Benefits of Four Day Work Week

Benefits of Four Day Work Week

How would you feel about being able to take an extra day off every week, without having to take a pay cut?Well maybe one day in the future, you can! Calls for a 4 day work week have been growing recently with the UK’s trade union body, the TUC, joining an ever-increasing list of influential organisations who claim a 4day work week will lead to a more productive, more efficient and less stressed workforce. These are just some of the benefits of a flexible working week, but that isn’t all there is: Benefits of Flexible WorkingKeep the same pay, but work less hours, with an extra day off to follow your own interests or spend time with the family. Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?But will a shift to a 4day work week actually make us more productive? Or does the answer to the UK’s productivity problem lie in working more hours, like the 9-9-6 formula that many companies in China and Japan use?Many smaller companies have already started to shift towards a 4day work week, but this has yet to be tested by some of the UK’s bigger businesses who have always relied on a 5day working week. Four Day Work Week One business that I know of changed to a 4day working week about 3 years ago. Every employee now has Friday off as well as the weekend, with no loss in pay. They say the gains they have made far outstrip any obvious losses. Productivity is up 30%, absence and sickness at an all time low, and there are other, more unexpected cost savings as...
Improve Your Management Skills in 2019

Improve Your Management Skills in 2019

How busy are you today?It’s funny how we can convince ourselves we are being productive, just because we are “busy”. Our entire culture promotes busyness, its good to be busy – right? Running from meeting to meeting, responding to an ever-increasing list of emails, telling anyone who will listen how busy you are….But being busy is not the same as being productive. In fact, in order to be productive, sometimes we need to be the opposite to busy. Sometimes the best management skill is to do nothing! There is plenty of research that tells us taking regular breaks when working helps productivity, along with good exercise and a healthy diet. But what I am talking about is literally doing nothing, or as the Dutch call it, Niksen.So, what is Niksen? After all, we are always doing something, even when we’re asleep. Well, the best way to describe Niksen is like a car whose engine is running but isn’t going anywhere. More practically it is taking the time to consciously do things like sit completely still and stare out a window.Now there are some who would call that lazy or idle, but you only have to do a little research to see how many studies there are showing that feeling exhausted during the workday dramatically reduces both performance and productivity. We all need time to let your mind switch off and re-charge, but most of us never give ourselves that time! That’s because we’re not used to doing nothing, being busy is the norm. Our smart phones and other devices make it even harder for us to completely switch off....
Leadership Training From a Billionaire Business Mogul

Leadership Training From a Billionaire Business Mogul

A friend of mine recently reminded me of a great quote that really gets to the core of how to make your team more productive.I’m sure you will have heard this quote banded around before but read it again with your thoughts focused on improving productivity in your workplace.The quote is from British business legend Sir Richard Branson…. For me, this quote gets to the heart of how to solve the productivity puzzle in this country, and around the world. “Train people well enough so they can leave.” That doesn’t just mean teach them how to do the job. It means give them the skills and teach them the behaviours to be able to succeed in any type of business, in any type of industry.If you can train everyone in your team how to become a really effective communicator, how to engage with your team in a positive way and the importance of giving honest feedback regularly. If you can train them to have the self-awareness and emotional intelligence to understand how other people are feeling and how to manage their feelings with honesty and respect, then you have trained people who are equipped to deal with so much more than just “doing a job”. One of the key factors behind falling productivity is employee turnover. That’s why its so important to; “Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”  Companies who have high attrition rates will continue to suffer until they understand they need to do more than just provide a job for their staff. Employment is at a record high in this country, it’s a buyers’ market...
People Management Skills You Need

People Management Skills You Need

I’m going to introduce a word that you may not have heard before. But trust me. It’s going to become more and more familiar to a lot of employers and employees in the future. And it’s going to be a big part of what people need in their people management skills tool kit.The word is presenteeism – and it’s on the rise! Presenteeism was originally used as a word to describe employees who come to work when they are physically or mentally unwell, instead of staying at home and recuperating. This usually happened because they were worried about job security or not being paid and felt they had to be in work, even when they were ill.More recently, this term has been expanded to describe employees who are completely disengaged in their job. They turn up to work every day but are not really “present” in their work.  A survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) found that a massive 72% of organisations had experienced presenteeism in the last year. They went on to suggest that presenteeism is one of the biggest threats to UK productivity and a key issue for companies that want to look after the well-being of their staff.We all know that we are less productive when we are not feeling 100%. We also know that being dis-engaged in your job can lead to more mistakes, as well as a significant drop in morale. All these things together can cause a huge, detrimental impact on the overall performance of a business. In fact, Presenteeism can actually be more expensive for a business...
Essential Time Management Skills to Boost Productivity

Essential Time Management Skills to Boost Productivity

It’s crazy how many responses we’ve had back from our last newsletter! Literally hundreds of replies from readers telling me their stories about their experiences of having to work longer hours to make up the productivity shortfall in their business, and the negative effect of this type of time management has had on them!  And its true! The research is out there! A seven-year study from the American Journal of Epidemiology revealed that those working more than 55 hours per week performed worse in both verbal reasoning and vocabulary tests than those working 40 hours a week.This study suggests that those consistently working longer hours are more likely to experience greater cognitive decline over time. So, whilst it may seem reasonable to assume that those who work long hours are more productive, the research points to a different conclusion – working longer hours is detrimental to a person’s long-term productivity. This is now known as the “productivity cliff”. In 2014 Stanford University researchers found that employee output dropped dramatically after 55 hours, so much so that they claimed that employees working 70 hours a week produced nothing extra in productivity during the extra 15 hours they worked. And it’s not just the individual who suffers! There is also a wider effect on the team or the business where the practise of working longer hours is encouraged. This is closely tied to higher rates of absenteeism and higher employee turnover. This puts more pressure on the wider team which heightens the risk of them suffering from burnout. And on and on it goes! So, the misconception that working longer hours...