Should you experiment with "chronoworking"?

Should you experiment with “chronoworking”?

Employees value flexibility in the workplace. But despite the blurring of our working and private lives, the conventional 9-to-5 workday persists. This can mean that staffers operate outside their peak productivity hours, with many finding it difficult to sustain productivity throughout traditional working hours. 

To combat this, people who truly work flexibly employ a hack called chronoworking. This lets them work in their most productive hours, allowing them to accomplish more goals than they normally would in a traditional 9-to-5 set-up.

What is Chronoworking?

According to a recent survey, traditional 9-to-5 schedules negatively impact job performance for 77% of workers. To cope with this misalignment, workers resort to napping, caffeine consumption and stress-management techniques. Chronoworking aims to address this issue.

Chronoworking is a productivity technique coined by journalist Ellen C. Scott. It combines time management and focused work sessions. To simplify this, let’s apply the concept to a hypothetical six-hour workday.

Instead of working for 6 hours straight, you break your task into short, focused sessions. The duration is usually 25 minutes each, followed by a 5-minute break. After four sessions, you can have an extended longer break. It helps maintain concentration and prevents burnout by balancing work and rest.

How Effective is Chronoworking?

Aligning work schedules with employees’ natural rhythms can benefit businesses and employers. As per the sleep doctor, Michael Breus, there are four chronotypes:

  • 55% of individuals thrive in the middle of the day
  • 15% are early birds
  • 15% are night owls
  • 10% experience a varying circadian rhythm.

Chronoworking delivers three key benefits, namely:

1. Boosted employee satisfaction and well-being

Employees working during their most productive times can reduce stress and improve work-life balance. This could lead to higher morale and engagement.

2. Enhanced productivity

Employees aligned with their natural rhythms may perform better and experience less fatigue. As they work in their most productive hours, they do their tasks with increased output and productivity.

3. Improved talent attraction and retention

Employers can advertise a flexible work schedule as a perk that comes with the job – a proven tactic that attracts top performers. Since the pandemic, more people are working from home and choosing flexible schedules. So, adapting this work set-up can benefit any company looking to grow its team, especially in today’s competitive job market.

How can managers use Chronoworking to improve workflow?

Effectively implementing chronoworking requires careful planning and consideration of business needs and employee roles. Managers can use varying strategies in this regard, which often boils down to the following:

  • Foster a culture of flexibility

Managers must understand and respect that each employee has their own chronotype. Thus, they should encourage members to choose work hours that align with their peak productivity. It creates a positive environment and enhances engagement.

  • Closely communicate and coordinate schedules

It helps that managers communicate with the team about when they like to work and any challenges they might have with their hours. Coordination based on close communication helps the team work together. It also ensures each employee feels valued and supported in their preferred schedule.

  • Set clear expectations and goals

It is important to outline project timelines, deadlines and critical milestones. Managers should emphasise the importance of timely communication and collaboration despite varying individual schedules. This clarity helps maintain a cohesive workflow.

  • Implement flexible policies

Managers can establish guidelines that allow employees to experiment with chronoworking on a trial basis. This approach encourages adaptation while providing an opportunity for feedback and adjustments.

  • Leverage technology

Using technology for effective remote collaboration and project management is key to implementing an effective chronoworking scheme. Collaborative platforms and communication tools are essential for smooth communication and task coordination. These will equip and enable individual team members to collaborate efficiently despite different working hours.

In conclusion

Chronoworking can be a highly effective productivity technique for some individuals, so long as leaders implement guidelines, safeguards and tools that allow for a seamless collaboration without regard to varying work schedules. Whether or not it will work for your team depends entirely on the nature of your industry or organisation. But, it is worth trying to see if it helps increase focus and productivity during work hours.

About Sam P

EnterpriseZone Staff Writer

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