Two states of mind exist in a workplace: mental and physical presence. In order to find a good balance between the two, an understanding of the work being conducted is needed.
Take, for example, a construction worker, who's job is to hammer and drill all day long. Although a mental presence is required to ensure proper safety and efficiency, they arguably require a stronger physical presence. On the other hand, an accountant has almost an exclusive mental presence - they look through data and statements to distill insights based on the provided information.
Physical labor or mental labor, both are hard work!
The need for physical space in a changing society
Over the past 30 odd years the vast majority of the first world has shifted to a mental presence work environment. With the Internet playing a critical part in everyone's lives, is there still a purpose for a workplace if the tasks can be completed with your mind and a computer?
There are a few key benefits of having a central workplace, including:
Not quite The Wolf of Wall Street
At Kiwi, we adopt the mentality of value for time and space; if an individual strives by themselves, they are encouraged to do so. To provide structure, we make sure that availability hours are established (e.g. between the hours of 11am-4pm each team member needs to be available via phone or message to allow for proper communication flow between team members).
The need for concentrated abstract thought
Another interesting challenge in the software world is the understanding of abstract problem solving. Time away from a problem or juxtaposition of an issue with another increases a persons capacity to derive additional situations.
Find what helps you think of the abstract
Einstein and Feynman both adopted hobbies such as cycling or painting, respectively, to allow for an abstracted view to solve their mathematical problems. Perhaps in the age of computing a similar mindset should be utilized to help match an adequate time vs. output state.