Flexibility impacts productivity positively – more and more organizations are now offering workplace flexibility or are open to exploring the option of flexible working today than 5 years ago. Thanks to the rise of mobility, smartphones and increased internet access the workforce today is more connected than ever before. The main idea behind workplace flexibility is to enable the employee to manage their work according to their convenience. Businesses today are more focused on time ‘on’ work rather than time ‘at’ work. While this is great news, Kensington’s Productivity Trends Report 2015 threw light on a very important aspect of this new workplace trend. According to this survey, despite the sharp increase in productivity brought about because of mobile devices, today 35% of the survey respondents work longer hours than before and 19% of the workforce is working longer than 50 hours in a week.
The statistics in this report present a very compelling question – is the module of flexible working conducive to work life balance? Are we, in the head rush of flexibility, not seeing the hidden tax of working longer hours? And finally, is this module sustainable or are we moving towards a 24X7 work culture where we are, literally, working all the time?
For those who are beginning to feel that workplace flexibility is actually the first step to the end of work-life balance, take heart. By taking a few simple steps organizations and employees can ensure that this boon doesn’t turn into a bane.
- Limit the time spent in checking and answering emails and check emails at a designated time during the day
- For those working from home, set a dedicated work time and stick to it
- Minimize digital distractions – resist the urge to log on and check your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account at regular intervals
- Manage your time by planning ahead, separating the urgent from the important and then setting deadlines
- Give and take regular feedback on work processes and models to maintain efficiency
- Identify personal productivity patterns to design the workday for optimal productivity
- Take regular breaks
Finally, disconnect digitally at some point – be it switching off your smartphone or leaving it in the freezer, make sure you do anything that it takes to switch off completely at the end of the day to ensure that your productivity levels remain high the next day and onwards.