Sometimes the perfect workspace has four walls and a door; sometimes it has more–prison bars. Tony Perrottet, writing in the New York Times, traces the history of writers who benefited from the concentration afforded by imprisonment: The Marquis de Sade, Oscar Wilde, and even Marco Polo, who only recorded his travels while held captive. Why Writers Belong Behind Bars, while fun, raises an important issue: to get work done, sometimes you need a place closed off from life’s distractions, a place to concentrate.
While we’re certainly not suggesting companies lock up their employees, we do believe workplaces should match the work being done, whether that is working together or heads down. And when it’s the latter, some people require the privacy and control of walls and a door. They benefit from the ability to quietly pursue a thought to conclusion, without fear of interruption. A little solitude never hurt anyone.