Nowadays, many organisations expect their employees to stay connected and highly responsive to a number of issues. Such an expectation often results in an almost constant messaging through e-mail or text messaging which forces employees to remain plugged into work chatter and perfect the skill of multitasking.
Meanwhile, studies have shown that employees that are always expected to multitask often underperform in delivering cognitive tasks, as our brains have a limited capacity for the amount of work they can take on.
So, how can organisations foster an environment that promotes smart thinking and deeper focus?
According to Cal Newport – a bestselling author and Professor at Georgetown University – the ability of employees to focus is much more valuable producing effective work than their skills. Employees, he argues, should therefore be provided with the flexibility and actively encouraged to complete one task in order to fully transition their thought processes and focus their attention on the next one.
As organisations continue to compete, a key differential for success could be the working culture, and whether it allows employees the time and space for deep, creative, high-quality thinking. Therefore, companies that encourage their workers to remain wired into multiple tasks at once will find themselves falling behind those that value slower and deeper quality thinking.
So, if you want your employees to do their best, think of creating a working culture that allows slower communication and fosters deep thinking.
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