I recently read this fantastic article from Fast Company which gave me a lot of food for thought about office motivation.
The science behind the way our brains work requires us to rest regularly.
We can work for 90 to 120 minutes at a time before our brains need a period of rest, approximately 20 minutes, before we can continue or move on.
To really work with your employees’ nature, consider building 90 minute work cycles with 20 minutes of rest in every work day. Create mandatory 20 minute breaks after every hour and a half of work. Suggest a walk outside or taking that time to read a book. Encourage them to get away from the computers.
This concept considers your time away from your work as vital a part of your day as the work itself. Writer Tom Gibson points this out in a great article found here.
“We need to incorporate ‘off time’–the outward breath, the ebb–into our working patterns. Not with simple lip-service like ‘you need to sleep better,’ but as an integral, affirmed part of the process of working…
We need to understand that ‘on’ is impossible without ‘off,’ and that the distance between the two needs to be made closer: like the beats of a heart or the steps of a runner.”
It may be difficult to alter your current thinking on the way the workday should be structured, but to not think about it will leave to decreased productivity in your company.
We have a hard time today, in a world of smart phones and constant access, understanding the need to step away from it all. However, don’t you think it is best to give into human nature rather than to fight it?