Workplace Productivity and Concentration

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about the work environment.

If a workplace has a closed environment, what is the effect on the concentration of a normal individual and how does it affect her/his productivity? Is there a time one should take from that closed environment to maintain productivity and concentration?

Signed, Curious

Dear Curious:

I have reworded your question to show you how I interpret it. Please feel free to send a more specific description of what you are asking and what provokes your question if my re-write is not what you mean. Your question strikes me as academic rather than something that has surfaced in your current work situation or at least that your curiosity springs from recalling something you read about a closed work environment.

In this day of global business and multinational enterprise, there are few really closed work environments. Almost every industry has a cluster of suppliers surrounding it, its executives depend on negotiation with financial institutions and investors, and its sales people interact with buyers. Moreover those on career paths within a workplace interact with others from various disciplines and they attend professional meetings to stay informed about their own area of expertise. Also a few corporations encourage their employees to take leaves ranging from a few weeks to a couple of years for continued education, volunteering for some worthy cause, getting job experience in a different work setting or country, or for renewal of their spirit.

I know of no research that addresses the issue of how much time outside one’s workplace will refresh one’s concentration and/or enhance productivity. Do consult with your superiors, trusted coworkers and/or Human Resources if you feel you are in a rut and/or that you might benefit from some time away from your current work environment. Talk with them about your career aspirations and current frustrations and self-evaluation. Approach such consultation with the thought in mind that you are hired for the best interests of the organization that employs you and you are not employed for your personal well being. In short, your concern is naturally personal, but you are paid to add value to the company. This understanding is embedded in my signature sentence: Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS.

William Gorden