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5 Reasons It Pays To Trust Your Gut

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5 Reasons It Pays To Trust Your Gut

Decision-making is a fundamental part of life and of human experience. We make and take decisions, big and small, every single day. But what’s the best way to make decisions – using facts, experience and data, or trusting your gut?

It’s an age-old question, one we’ve never really been able to answer. That quirky urge, the unusual tingle, an angel on your shoulder, that little voice in your head – these are all signs of gut feeling. But should we rely on these little signs to navigate our way through this thing called life?

Here are 5 reasons you should trust in your gut when you make decisions, whether they’re big, life-changing ones like buying a house, getting married or on a bit smaller in scale, like what to have for breakfast or what to wear on a night out.

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1. Trusting your gut could get you ahead at work

It comes as no wonder that many of the most well-known business minds, from Richard Branson to Steve Jobs, have vouched for the power of instinctive gut thinking for make decisions. Jobs himself famously said:

“You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

Looking to your gut rather than your brain could well help you in your career. This infographic from gaming experts 888 Casino shows that intuitive decision-making can be effective as much as 90% of the time. 62% of business executives say they rely on gut thinking to help them make key decisions

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2. It could help you spot a liar

Want to yell: ‘Liar, liar pants on fire!’ and be sure of it? Trust your gut. Research has found gut instinct is better than our conscious minds when it comes to spotting fibbers. The study found, perhaps surprisingly, that instinctive, automatic assumptions could well be more helpful when spotting truth-avoiders.

3. It could help you sort the wheat from the chaff

It seems first impressions really do count. It might be possible, using gut instinct, to weigh up whether a person is a good egg or not, in a matter of seconds – 10 to be precise, according to social psychologist David Myers, who wrote the book ‘Intuition: Its Powers and Perils.’ His book argues that early humans who could quickly detect whether a stranger was friend or foe were more likely to survive.

“If you don’t trust somebody, even if it turns out to be inaccurate, it is something to pay attention to,” intuitive psychiatrist Judith Orloff told Care2.com. “If you’re walking down the street at night and you get the feeling ‘stay away from that person,’ just cross the street.”

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4. Gut instinct could help you spot your soulmate

Sometimes you meet someone and they literally take your breath away. When it comes to relationships, instinctive intuition could well be the best watermark for figuring out if the person you’ve just met is someone you’re going to spend the rest of your life with…or not. The Casino infographic shows that, with 80% accuracy, it takes just 3 minutes to work out whether a couple will stick together or end up getting divorced. So when it comes to soulmates and spirit animals, trust your gut.

5. Intuition could guide you through life

You might be familiar with the book ‘The Dice Man’, which is about a psychiatrist who decides to make his life decisions based on the casting of dice. In the end this gets him into all manner of trouble. He would have been better off trusting his gut, because in general, making decisions on gut instinct alone can help you make the right call up to 90% of the time.

It really does pay to trust your gut.

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Featured photo credit: maggiedent via maggiedent.com

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Published on September 21, 2021

How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

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How Remote Work Affects Your Productivity And Wellbeing (Backed By Data)

The internet is flooded with articles about remote work and its benefits or drawbacks. But in reality, the remote work experience is so subjective that it’s impossible to draw general conclusions and issue one-size-fits-all advice about it. However, one thing that’s universal and rock-solid is data. Data-backed findings and research about remote work productivity give us a clear picture of how our workdays have changed and how work from home affects us—because data doesn’t lie.

In this article, we’ll look at three decisive findings from a recent data study and two survey reports concerning remote work productivity and worker well-being.

1. We Take Less Frequent Breaks

Your home can be a peaceful or a distracting place depending on your living and family conditions. While some of us might find it hard to focus amidst the sounds of our everyday life, other people will tell you that the peace and quiet while working from home (WFH) is a major productivity booster. Then there are those who find it hard to take proper breaks at home and switch off at the end of the workday.

But what does data say about remote work productivity? Do we work more or less in a remote setting?

Let’s take a step back to pre-pandemic times (2014, to be exact) when a time tracking application called DeskTime discovered that 10% of most productive people work for 52 minutes and then take a break for 17 minutes.

