Workplace productivity is one of the business goals you shouldn’t disregard, especially if you want to build a balanced company where everyone doesn’t feel alerted during office days. Of course, eating, sleeping, and hydration are a must for every worker to experience physical comfort, but what about mental control? One of the popular ideas to improve productivity is about cutting off all the wires that connect people to the workplace from time to time. That’s when being quiet at work comes to the stage in all glory to reduce stress, improve employee focus, and keep time management altogether.
Main ideas behind quiet hours relate to putting down the smartphone or closing the inbox for a certain number of working hours. Multitasking is one of the myths busted by a thing like a quiet time program. The thing is - it only sounds great when your worker is able to do several things at once with the same level of productivity. In real life people are not able to multitask like machines, that are not how the brain works in the majority of life scenarios. With Millennials and Gen Zers becoming the main office inhabitants, distraction levels jump up to 74% according to Udemy. Besides, many of those workers combine employment with studies or the duties of a part-time essay writer, which can also be one of the distractions in addition to the typical office ones like emailing, cold calling, or writing reports. For them, working in silence may be the “back to focus” cure you’ve been looking for as an employer.
Below are the proofs that incorporation of quiet hours into the body of your company’s culture is the major step to a much improved general productivity.
Leslie Perlow from the University of Michigan conducted her Quiet Experiment that took place during three mornings per week. Her team used a solid computer hardware company as the field for the study. The experiment focused on decreasing the Time-to-Market of designing the printer by a tech team. During that time, team members were leaving their gadgets and random web browsing sessions behind. As a result, the team's performance increased in terms of concentration and generating tech-savvy ideas for the product.
Another story goes with Intel’s Quiet Time Programme. This tech giant experienced the benefits of quiet time after their famous experiment. They moved away all the meetings, phone calls, and every kind of distracting alert for four hours every Tuesday morning. It was a huge success, and the company reported a surge in productivity and employees’ emotional state.
As you can see, quiet hours aren't a myth at all. What can you do right now to implement this strategy into the workflow of your company?
Technological turning-off may provide the benefits which will be visible on the next day. If you want to achieve best business efficiency, you may consider planning quiet hours beforehand. Yet, there’s another point worthy of note, which is the general workplace. Here are the perks of implementing this practice in business:
• Better Performance Output. Optimal level of effectiveness on any task is about concentrating on one thing at a time. It means that when a worker is decluttered from any secondary tasks like checking out emails or filling out performance reports, he or she will be able to perform main tasks better. Imagine a chef who cooks 5 dishes at a time, making 3 of them taste average. The same goes for every industry: the more tasks workers have at the same time, the worse is the performance output for every one of them.
• Reduced Stress. Prolonged stress might develop into the chronic one. Quiet hours might be the solution to unload the burden of many tasks that have burning deadlines. Making workers feel less overwhelmed from professional responsibility improves their emotional state. In turn, that means calmer focus on the important tasks for longer periods of time throughout the whole week.
• Improved Thinking. To make your workers think transparently and with extra creativity, quiet hours will definitely make difference. Freeing up your workers from the airstrikes of information for several hours a day will give them more space to think about new ways on solving ordinary tasks. That would lead to better professional engagement in the workplace.
The effects of sound or noise on human concentration have been known for decades of scientific research in psychology. However, silence was also tested out to contrast the lack of attention workers usually experience when surrounded by office sounds or distractions on their monitors and smartphone screens. In fact, most workers do not realize that their brains focus on the surrounding noise subconsciously.
That’s why they lose one important thing, which is the level of concentration on the ongoing tasks. In the state of complete silence, no matter whether it’s represented by sounds or other distractors, the brain doesn’t lose anything. Returning to the normal, or better say natural, state of concentration brings relaxation to the brain of every worker in the company who undergoes quiet hours.
Nevertheless, to make quiet hours work in the way they should, it’s vital to limit all the distractors at once during a certain period of time. Experts from the write my essay online agency are convinced that even minor distractions could significantly reduce worker performance because they still would pay attention to them. This is like creating the state of vacuum at the workplace where nothing else should occupy your workers’ mind except job-specific tasks of the primary importance.
Making quiet hours a part of your corporate culture is the aspect that you should consider carefully because not everyone will be happy about that in the beginning. Here are the top aspects to keep in mind:
• Rules Are Important. You have to create a manifesto that will take into consideration the rules of group behavior during quiet hours. The questions that you should evoke in this guide could be the following: What’s the number of hours that will be considered quiet? In what days will those hours be included? What will one not be allowed to do? What will one be allowed to do? The more details will be available to your workers, the better they will handle the transition to a quiet hours system.
• Test The Launch. Gather all of your workers together and announce the launch of the program. Human factor is very important in dealing with changes to the workplace, so by taking the role of manager in a quiet hours program, you’ll be able to lessen the tension and unlift the stress of changes. Explain the rational side of the program and what benefits it brings to the workplace. Obviously, you won’t be blamed for any discomfort caused by this innovation.
• Check How It Performs. After the program is launched, check the milestones every week and month. Spread questionnaires among your workers about how they feel and what should be done differently according to their opinion. Also, measure employee performance during quiet hours on every task. Your ultimate goal is to find out whether productivity declines or increases.
As a manager or company owner, you’d likely meet some issues when starting a quiet hours experiment. We’ve outlined some obvious risks and solutions for you not to fail at once:
• Don’t Be Authoritative. Making the whole thing obligatory will cause irritation and lower motivation to follow the terms of experiment. Manager’s role is to become a visionary of changes and encourage everyone to follow the terms of quiet hours for the sake of common benefits. There is no other way to make people believe in changes unless you talk about the benefits that quiet hours bring to the workplace.
• Avoid Telling That People Must Disconnect Entirely. Workers can plug to the idea of quiet hours so strongly, they wouldn’t notice when there is a need to violate the rules of quiet hours. In case of emergency at the workplace, people must not refuse to handle it properly, even if ignoring the idea of quiet hours is needed. If the interruption is urgent, there is no need to ignore it. That’s appropriate if you talk about it to your workers.
• Not Everyone Adapts to It. Yes, not all workers will benefit from quiet hours at once. However, it can still benefit the majority of them if you allow a certain level of flexibility for every worker. It means that people should be allowed to follow quiet hours in the way comfortable to their workflow. For example, if a worker's productivity relies on checking the emails, you should allow checking them at least several times during quiet hours to keep up with the main duties.
• Encourage Workers Afterwards. When quiet hours end, you shouldn’t close your eyes on the future of this workplace innovation. As a manager, you must continue the implementation of the quiet hours if the benefits for your company are obvious. Only this way you can make quiet hours the integral part of the corporate culture that will benefit every worker.
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