Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport. Grand Central Publishing: New York (2016). 303 + xv pages. US$28.00 (hardcover).
Like many companies today, ExxonMobil’s new campus at The Woodlands, Texas, features an open work space without traditional offices. The theory behind open work spaces is to drive collaboration and the chance encounters that will trigger an idea that leads to the next great thing.
Unfortunately, as Cal Newport argues in his new book, “Deep Work,” such open work spaces not only fail to drive magical chance encounters but are indeed quite harmful to the productivity of workers. Newport defines “deep work” as “professional activities performed in a state of distraction-free concentration that push your cognitive capabilities to their limit” (pg. 3). He contrasts deep work with “shallow work,” defined as “non-cognitively demanding, logistical-style tasks, often performed while distracted” (pg. 6).
The full book review (PDF) is available here: ASEM_Book_Review-Deep_Work-TJK.pdf