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Recently, the same time tracking app repeated that study to reveal working and breaking patterns during the pandemic. They found that remote work has caused an increase in time worked, with the most productive people now working for 112 minutes and breaking for 26 minutes.[1]

Now, this may seem rather innocent at first—so what if we work for extended periods of time as long as we also take longer breaks? But let’s take a closer look at this proportion.

While breaks have become only nine minutes longer, work sprints have more than doubled. That’s nearly two hours of work, meaning that the most hard-working people only take three to four breaks per 8-hour workday. This discovery makes us question if working from home (WFH) really is as good a thing for our well-being as we thought it was. In addition, in the WFH format, breaks are no longer a treat but rather a time to squeeze in a chore or help children with schoolwork.

Online meetings are among the main reasons for less frequent breaks. Pre-pandemic meetings meant going to another room, stretching your legs, and giving your eyes a rest from the computer. In a remote setting, all meetings happen on screen, sometimes back-to-back, which could be one of the main factors explaining the longer work hours recorded.

2. We Face a Higher Risk of Burnout

At first, many were optimistic about remote work’s benefits in terms of work-life balance as we save time on commuting and have more time to spend with family—at least in theory. But for many people, this was quickly counterbalanced by a struggle to separate their work and personal lives. Buffer’s 2021 survey for the State of Remote Work report found that the biggest struggle of remote workers is not being able to unplug, with collaboration difficulties and loneliness sharing second place.[2]

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Buffer’s respondents were also asked if they are working more or less since their shift to remote work, and 45 percent admitted to working more. Forty-two percent said they are working the same amount, while 13 percent responded that they are working less.

Longer work hours and fewer quality breaks can dramatically affect our health, as long-term sitting and computer use can cause eye strain, mental fatigue, and other issues. These, in turn, can lead to more severe consequences, such as burnout and heart disease.

Let’s have a closer look at the connection between burnout and remote work.

McKinsey’s report about the Future of work states that 49% of people say they’re feeling some symptoms of burnout.[3] And that may be an understatement since employees experiencing burnout are less likely to respond to survey requests and may have even left the workforce.

From the viewpoint of the employer, remote workers may seem like they are more productive and working longer hours. However, managers must be aware of the risks associated with increased employee anxiety. Otherwise, the productivity gains won’t be long-lasting. It’s no secret that prolonged anxiety can reduce job satisfaction, decrease work performance, and negatively affect interpersonal relationships with colleagues.[4]

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3. Despite everything, We Love Remote Work

An overwhelming majority—97 percent—of Buffer report’s survey respondents say they would like to continue working remotely to some extent. The two main benefits mentioned by the respondents are the ability to have a flexible schedule and the flexibility to work from anywhere.

McKinsey’s report found that more than half of employees would like their workplace to adopt a more flexible hybrid virtual-working model, with some days of work on-premises and some days working remotely. To be more exact, more than half of employees report that they would like at least three work-from-home days a week once the pandemic is over.

Companies will increasingly be forced to find ways to satisfy these workforce demands while implementing policies to minimize the risks associated with overworking and burnout. Smart companies will embrace this new trend and realize that adopting hybrid models can also be a win for them—for example, for accessing talent in different locations and at a lower cost.

Remote Work: Blessing or Plight?

Understandably, workers worldwide are tempted to keep the good work-life aspects that have come out of the pandemic—professional flexibility, fewer commutes, and extra time with family. But with the once strict boundaries between work and life fading, we must remain cautious. We try to squeeze in house chores during breaks. We do online meetings from the kitchen or the same couch we watch TV shows from, and many of us report difficulties switching off after work.

So, how do we keep our private and professional lives from hopelessly blending together?

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The answer is that we try to replicate the physical and virtual boundaries that come naturally in an office setting. This doesn’t only mean having a dedicated workspace but also tracking your work time and stopping when your working hours are finished. In addition, it means working breaks into your schedule because watercooler chats don’t just naturally happen at home.

If necessary, we need to introduce new rituals that resemble a normal office day—for example, going for a walk around the block in the morning to simulate “arriving at work.” Remote work is here to stay. If we want to enjoy the advantages it offers, then we need to learn how to cope with the personal challenges that come with it.

Learn how to stay productive while working remotely with these tips: How to Work From Home: 10 Tips to Stay Productive

Featured photo credit: Jenny Ueberberg via unsplash.com

Reference

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