Traditionally, corporate employees and managers have been made to work 9to5, spending 8 hours in meetings, conference calls, emails and meeting the deadlines. Most managers observe that their energy level isn’t consistent throughout the day, and that there are times when they find themselves more focused and productive than the rest of the day. For every individual, there are unique productivity patterns that must be tapped to gain optimum results.
Why 9 to 5 isn’t the best option for managers?
To understand this, let us dig deeper into how this working schedule evolved into its present state. In early 1800s, during the British Industrial Revolution the system was introduced in response to decreased continual productivity showed by the workers. The idea of fixed working hours works well for assembly line employees, but fails to produce similar results for modern day work environments.
Continuous long hours of work not only induces stress in employees, but results in a significant decrease in productivity and leave them unsatisfied. Moreover, unlike labour work, knowledge related work in corporate world isn’t only about productivity and is geared by creativity and innovation. Novel ideas require a contented state of mind which is fundamentally denied in routine practice.
Now, that we have established that normal working hours are not the best solution for scheduling a manger’s work routine, it is important to look at alternative approaches that can be adopted in this regard. Let us go, through these approaches at a glance:
Flexible Working Hours:
Flexible working hours allow employees to choose their timings and design their work day as they want it to be. Some prefer to start it early in the day while others prefer to be a night owl. It also keeps their interest in the job and they are able to perform best in hours that they feel most comfortable with.
Evaluating Quality Of Work:
A manager’s work cannot be quantified in exact terms and it is for that reason that fixed timing jobs do not resonate well with managerial roles. Firstly, evaluation should be task based. For instance, if a manager is able to perform a task exquisitely in six hours, he should be allowed to leave instead of someone who lingers the task for the whole working day. Moreover, managerial roles are not supposed to be laborious in nature. Instead, of evaluating their work in terms of quantity, quality of work should rather be a primary criterion of performance.
Involving Regular Breaks:
A human mind cannot stay focused if it continues to work for long hours. It kills their productivity and creativity. There is sufficient scientific evidence to back this notion. An average human mind can only focus for 90-120 mins on a specific task, after which a short break should be provided before indulging in the next 90-120 min working patch. To optimise the performance of the managers, companies should allow regular breaks during normal working hours and erect their company culture on similar lines.
For any specific role, optimum strategy can be crafted by closely considering the very specifications of the job and going with a good mix of all the above mentioned alternate approaches as I do with my managers.