All too often, conventional wisdom is wrong. This is true in your personal life (don’t believe us then just look at what you were wearing a decade ago), and it is especially true when it comes to the workplace. In fact, most of the ideas we adhere to in the office have been proved to be ill-advised. As such, we have picked a few of the business world’s favorite mantras to show you just how ineffective – and wrong – they are in today’s environments.
Way too many business leaders believe that money is what will lead to better results and happier employees. Well, this is a total myth. A comprehensive study of over 190,000 workers showed that a person’s salary is number 8 on the list of things that encourage productivity and happiness. The truth is, business productivity is encouraged through a feeling of being appreciated, having friends within the work environment and enjoying a good work/life balance. Take what you will from that list, but know that money can’t buy happiness (or better results for that matter).
As is the case with most progression in the world, Scandinavian countries have started to implement a 6-hour working day for one reason and one reason only; people are more productive. The idea of using their time more efficiently led to better results and an increase in their efficiency. But that isn’t all. Studies have shown that the most productive members of a workforce take a 16-minute break for every 51 minutes of work. So everything you thought about long working days is actually wrong. As a result, you should try shortening the working day and have regular, and scheduled, breaks. That way you can see the results for yourself.
It has become a big trend recently, but not big enough. Still, too many employers are scared of adopting flexible working conditions, such as working from home. The reason for this is they believe those employees that work remotely are less engaged and less productive than their office counterparts. But this is completely unfounded. In fact, the exact opposite is true. The productivity of remote employees is actually 14% higher, of which a significant chunk of that is down to these employees working longer hours than those that commute to a place of work.
Almost all business leaders pick their managers based on their performance levels. But just because someone is a high achiever does not mean that they will be a great manager. The reason for this is there is a hugely different skill set required. Great managers are great leaders, and leaders are those people that can discover the individual skills of their team and capitalize on them. If you want someone to be a great manager then you have to look beyond their knowledge and understanding of the company and what it does, and look at their ability to know and understand other people and what makes them tick.