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Slowly our office started to reflect this newfound freedom.
Work looked less and less like work, and more and more like home.
What does the area of overlap between a designer and front-end developer look like? The chasm between roles that is most concerning is the one between web designers/developers and native application designers/developers.
We often choose a camp early on and stick to it, which is a mindset that may have been fueled by the false “native vs. It was positioned as an either-or decision, and hybrid approaches were looked down upon.
Home offices became a big thing, and it’s now almost impossible to distinguish between home offices of famous designers and the workspaces (I don’t think we even call them “offices” any more) of most startups. There’s plenty of research that shows when employers place strict limits on messaging, employees are happier and enjoy their work more. Clive Thompson’s article about this for Mother Jones is a great overview of what we know about the handful of experiments that have been done to research the effects of messaging limits. It’s not just that constantly thinking about work makes us more stressed, it’s also that our fear of doing nothing—of not being productive every second of the day—is hurting us as well (we’ll talk about side projects another time).
There is a blending of work and life that woos us with its promise of barbecues at work and daytime team celebrations at movie theaters, but we’re paying for it in another way: a complete eradication of the line between home life and work life. “Get a job you don’t want to take a vacation from,” we say—and we sit back and watch the retweets stream in. There’s plenty of research about this as well, but let’s stick with Jessica Stillman’s Bored at Work? It’s a good overview of what scientists have found on the topic of giving your mind time to rest.
I got some raised eyebrows at work recently when I declined an invitation to watch a World Cup game in a conference room. If I watch the World Cup game with a bunch of people at work today, guess what I have to do tonight? I do what I do for them—for the people in my life, the people I know, and the people I don’t.
I have to work to catch up, instead of spending time with my family. If we never spend time away from our work, how can we understand the world and the people we make things for?
In short, being idle tells your brain that it’s in need of something different, which stimulates creative thinking.
So it’s something to be sought out and cherished—not something to be shunned. But outside of those hours I consider it part of being a sane and good human to give my kids a bath, chat to my wife, read, and reflect on the day that’s past and the one that’s coming—without the pressure of having to be online all the time.
They’d be lumped into the same screen-size–dependent groups, but they are two totally different device classes, so how do we determine what goes together?