Rising demands on our brain by increasing complexity
Every few minutes there is a new one eMail a, the phone rings during a meeting and the colleagues are talking at full volume - a well-known situation these days. Many people are overwhelmed or even overwhelmed by the flood of information flowing into us every day. Workers stay in the office for longer, try to do as many things as possible at the same time, or sometimes drastically reduce their break times, so that they seem to have done more work at the end of the day.
The Steelcase research team has studied these changes in the world of work, providing insights into where the natural boundaries of the human brain are. For example, it was researched how behavioral changes, but also the workspace, can help to actively guide attention.
What is commitment and satisfaction?
Another study on employee engagement that Steelcase conducted in collaboration with research institute Ipsos was to find out whether the office can serve as a strategic means of influencing employee engagement and what changes in the room have the greatest impact. One of the five key takeaways is that employee engagement depends on how comfortable employees are in the workplace and how satisfied they are with the design of their office.
Thus, 98 give percent of the very satisfied employees, but only 15 percent of the very dissatisfied employees to be able to concentrate easily at the workplace. The satisfied employees have the feeling that they can easily communicate their own ideas (98 percent versus 16 percent of very dissatisfied employees). You have the opportunity to work undisturbed in the team (94 percent versus 13 percent) and social contacts with colleagues (95 percent versus 35 percent).
Air up in terms of motivation
Even if employees in Germany enjoy going to work more than average (77 percent compared to 71 percent of employees worldwide), they still see great potential for improvement in their workplace. They have far fewer areas of retreat than the global average (44 percent versus 53 percent worldwide). Also, only 52 percent of German employees (compared to 62 percent worldwide) feel motivated to take the initiative in their job.
For Company These figures show that the above-average commitment of their top employees is currently almost completely canceled out by the lower performance of the dissatisfied employees. At the same time, there is a lot of potential to inspire employees who have so far been little or no motivation for the company by designing their workplaces accordingly: The degree of well-being and satisfaction in the workplace can result in greater commitment and thus better work quality and productivity of employees.
Switch between concentration modes
But how can the working atmosphere contribute to increasing employee motivation and thus performance? A concept that can help master the challenges of today's over-informed world of work is the deliberate shift between different modes of concentration. The basis of this system is that the different tasks and activities that a working day provides are adapted to the way the brain works.
For example, it is simply not possible to concentrate continuously for eight hours. Also, there are certain times that are very suitable for teamwork, while at a different time recreation would be appropriate.
3 tips for coping with the increasing flood of information
Steelcase researchers and designers have discovered three functional modes of the brain, each requiring specific behaviors and workplace configurations:
- Focus / Concentration: In order to be able to focus fully on a task, it is necessary to avoid any unwanted distractions. Be it the phone, the eMailMailbox or questions from colleagues. In the office, appropriate retreats should be created to facilitate concentrated work for employees.
- Activation: If our brain is to be active, we must move. Neuroscientific research has shown that movement, as well known, has positive physical and emotional effects. It also promotes our cognitive abilities by improving the blood flow and thus the performance of our brain. For example, height-adjustable tables, but also the change between different workstations for different activities.
- Regeneration and inspiration: The planned distraction is just as important as focused work. Neuroscience has shown in various studies that the best way to solve a problem is to get away from it first. The saying “not seeing the forest for the trees” is therefore quite justified. A café corner or a cozy seating area can be enough for a planned distraction.
Conclusion: Concentrated work needs appropriate spaces
In order to use these rhythms as best as possible, appropriate rooms are needed which support them in each case. Focusing, activation and regeneration must be consciously used and controlled in order to be able to work effectively. The work environment is an important helper.
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German edition: ISBN 9783965960800
English version: ISBN 9783965960817 (Translation notice)
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