Tony Schwartz, who is the President and CEO of the Energy Project (authored Be Excellent at Anything) and blogger for the Harvard Business Review wrote an excellent article ??? How to Accomplish More by Doing Less.
Tony argues about the law of diminishing returns ie that if we keep pushing and pushing ourselves without break or respite, without opportunity to heal or rejuvenate, it doesn???t work in our favour. This makes such complete sense yet I do wonder why it is that we have to read about it like it is something new and as if a case needs to be made for it. Tony talks about creating a workplace ???that truly values a balanced relationship between intense work and real renewal, and you???ll not only get greater productivity from employees, but also higher engagement and job satisfaction.???
Truth is, this looks like it might go into some organisation???s mission statement or employee retention handbook or some such thing. A place where you said what needs to be said and which widely differs from the reality most of us face.
I like this article for a number of reasons.
1. It gives me hope. I would not like to think that we all need to burn the candle at both ends. It makes sense to stop and rest. And being told its justified and there???s science and stats behind this, makes it more believable.
2. It???s logical. Yet at the same time, we see in our workplace, in our interactions with customer service centres, with people in the grocery stores, the kind of interactions that makes us wonder whether they work in organisations they enjoy and thrive in. For the decisions some of these people make, the kind of interactions that may ensue, sometimes leave much to be desired. So, we may know something to be true, we may agree on its veracity and need and yet, quite easily go in the opposite direction. And it can be a choice we embrace every single day, as exhibited by the conversations we have and the actions we take.
3. It???s in line with ROWE (or the results only work environment) movement. I have been a fan of this movement since I heard about it many years back. It???s simple, it makes sense and it delivers results. What more do you need? Yet, while the movement has been gaining traction, it is clear that the great majority of organisations and workplaces out there still embrace an antiquated way of working.
What do people need to really make the jump? It surely can???t be that they need another statistic.