Boost Productivity by Getting More Rest and Working Shorter Days
Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox
Sweden is switching to a 6-hour workday with 25 percent boosts in productivity. But how? Paradoxical as it seems -- more rest is the key to more work.
“The 8-hour workday is not as effective as one would think,” says Linus Feldt in an interview for Fast Coexist. Feldt, a Stockholm-based CEO, slashed two hours from his company's workday in 2014. He claims that nothing changed about his business, aside from the elimination of social media and a few weekly meetings -- both of which are positive.
“It’s easier to focus more intensely on the work that needs to be done,” says Feldt, and “still have energy left when we leave the office." According to a recent survey, that energy is exactly what U.S workers lack. More than 60 percent of Americans (and your employees) blame tiredness for on-the-job mistakes.
But you can prevent that. Here are three rest strategies you can use today for fully focused employees:
1. Frequent mini-breaks.
Most workers sit from morning to lunch. While more time on the job doesn’t seem counterproductive, science shows that it is. Prolonged periods of sitting (as short as 30 minutes) signals the release of cortisol, a stress hormone produced by the adrenal glands.
Since stress and work don't mix, your workforce will benefit from mini-breaks every 20-30 minutes. Encourage your employees to walk around the block. Give them open access to a company gym for power exercises like squats and lunges. Get your leadership to promote natural movement at work by having them do pushups or jumping jacks every thirty minutes.
Consistent natural movement will keep your employees relaxed, focused and stress-free. Make movement a priority.
2. Give employees a longer lunch break.
Lengthy lunches -- two hours is great -- may be the smartest rest tool of all. The extra time allows your employees to care of personal needs, like working out, laundry, shopping, or doing things that make them happy. But without a midday break, people worry about not having enough time to do what they need. That worry kills their job performance -- and your profit. But you can solve the problem with a super simple fix. Give your employees more “me” time with an extended lunch break.
3. Mindfulness meditation.
Meditation is a super potent form of rest that is underused in the workplace. Studies show that just 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation can reduce stress while significantly improving focus. So hire a mindfulness meditation professional to give your employees an afternoon workshop. Or, consult with a corporate wellness company that specializes in meditation.
Questionable as the 9-to-5 is, we’re stuck with it in the U.S. But that doesn’t mean your workplace has to be stressed out and busy to a fault. By using the practical rest strategies in this article, you’ll increase work quality and productivity while enhancing your employees’ quality of life.