“Teamwork can be amazing. Nothing compares with the deep sense of understanding when employees can literally read each others minds. They work together, creating something new that never existed before,” writes the author of the material. He quotes the words of the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Alphabet Eric Schmidt. “A creative person growing up, interacting with each other”.
Modern it companies increasingly prefer the open office layout. In the new Facebook office in one room will work 2800 employees is one of the largest in the world openspaces. CEO mark Zuckerberg believes that the work in this space will encourage people to cooperate and exchange of ideas. “But collaboration has to pay. Every minute you spend in communicating with colleagues, you are not engaged in their own tasks.
While some tasks require immersion — this, when there are only you and a blank sheet,” says Ollie Campbell. Famous psychologist Mihai Cziksentmihalyi, the author notes, in his work “Flow” describes the human condition when one is fully immersed in his task and in fact loses touch with time and space. “This is the time when the man come of his best ideas when he can solve the toughest problems”. And every minute that you spend in conversation with other people, you lose the chance to come to one of his best ideas.
In the workplace, writes Campbell, is often too noisy. Notifications, new emails, phone calls, conversations and unplanned meetings — all this creates the noise. “Sometimes your job becomes a place with fantastic energy. But to focus on one task is impossible”. The author of the article recalls a study of American analysts, who found that the average duration of concentrations between breaks to check messages or conversations for the average American is three minutes.
In most companies, according to the designer, the employee cannot assume that it will work day productive — work on a task can interrupt an unplanned meeting, or any other interference from colleagues. The author believes that it is wrong — any employee should have the opportunity to choose when he needs to focus on the task at hand, and when he can communicate with colleagues. “Cooperation is of great importance for the representatives of creative professions. But the ability to focus plays a lesser role,” says Ollie Campbell. The company, which employs Campbell, tried to solve the problem of lack of employees available to focus on their tasks by typing “quiet time”.
Every day in the Studio is divided into two parts — the normal operation and the operation time in complete silence. In “quiet time” employees turn off notifications on your smartphone and other devices, not talking on the phone, conduct meetings and do not communicate with each other. “Quiet time” employee can spend at his discretion. “This is the time when only I decide whether I need to focus on a specific problem or to do something else. No one can bother me,” explains the author of the material.
First of all, says Campbell, was required to choose the relationship between “quiet” and “normal” time. It was decided to devote to focused work half day till lunch Monday through Thursday. Evening staff could discuss the results and plan the next day. “The team came together and we discussed what worked, what did not, and where we need to move on”.
After a few experiments the team decided to designate Thursday as “day of meetings”, and from Monday to Wednesday they have not performed. “Thus, from the beginning of the week staff three days to work, without the distraction of the team discussion,” says the author of the material. This routine of the week, says Ollie Campbell, gave the employees a sense of freedom. “We can experiment and explore the product, discuss the results, and again set to work”. However, the new schedule came not all.
For example, the companys CEO was forced to constantly stay in contact with the outside world, and he had to talk on the phone so that not to distract the other workers. In addition, the team took some time to have silence in the morning has become a habit for all employees. The staff found a way to accelerate adaptation to a new daily routine. Holding short morning meetings.
To the usual set of questions (“What was done yesterday?” and “What will be done today?”) we have added a few new ones — “do I Need to talk to someone before the “quiet time”?” and “is there anything to prevent us to spend the first half of the day in complete silence?”. So the team was able to identify and address the main challenges the new schedule. During the “quiet time” command disables Slack and email, removes smartphones. “These tools are designed to distract you.
They are associated with a deep dive into the task”. While adapting to such a schedule, says the author of the material, can take months. “We are used to multitasking and to devote even a few hours one lesson may be initially too hard. It took us several months to get used. Talking to people is fun.
To check the phone too. Sometimes work should be fun. But sometimes the work must be work,” says the designer. Quiet time is akin to a contract. We commit ourselves to work at this time, whether we like it or not.
The work may go slowly or maybe quickly. Sometimes you need to ask someone a question. But soon you will come to the realization that the issues can wait, and even learn to search the answers before asking others. The introduction of “quiet time”, says the author, strongly influenced the work of the company. Comparing the results for a few months, management concluded that the effectiveness of the team increased by 23%.
This allowed the Studio to refuse to work on Fridays and go on a four-day work week. “People have ceased to dislike the office. Work has become the best place to focus”.