Perhaps nobody in the history of humanity has suffered more from the outdated 9-5 work schedule than the creative geniuses in our society. Often touted as lazy and unmotivated because they don’t pop out of bed at 6 a.m. and lead an army to victory before noon, creative people have been misunderstood for centuries.
In a society that has mostly valued hard work in the form of manual labor over the creativity and problem-solving of the mind, it’s rough being creative when your skillsets and talents don’t function on the typical work cycle of Monday through Friday from the crack of dawn until sunset. Many creative people need to work on their own schedule, and between 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. – like Frank Lloyd Wright, for example.
Thankfully, many tech industry employers are catching on to the need to allow their workers more freedom both inside and outside of the office. Companies like eBay, Facebook, Google, and even Apple – with their relaxed environments and remote workforces – are all setting an example of what it looks like to prepare for a future of absolute genius.
Problems are solved unconsciously
If you’re like most businesses, you probably have creative team members functioning in various roles who need to solve problems as part of their jobs. The dilemma is that solutions are not likely to come while they’re sitting at their desk looking busy. More than likely, they’ll stare at the computer screen for a couple of hours and after experiencing enormous amounts of frustration, go for a walk to let off some steam, and while observing a squirrel leap from one branch to another, the solution will come to them out of the blue.
In order to understand why it works this way (and no, it’s not because of the squirrel), it’s important to understand that solutions are found when the mind is not engaged in rational or deep thought. These solutions come at times when the conscious mind is free – in the car, in the shower, while taking a walk, or upon arising from a nap.
Getting the conscious mind out of the way
that people are more likely to have creative epiphanies when engaged in monotonous activities because it puts them in a state of autopilot. This frees up the unconscious mind to work in the background, finding solutions.
When the conscious mind is running the show, the prefrontal cortex is in charge. The prefrontal cortex provides the ability to focus and meet deadlines; however, it also kills creativity because when logical and rational thought are engaged, the brain brushes off creative solutions before the conscious mind picks up on them.
Remote workers have the freedom to disengage the conscious mind
When your employees are stuck in an office all day and the only place they have to go is to the bathroom or the fridge, there’s not much room to disengage the conscious mind and activate the subconscious mind. There will always be that lingering pressure to look busy and keep checking items off the task list.
When your employees have the ability to work from home, or anywhere they desire, they are free to disengage anytime they need.
They can take breaks when their brain tells them they need it, and by setting their own schedule that works with their creative flow, they won’t stumble sleepily into the office at 7 a.m. after having a night full of creativity that lasted until 3 a.m.
How freedom affects productivity
You may be wondering if giving employees so much freedom will result in a decrease in productivity. In fact, and more productive than those who work the traditional 9-5 schedule. Statistics show that the average 9-5 office worker only gets per day. That’s a huge difference!
Traditional schedules don’t work for all
For centuries, have kept schedules that don’t match the rhythm of others. A big factor in the equation of their success has to do with the fact that they were afforded the opportunity to work with their body’s natural rhythms and cycles of sleep.
If you want to see better results in your business, before you buy the next best system for success, try allowing your staff to work from home a couple days out of the week. You’ll probably be surprised to see your staff’s happiness and productivity rise at the same time.
It’s easy to manage remote teams because there’s an abundance of cloud-based software that can manage any type of collaboration necessary. The infrastructure is already there, you just have to tap into it.