For decades, scientists have been researching when people are most awake in an attempt to get the most productivity out of them as possible. But during the course of their research, they discovered something interesting: no one-size-fits-all routine is suitable for everybody. Instead, different people are productive at different times of the day. Are your employees night owls or morning birds?
Take Tim Cook, for example, the CEO of Apple and leader of the company since Steve Jobs’ untimely death in 2011. His routine involves getting up at 3:45 am, helping him to be the first person in the office. For the rest of us mere mortals, getting up at some time after 7:00 am on a weekday seems more reasonable, but we may not be functioning at our peak by then. In fact, many people have to wait until mid-morning before their brain cells really do kick into action, meaning that they’re not ready to give their best until 10 am. Researchers at the University of California have found that productivity tends to peak at around 2:00 pm, dropping off dramatically after 3:00 pm.
KBIC, a top 10 executive recruiter, based in Dallas has been providing its employees with a flexible workplace for decades and has won numerous awards, thanks to its workplace culture. Is it a model of the future? And how can you make your business more flexible for your employees?
Give Your Employees Time To Think
Sitting employees down in front of a desk all day long isn’t actually a great way to boost their productivity, especially if their job is creative. Researchers have found that giving employees the opportunity to go out for runs during the lunchtime break does more than just make them happier. It also helps to stimulate the production of alpha-waves, a type of wave that boosts creativity and reduces stress. More creativity and less stress mean more innovation at your company. All your employees will be “daydreaming” – but when it comes to having great ideas, that’s a good thing.
Encourage Them To Do Activities Outside Of Work
Cultivating a flexible workplace culture is about more than letting employees work whenever they want. It’s about helping them to have hobbies and interests outside of work that offers their life some balance. According to Entrepreneur magazine, it’s a good idea for employers and managers to be proactive when it comes to scheduling these extra activities. If an employee doesn’t go out for their regular 30-minute job at 3:00 pm, it’s probably worth asking why. Perhaps they’re stressed or snowed under with work and haven’t been able to leave the office.
Have Everybody Play By The Same Rules
Some employers grant parents increased flexibility around start and finish times. They recognize that they will get the most out of parents if they allow them leeway to turn up after 9:00 am or leave before 5:00 pm to deal with their kids. But this sort of preferential treatment should be extended to everybody in the office. Otherwise, you risk creating resentment. Everybody’s time should be valued equally.