A person stands in the snowy wilderness gazing up at a mountain peak
March 18, 2020

Eudaimonia Machine—is this the blueprint for the virtual workplace?

By James Murray, Managing Director, EMEA

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This week marks the first time that all of my Workfront colleagues are working remotely and it’s got me thinking about how we shift from work in a physical environment to work in a digital environment. 

We miss being together. Nothing can replace the positive impact of face-to-face interaction. So how do we shift to do great work in a virtual workplace? Should we take this moment to redesign how we work?

The Eudaimonia Machine (figure 1) comes from Chicago-based architect David Dewane, and is framed around Aristotle's concept of eudaimonia, meaning the epitome of human capability. It is a precise work space layout designed to avoid the many well-documented challenges of the open-plan office. 

David Dewane's Eudaimonia Machine illustration
Figure 1. David Dewane’s Eudaimonia Machine.

 

Is the Eudaimonia Machine the blueprint for how we should design our virtual work environment? The Machine directs the occupant through a linear series of stages (rooms) that culminate in deep work, something Cal Newport writes about in his book Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World

The Eudaimonia Machine’s linear stages include: 

 

  • The Gallery—where we are inspired by previous examples of deep work in our business

  • The Salon—a collaborative hub where we share and debate ideas 

  • The Library—the store of all work ever done in our business; where we gather information for new projects 

  • The Office Space—a place where we can do shallow work: low intensity, high-admin activities; a place where there are often many distractions 

  • The Chamber— this space allows for total focus and uninterrupted work, where great value is added through deep work

 

WARNING: Implementing the Machine in your home is not a trivial DIY project and although some innovative thinking is done in the bath, your family won't thank you for the conversion.

Let’s think about this digitally. Most of the current noise around remote working focuses on digital tools that recreate the “Office Space”—Zoom, Slack, email, and patchy mobile calls…but what about the rest of the Machine? Where do the Gallery, Salon, Library, and Chamber exist digitally? What does work done virtually look like when the machine is applied? 

Modern businesses are increasingly asking these types of questions, and finding answers in work management technology. Learn how future-oriented businesses are reimagining work for the modern workforce in IDC MarketScape’s Worldwide Work Management and Project and Portfolio Management report

IDC MarketScape names Workfront a leader in work management

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