What are the secrets to greater productivity at work?
All good managers, directors and owners should be asking themselves this in those brief moments when they have time to reflect on the way their businesses are run.
One of the secrets to improve productivity has to be happiness.
You don’t have to have a brain the size of a planet to know that happy people are more productive at work.
And one of the things that can make us happy – or not – is our marriage or our so-called domestic romantic relationship.
In fact, for most people, it’s probably the main thing that makes us happy or sad.
By extension, this means it’s one of the main things that affects productivity at work.
New productivity at work statistics back this up, showing that people who are happy in their home relationships perform better in the office.
The research has found that problems in romantic relationships at home are having an impact on how the UK’s high-earners perform when they are in the office.
That this is happening with high-earners should be really, really concerning for companies, as these people are usually employed in executive positions and they make decisions that can have major implications for the business.
Research that was carried out for us by YouGov shows that more than 40% of people with household incomes of at least £100,000 have had domestic problems that were severe enough to significantly damage productivity at work.
The figure is about the same as the proportion of people who will encounter mental health problems in their lifetime.
Quite rightly, businesses in the UK spend a lot of money trying to tackle mental health from becoming an issue among staff.
It’s a decent thing to do, but there is an element of self-interest in it, because it is widely recognised that poor mental health damages performance at work.
Indeed, it was recently estimated by Deloitte to cost UK employers £33 billion to £42 billion every year.
But those firms who are investing in the mental health of their employees are doing virtually nothing about romantic relationship issues – something that also has a very serious impact on well-being and performance.
This really must change.
The extra challenge in the corporate world is that the very nature of the work itself can create or exacerbate romantic relationship problems.
High stress, long hours and extended time apart take their toll.
And when you add to the mix the high-octane combination of power, success, the trappings of wealth, and multiple rounds of corporate entertainment that often abound in these environments, the temptation is generally in no short supply.
Corporate professional environments top the charts for ‘the double whammy’ on relationships – stressful relationships at home negatively impact workplace productivity, and lower productivity creates more stress on the job, which then further increases unhappiness at home and therefore damages productivity at work.
The good news is that we don’t have just one tip to improve productivity at work, we have four – four habits
These four habits allow people to strengthen or repair their romantic relationships and improve their performance in the workplace.
The 4 Habits to improve productivity at work are…
- Be CURIOUS, not critical – which helps people get over the hurdle of frustration that comes from unmet expectations.
- Be CAREFUL, not crushing – which helps people get over the hurdle of poor conflict resolution approaches and the damage they can cause in relationships.
- ASK, don’t assume – which helps people get over the hurdle of frustration that comes from mistrust and disrespect that can creep into relationships over time.
- CONNECT before you correct – which is all about getting better at communicating real value and appreciation, and holding back on that need to give “constructive feedback” that so many of us are all too good at!