An engaging working environment and a culture that recognizes the importance of downtime not only boosts employees’ morale, it also encourages creativity.
Mark “Improve Your Office Day” on October 4 with a gesture that brightens up the workspace. © Swarovski
The notion that hours spent in the office is the only measure of productivity is rapidly being discredited. Some companies and organizations have embraced the ROWE™️ (Results-Only Working Environment1) approach, where “presenteeism” is out and employees are allowed to work wherever they are most productive—their home office perhaps, a shared workspace, or even a coffee shop. Indeed, some bosses are going a step further and encouraging the “monk mode morning”2, the term coined by Cal Newport in his book Deep Work: “Between when you wake up and noon, no meetings, no email, no Slack, no internet. Instead, you work deeply on something that really matters.”
It Pays to Take Time Out
There’s a growing recognition, too, that downtime is crucial to productivity. The world of business has learned some important lessons from the world of elite sport, where recovery time in between competitions or intense training sessions is regarded as an essential element of an athlete’s routine. The brain needs recovery time, and this is why ensuring sufficient sleep and taking vacations help employees to be more effective and boost creative thinking3. Even micro-breaks during the working day can help employees to recharge and refocus. A study4 by Stanford University showed that when people were attempting creative tasks, a walk around the block sparked more ideas than remaining seated at a desk.
There’s nothing like an upbeat handwritten note to show someone they’re valued! © Swarovski
Make it Personal
Enlightened employers are now recognizing that an attractive and engaging working environment tend to promote greater creativity and productivity. Some office spaces feel impersonal, but even small human touches can make a big difference to how employees feel about going to work every day. A touch of visual interest such as a splash of color and a touch of Swarovski sparkle will brighten up a desk or make a routine task more pleasurable. Give a deserving member of the team a pair of crystal lucky elephants symbolizing wisdom and good fortune, or an elegant crystal-dusted ballpoint pen dusted with crystals to give a stylish flourish to note-taking. Alternatively, encourage quiet time after a busy working day with the soothing shimmer of a tea light in a crystal-embellished holder. What better way to mark this year’s “Improve Your Office Day” on October 4!
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1 Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE™), Judy Thompson & Cali Ressler.
2 Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport (Piatkus, 2016)
3 ‘Three Science-Based Reasons Vacations boost Productivity’, Psychology Today
4 ‘Learning, Memory, and Cognition’, M. Oppezzo & D.L. Schwartz, Journal of Experimental Psychology Vol 40(4), July 2014, 1142–1152