Businesses want their employees to be more productive.
Employees want to be happy and keep their jobs.
These aren’t mutually exclusive things. Actually increasing happiness will improve productivity.
What are known ways to increase someone’s happiness?
1 – Help them be healthier
2 – Let them spend more time doing things they enjoy
3 – Put them under less stress
Now, we know that work will expand to fill the time allowed. And that people are generally only productive for 2-4 hours per day. So why make people sit at desks that are wrecking their health for 8-9 hours per day?
I’m completely convinced the 40-hour workweek stays the norm because it has been that way for so long. That’s it. No logical reasoning. Just tradition.
That’s not good enough. We need a logical approach to work.
How do people get healthier? They cook their own food, exercise daily and get some fresh air. What better way to get more people to sit down for a home-cooked meal after an intense round of exercise than by giving them two extra hours in their day?
Improving health also has the benefit of reducing healthcare costs and sick leave. You’ll get more out of employees while reducing your costs under the current healthcare laws.
What’s a great cause of stress? Commutes. Why do we all have to be in the office at the same time every day? It’s insane.
Some people are morning people. Some people can’t function before noon. Stop trying to force everyone into a box and watch how much more productive they get.
Let the early risers come in from 7a-1p. Six solid hours. No lunch break. Just intermittent 10-15 minute breaks to let the mind wander a bit. That’s known to improve thinking and problem solving.
Then bring in the late risers from Noon to 6p. You have one hour for meetings. Which is plenty. Most meetings are super unproductive and could’ve been a memo instead of taking a long portion of everyone’s day to make them miserable.
Now your business is also open for a couple extra hours. Which is probably better for your customers. #problemsolving #bi-winning
Standup meetings time-boxed to 20-30 minutes is best. It’s important to have a clear agenda before the meeting starts too. No rambling. On-topic or get out.
By having two distinct shifts and eliminating useless meetings – you’re a time saver. We’ll enjoy greatly reduced traffic during all hours of the day – rush hours become so disjointed there’s no nightmarish commutes. Even if it was exactly half… how much better would your commute be with only half as many cars on the streets?
Plus, no wasted time sitting listening to irrelevant material. Email it. Or Slack it. Everyone can pickup where they left off and get the info they need when they need it.
Letting people spend more time doing things they enjoy will obviously improve happiness. Whether that’s reading more books, watching more of their favorite shows, playing with their kids, talking more with their partner or developing a hobby – we get happier doing the things we enjoy.
There it is. A three part equation to increasing happiness and, consequently, productivity.