Over the ages, companies have tried to find new ways to boost productivity. Numerous studies and researchers have sought to pinpoint the keys to staff productivity.
Systems and tech-savvy developers constantly invent new ways and technologies to streamline and speed up processes to avoid drowning in heavy workloads. Interruptions are part of every work day.
There are organizations that believe quiet time at the office will decrease productivity, but remarkably research shows that both coordination and communication improves. [pulquote]To instate quiet time at the office is a simple work behaviour that will combat bad work habits and make a big difference in the work-life balance of your employees. This adjustment in the workplace will help find more practical ways to work efficiently and effectively.
What is 'quiet' time at the office? Quiet time is pre-scheduled, repeated frequently and act as structured time slots to help solve information overloads and increase productivity. It gives employees a specific time period during a workday without, what they deem as interruptions so that they can focus, concentrate and regroup.
But how do you implement quiet time as part of work habits?
· Involve everyone affected by the quiet time option to set the rules. Determine which time will be the most convenient to be without outside interruptions. Establish which interruptions everyone would like to avoid.
· Not everyone is the same. Each person has their own unique work style and personality. Build in some flexibility into the quiet time so that each employee involved can choose what they want to do in their quiet time. For example don’t necessarily be too strict on reading and replying to emails during quiet time. This might be something that specific employees need to catch up on. Rather introduce for example something like meetings are only scheduled in the mornings and the afternoons are left open where all incoming phone calls and walk-ins are dealt with by one person.
· To change the behaviour of employees is not a simple thing. Managers and executives need to role model this behaviour and it needs to be something that reoccurs regularly which will take some patients. At the end instilling this habit with persistence will have a great outcome and be worthwhile.
· Encourage employees to switch off their mobiles and put up ‘do not disturb’ signs for the duration of the quiet time. This will motivate the people in the office to respect this time as a time for focus, creativity, and thinking.
· Urge employees to plan their quiet time, whether it is to focus on the writing of proposals, or brainstorming creative ideas. Even if they choose one segment of quiet time to organize their files, do their admin duties or read up on the latest trends and developments in your business. If they plan ahead, they will accomplish more with their quiet time.
Sometimes quiet time is hard to achieve at a workplace or in a job where you are required to interact socially or if you are working remotely or from home with a house full of kids. But be creative. Look for a suitable time where you and your team’s engagements are fewer. When used right, quiet time is a way you can get yourself and your employees to recharge.
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