Dickens is a slacker! He would fail his performance appraisal!

The reasons why is that Dickens, despite being one of the most prolific writers of all time (being paid by the word is a wee motivation here!)  only worked four to five hours a day!

Today’s organisational and business cultures too often equate hours with productivity. We would suggest that such a formula is not only provably false but can lead to issues such as stress and burnout which can have serious talent, people and operational impact.

Let’s forget for the moment the actual amount of time one spends as one’s desk in reality when we account for meetings, breaks, coffee, loo and myriad other reasons which require us not to be desk bound, there is ample research which suggests that the links between productivity and hours in extremely week. Conversely, there is good solid evidence that organisations and businesses which are innovative and brave enough to reduce hours and work flexibly actually enhanced performance, productivity and growth; as well as improving motivation and welfare.

Not only does time stood down refresh, but there are tangible operational benefits, ranging from opportunities to think and reflect, through collaboration and networking, to the time and space to look and see the world around you, which in turn can prompt creativity and innovation. Seen in such a light, time stood down can be an investment rather than a cost.

Organisations and businesses must, especially in today’s global pandemic and significantly increased wok from home environments, be ready, willing and able to author, implement and develop innovative and flexible working practices and frameworks where performance, productivity results and outcomes, not ‘hours’ clocked are encouraged, supported, recognised and rewarded.