Page 62 - WHERE WE WORK - Schlegelmilch
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Moving between places
 as ‘focused work’. It comprised various tasks that required concentration, such as writing proposals for clients, writing blog posts, or brainstorming. In contrast, other tasks were less prone to suffer from a loss of focus, such as travel planning or answering emails. The distractions that could cause a loss of focus differed between the places, but café settings were most prone to distractions, such a general volume increase around mealtimes:
"What I can’t deal well with is when people make all these smacking noises around lunchtime. I'm at work, and if I don't have my headphones with me, then it really distracts me a lot." (Jocelyn, travel blogger, #25)
In order to conduct focused work anywhere, nomadic workers enacted the affordance of privacy, which is the ability to control incoming distractions. Distractions could be visual, such as other people walking by and notifications on devices, or auditory, such as conversations around them. When choosing where to work, the nomadic workers considered how the places afforded focused work through their physical features and social aspects. Jacky described how she created a focused work environment:
"I probably look for a table where I don't have too many people
around me, set up my laptop, probably plug it in, make sure the internet works, plug in my headphones and turn on some music, so nobody talks to me...I like to turn notifications and emails and all these programs and Skype; I turn all that off and just focus on the things that are right in front of me." (Jacky, web designer, #4)
The quote illustrates the two physical features that enabled workers to control the incoming distractions to their temporary work environment: distance to others and barriers. The first is also something that we observed when we visited this specific co-working space. For example, in an Amsterdam co-working space, nomadic workers made use of the possibility to use flexible tables (Figure 2.4) and move them as far away from each other as possible to create more distance to the other workers. In café settings, distance to others took the form of sitting in corners or merely

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