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Most Employees Are More Productive When They Work Somewhere Other Than The Office

Most Employees Are More Productive When They Work Somewhere Other Than The Office

It’s possible that most of your employee’s are wasting time while at work. It’s not their fault, though. An open-floor office is a jungle full of distraction, and it can be hard to get anything done in a space like that.

A new survey of 2,600 hundred people found that 76 percent of people can do better work outside of the office! Flex Jobs, a job bored focused on finding employee’s remote jobs, cited that most people found the office too distracting and that interruptions from coworkers killed productivity.

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It takes time to get in the zone when you begin working each day, and it takes a lot to stay in the zone. Consider working like driving on a long road trip. When you’re on the highway, you’re getting to your destination as quickly as possible. It takes time to get from your home to the highway entrance ramp, and each time a coworker pulls you away from your task, you have to get off the highway and pull into a gas station. It takes time to get back on the highway and get into driving mode.

Commuting Leads to Decrease in Productivity

Distraction and interruption isn’t the only reason that employees prefer working from home, a coffeeshop or a library. They also cited commuting as a major reason for their lack of productivity. It’s important to begin each day on the right foot. How you start your day sets the tone for everything you do that day. Many employees are starting their day in an hours worth of bumper to bumper traffic.

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According to an article in TIME, the morning commute causes a rise in blood pressure, anxiety and stress. Many employees are on the edge when they arrive at work, long before they have the chance to even start interacting and being productive.

Office Politics as a Big Productivity Killer

In addition, employees cite office politics as a big productivity killer. Like the morning commute, this is a big form of stress and anxiety. It’s true, many people do thrive on a cutthroat office environment. Some find it exciting. Many people don’t find it exciting, though. In fact, many people are disengaged by the office politics game, rather than being motivated by it. 

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This should come as a wake up call to office managers out there. The work environment we’re used to may be outdated, and it may be time to reevaluate your companies policy on remote work. If you’re worried that some of your employees aren’t being as productive as possible, consider taking action:

What to Do Then?

Offer a Remote Work Policy

Most survey respondents cited that they’d be most productive at home. In fact, 30 percent of respondents said they’d be willing to take a 10 to 20 percent pay cut if they could telecommute. As a company, you could test that theory out. It may be quite a stretch to suddenly allow all your employees freedom, but you could give the policy a test run with a few of your trusted employees.

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Create And Do Not Disturb Workspaces

This idea comes from my college library, where we had large rooms that were strictly for studying. In these rooms you weren’t allowed to talk or collaborate, you were only allowed to work on your own. This is a good option for companies that aren’t ready to offer a telecommute option, but see the need to revamp their office culture.

Make Your Office Healthy

According to the survey, health is a growing concern in the office culture. The lack of flexibility of a job means that your eating and exercising habits are at the mercy of your office. In fact, 80% of respondents think they’d be healthier if they didn’t work at an office. Not only that, but eating health foods increases brain power and productivity. Ease your employee’s minds and make them productivity machines by offering healthy snacks at the office, and possibly even an exercise break.

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

Why we procrastinate after all

We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

So, is procrastination bad?

Yes it is.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

How bad procrastination can be

Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article:

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8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

Procrastination, a technical failure

Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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