The Cry for Think Time

The Cry for Think Time

Workers are currently in a rallied cry for “think time.” The pendulum of collaboration has swung to its apex, creating environments that no longer drive behaviors of reflection, contemplation and thinking.

In the first decade of the 21st century the push for more collaborative workplaces gave rise to open space designs that remain in most businesses today. Yet, as the focus of work shifts to innovation, openness is taking a toll on the people at work. Assuming open spaces mean limitless opportunities, managers assign overwhelming workloads that leave employees exhausted and burned out. Making matters worse, increased job complexity adds additional stress to already demanding jobs, from call center staff to real estate teams.

Today’s workers have lost their ability and their time to think while in the office; mitigating a migration out of assigned workspaces. As employees disengage, businesses suffer as well. In truth, regardless of the job, or industry, everyone needs time to process information, research and investigate.

Allowing for think time
At first glance, solving this issue appears complicated. But this is not the case, especially if management keeps three basic employee needs in mind. They are:

Discovering personal think time
For businesses today, offering a variety of work settings allows workers to complete a task in a location that best suits their needs at the time. Encouraging workers to recognize the necessity of think time and learn to use it efficiently is just as important. Situations that may require individuals to create more think time include:

  • Experiencing sensory overload. Depending upon the task at hand, too quiet can be just as detrimental for concentration as too much noise. Solution: modify the sensory environment.
  • Confronting a roadblock. A problem, situation or issue arises that requires a change in the thinking process, such as from creative to analytical. Solution: change location. Getting a cup of coffee often leads to an unplanned conversation that results in a serendipitous “ah-ha” moment.
  • Needing a moment. Trying to work when emotions are running high can be as futile as swimming on land. Solution: alter the view. A quiet gaze out of a window allows the mind to wander.
  • Knowing intuitively. Understanding from experience or having a gut feeling that breaking away to contemplate the moment is necessary.

Organizations that value personal think time demonstrate respect for their employees as human beings. When employees feel a greater connection to the company they have an increased sense of loyalty and a desire to work harder. As a result, everyone wins.

By: Brady Mick, BHDP Architecture
Info From: http://www.ifma.org/publications/blog-fmj/article/blog-fmj/2015/07/17/the-cry-for-think-time