BakkerElkhuizen explains the importance of smarter working in contrast to the notion of working hard
Businesses, whether an SME or large organisation, are now more aware than ever of the importance of utilising office space, employee time and productivity. The benefits aren’t just another money saving incentive to make the companies more profitable and staff to work harder. Working hard is something we’ve all been taught since our childhood but the paradigms are evolving and ‘working hard’ isn’t the way of the modern office. Working smart is very important, but working smartly can be quite hard if you don’t know how.
Companies and employees are smart when they can figure out that the tasks they are doing can be done in a more efficient manner, thus by optimising their efforts it will result in more efficient results.
Less effort = more results. But, how do you figure out a way to complete tasks with less effort and better results? The answer is simply by working in an enriched working environment. The way we embrace our own space, office space and working habits all join to make a more beneficial working atmosphere. Simple changes from making the office more visually appealing, better lighting and more stimulating surroundings will help our brains focus on the tasks in hand and process information quicker and more efficiently. But, how do we work smarter when work consumes us almost 24-7? Work follows us everywhere, it doesn’t just stop after 5 pm, with technology allowing emails, phone calls and instant messages at any moment of the day it means we all always connected to our office, even when it is family time, gym time or bedtime. You are just one email away from a happy mood to complete stressed out.
As simple as it sounds, the easiest way is to try to stick to strict working patterns, switch off your emails, or your phone when you finish work. Your body and brain both need time to relax and recover. You cannot be your best if you constantly clear emails until 9 pm every day. So ask yourself, does dealing with 10 emails after 7 pm really save you time the day after in work? The answer is not really, as there is always more work to fill those gaps. Resting is more important. When in work try to prioritise the tasks for the day ahead, so set clear targets and check emails only at certain times, otherwise one email could swallow up more time than you could imagine, this will make you behind on your daily tasks, more stressed, less productive and making you be less focused and productive, filling you with negative energy which can affect you and your colleagues.
So how do we become more focused on work? It’s not just the mental approaches and clear time management that will benefit your daily work routine but also by embracing software which gives you little nudges throughout the day and encourages you to be more active both physically and mentally. Scientific research shows that the brain gets tired after just 40-50 minutes of continuous effort, this contributes to less speed and more mistakes. A simple three-minute pit-stop will allow your brain to recharge, re-align and you’ll actually speed up after and make fewer mistakes. So, the three minutes isn’t actually lost, you are just more efficient after.
Naturally, working smart is the only way forward, by embracing little changes your whole work and life balance could be vastly improved, showing health and mental benefits that you make you happier, freeing up time for some of the more important things in life. Evenings and weekends with family and friends. Embracing life is what we all want, so by learning to work smarter, we will naturally find more time to relax and enjoy the best things.
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