The future of work have a rested worker

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A rested worker, surely not? Work is now busier than ever, it’s global not local, its 24/7, it’s moving faster than it has ever moved before. How does any of this connect with having a rested worker? It is true that things are moving quicker than ever but we need to differentiate from a busy worker and a productive worker and start to give our employees time to think and not just react to the multiple interruptions that affect them every day. If you believe you are a great multitasker try this.

Say ABCDEFGHI and then 123456789 as fast as you can and time yourself. Now say A1B2C3D4E5F6G7H8I9, on average it takes 40% longer so next time someone tells you they are multitasking, ask them on try this.

Here are a few ideas of what employers can do to get that rested and more productive worker:

Lead by example, if your senior team pride themselves on sending emails at 11 at night or 5am, that is the culture you are creating. You need to let your employees know it is ok to have time away from work and as an employer your rested workers will be more productive and creative.

  • Worry less about where your employees are but focus very much on what gets done. Employers often worry if they cannot see their employees at their desk however, if you agree clear goals and outputs, you really should not care where people are as long as they get the work done.
  • Ban phone and laptop surfing during meetings. Ten years ago if someone was talking to you and you just started tapping on your landline at the same time, it would have been seen as very rude - we now find it acceptable to have people on their phone while someone is talking. The meeting will take half as long if everyone is cut away from their technology and everyone will actually listen to what is being said. Multitasking as you know from the exercise above is a myth.
  • Run training on how to rule your technology not let it rule you  - you will be amazed how little employees know about search settings on outlook, creating rules on email, turning off alerts and changing notifications to push notifications so they only see them if they tap on the icon. Our brain is wired for distraction so we need to understand that without supporting our people, we are fostering people employees who react instantly to everything as opposed to focusing on doing the things that will make their business great.
  • With a workplace full of new disruptive ideas, one of the key assets is having a creative and innovative worker as we need to remember that companies do not innovate, people do. So companies will need to take care of their main competitive asset - their people


Peter Cosgrove set up the Future of Work Institute in Ireland and has written many research papers which you can find here: