I am incredibly fortunate to work in an amazingly well planned and thought out open office and hot desk environment. But even with full focus zones it can be difficult at times to concentrate because of distracting background conversations.
Some nice advice from this SMH article:
Tip 1: start by getting information out, not taking information in:
Don’t feel bad about taking a break to reset and recharge. It’s been proven that breaks will actually make you more productive.
I for one am a terrible multitasker. And don’t get me started on people who think that I can multi-task just because I’m a woman. Research is showing us that mutitasking is just very fast switching and not very effective.
If you find yourself unable to think in your open plan office you may be interested in reading this New York Times article The Rise of the New Group Think that argues the case for private space to be productive and creative.
If you occasionally find yourself busy at work with lots of tasks but feel you are getting nothing done try thinking of your day as a jar with … pickles in it. Even though this article mixes its metaphors (it talks about pickles then goes on to talk about “big rocks”) it offers a really interesting technique to visualise your work day, in this case as a jar, and prioritize your day, by filling it with the biggest tasks first. Email can wait.
Productivity versus collaboration. Isolation versus distraction. The pros and cons of working from home and “telecommuting” were making the rounds last week with articles about Google and Yahoo policies. Google, despite enabling its users to collaborate remotely doesn’t favour the practise itself. The positions of these companies on the matter are summarised by Asher Moses and Ben Grubb with some additional research facts, stats and links. Here’s a sample:
Cornell University researchers conducted a study that involved tinkering with the thermostat of an insurance office. When temperatures were low (68 degrees, to be precise), employees committed 44% more errors and were less than half as productive as when temperatures were warm (a cozy 77 degrees).
It’s not that this particular article in interesting — its that articles like this are appearing more and more often: “Stop Working More Than 40 Hours a Week” via Inc.com
No new facts or research in this article. Just more evidence of a trend to discourage long working hours to promote productivity.
via Managing Distraction: How and Why to Ignore Your Inbox – Forbes