Wasting time is not wasted time

Rest periods, R & R, tea breaks, lunch breaks and most meetings – call them what you will – are essential for brawn workers’ muscles to recover – they couldn’t work at full speed for a solid eight hours – just as Usain Bolt couldn’t run full pelt over 400 metres compared with 100 metres

But times have changed – brawnwork no longer dominates the world of work – brainwork has taken over, at least in developed nations

However, brainworkers also need rest breaks, so their brain cells can recover, be re-energised and think creatively

For them, it’s not time inputs and tasks completed versus target that matter – it’s results – results in meeting customers’ needs well, whether those customers are external and paying for the services offered or internal, further down the line, and needing their outputs RFT (Right First Time) so they can complete their work too

Brawnworkers are never expected to be able to work flat out for the whole eight hours of their shift – the same applies to brainworkers, only even more so – if in any doubt,  remember how exhausted you felt after concentrating for just three hours trying to complete an  exam paper

However, one forever reads of organisations forbidding their employees to use their iPhones whilst at work – we say let them – allow them to use Facebook or Whatsapp for as long as they like, chit-chatting to their chums – it helps resuscitate their grey cells

Indeed, let them spend their time at work however they want – even offering them the options of working flexi-time or from home part-time

But let them know they are  accountable for the results their customers, and so you, expect

More often than not, managers are surprised by the increases in productivity and morale that follow


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