For the last year, working on the AI, I was never bothered by the workplace enviroment (two people chatting next to me, the vacuum cleaners from the janitors, somebody opening the door) because I rarely had any significant problems to think about. However, now that I’m doing network programming, which sometimes requires deep thought to solve asynchronous problems, it’s a different issue. Sometimes I can’t solve a bug all morning, but solve it 30 seconds during my walk get lunch.
I’m a shitty driver sometimes because that’s one of the few times during the day when I’m alone and can really solve the deep problems to the point where I take a wrong turn on the way home… I use to solve math problems in my head on the way home from college that way.
I think the main reason why I’m so productive at home as compared to work is that I have a door I can close and in the early mornings nobody to distract me. For thought workers, not giving them a place to work with a door is like throwing away half their salary just so you can save a little money on office space.