Basic needs

Going to work is a great way to focus

​I have always had the luxury of a lot of freedom in the ‘how and where’ of my work. And even though I can theoretically work everywhere, to me it’s extremely important that it’s the right environment.


A fixed office is good, it gives structure and you know where to find your colleagues. Problem is that everybody else also knows where to find you too… I can easily get five times more things done when I can focus and when I can dictate the order of things to focus on. Nothing is more killing for my productivity then a packed calendar that dictates to the minute what needs to happen, but when push comes to shove, is completely detached from reality. It gets even worse when other people control that calendar (I’m sure I’ll rant about that another time).

Working from home is good, it gives you room to focus and allows you to isolate yourself from that day-to-day madness. You can still reach everybody, and everybody can reach you, but on the terms at the times that you dictate. You can postpone reading and answering that message or email to when it fits better in your flow. Problem here is that not talking to anyone or sitting alone the whole day is also a major downer. Even bigger issue: when are you working and when are you at home?

My latest experiment to fix these things is called Spaces. A monthly subscription to co-working spaces in Amsterdam and The Hague. All beautiful buildings filled with people who hop in and out based on when they need a desk. Or inspiration. Or people to talk to. Spaces offers all the basics you need to work and just gets out of the way. It gives you all the flexibility to do your thing in a way that works best for you. Me like…

So now I go to work, but nobody expects me to be there. I work with a lot of people in a nice building, but nobody comes looking for me. Like working at home, but now I can actually go home to relax and disconnect.