Today I’m writing from a hammock at the pool situated in the backyard of my apartment complex. So far, I’ve written two blog posts, managed various social media accounts, and finalized the design of a new promo flyer for the startup I work for, Passage. Not bad for a Wednesday at 3 P.M.
Without anyone peering over my shoulder, interrupting me with pointless office drama, or chaining me to a desk, I find it much easier to get into a state of flow where I can produce my finest work.
By using simple dialogue, you too can spend less time in the office and more time living life on your own terms, all while increasing both your creativity and productivity.
Employees: Start a Dialogue
Start a dialog with your boss or manager about ways you can be more productive and feel more inspired on a day to day basis. Try asking to work from home just one day this week with the promise that your performance won’t suffer. Then, prove to your boss in the trial period that you can be just as, if not more, productive working from home as you are in the office. Use the hours saved to live a little. Get in a mid-day run, go for an afternoon swim, or simply work in more comfortable clothes. It's incredible how much time and energy you can save without the stress of a daily commute.
Or, if you need to be in the office and feel that you are constantly being interrupted during the normal workday, mention to your manager that you’d prefer coming into work an hour or two earlier to avoid distractions. Not only will you be able to leave earlier in the afternoon, but without the interruptions, you’ll get more done in the first hour than you’d normally get done in an entire day.
Any good boss wants you to be happier and more productive. Prove to him or her that you can be both, all while shaving off hours spent in your car and at your desk.
Employers: Get More From Your Employees
Give your workers a little freedom with the option to work from home one day per week. You’d be surprised by how much they can get done without the daily commute and office chatter. Not only will they be more productive, they will likely feel more respected, empowered, and better about their jobs. If it isn’t working after a few weeks, disallow it. You don’t have much to lose.
Schedule a one-on-one meeting every week to get feedback from your workers as to how the work process/workday can be improved. Not only will this show your employees that you actually care about their work and well-being, but it will also help you to develop a reputation as a good listener.
The Bottom Line
Employers, stop micromanaging! Employees, stop letting others micromanage your every move. Understand that it is a give and take between employer and employee: the employer is going to have to muster up some trust, and the employee is going to have to muster up some courage and accountability.
Employees, think of it this way: If you can’t have a simple conversation with your boss about how you as an employee can be more productive, efficient, and happy, is he or she really worth working for… or taking orders from?
Employers, think of it this way: If you can’t trust your employee to complete his or her tasks when given an ounce of freedom, do you really want that individual working for you?
I’m not saying you need to make any rash decisions. It just might benefit you to think a little deeper about what makes you come alive and what environments, processes, and projects suck the life out of you.
Find Your Happy Place
Despite the perks of being in the office, like the delicious coffee or Friday morning bagels, consider the things holding you back from being your most inspired, productive and creative self. Finding your “happy place” or a workflow that best fits your needs is imperative to saving your creativity and living a life of less stress and more fulfillment.