

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The office is for Soft Work not Hard Work

The office is for Soft Work not Hard Work

We can separate office work into:

  1. Hard work: researching, calling people, transcribing conversations, managing etc. This is, in theory, the productive work that we are paid for. It is also the part that can be done from home
  2. Soft work is the vague middle space of weekday activity that isn’t hard work but also isn’t not-work: getting coffee with a co-worker, catching up about the NFL.

Surprisingly enough, coming into the office is all about soft work. 


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Remote Work Under the Microscope

Remote Work Under the Microscope

The value of soft work was the unmistakable conclusion of a paper from Dave Holtz of UC Berkeley and Siddharth Suri, Longqi Yang and Sonia Jaffe of Microsoft. They studied the effect of the first six months of the pandemic on 61,000 Microsoft employees and found that remote work caused “collaboration to be more static and siloed,” they concluded, noting a sharp decrease in communication across groups that made it harder for “employees to acquire and share new information.”


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The Importance of Work Connections

The Importance of Work Connections

In the workplace, there are two main types of connections:

  1. In-group connections: These are the connections we have within a formal team, working under the same manager.
  2. Out-group connections: These are the informal friendships that form throughout the company and rely on "soft work" to maintain them.

Having strong connections with both in-group and out-group colleagues is crucial for a successful and fulfilling work experience. So make sure to invest time in developing and nurturing these connections! 👋


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Creativity is just connecting disparate ideas

Creativity is just connecting disparate ideas

Productivity experts have been telling us that cross-group collaboration and weak ties are the skeleton key to unlocking radical creativity.

The history of invention is, in large part, a history of smart people making great leaps forward by combining disparate ideas in domains adjacent to their expertise. As the British philosopher Liam Bright has put it , “anything can be related to anything,” so we ought to build systems that allow people to see previously undiscovered connections between siloed domains.


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Life-long learner. Passionate about leadership, entrepreneurship, philosophy, Buddhism & SF. Founder @deepstash.


Remote work can be more productive for individual contributors, but it kills communication between silos, which it turns out is the engine for creativity and innovation.


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