The idea of managing your energy, rather than your time can be considered in the context of Organizational Change Management. This short article by Leo Widrich on Buffer (a blog about productivity, life hacks, writing, user experience, customer happiness and business) summarizes the ideas of Tony Schwarz and the “The Energy Project“. The current 8 hour work day is the legacy of the industrial revolution, and assumes that human beings work in the same way as machines, consistently and at a regulated pace. However,human productivity does not actually occur best in that way. Unlike machines, humans need periods of high focus and intermittent rest to be most productive. Schwartz refers to this as “pulsing”. “Human beings are actually designed to pulse. We’re most productive when we move between expending energy and intermittently renewing our four energy needs: sustainability (physical), security (emotional); self-expression (mental) and significance (spiritual).”  Studies show that the more continuously we work, the less productive we actually become. The way we understand productivity needs to be reconsidered also. Productivity should be related to value delivered, and not to sheer duration. The benefit of adopting “energy management” principles relates to employment engagement, motivation and therefore productivity. direct connection between engagement and business results has been proven. Engaged and energized employees are simply more productive not because of the way in which they work, but because of the value they deliver.

MY TAKEAWAYS
  • Energy mis-management creates workplace overload or saturation.
  • Workplace saturation is similar to change saturation as both effect employee engagement and productivity/value-delivery.
  • Changing our expectations about what productive work looks like to a more human centred understanding, and supporting human-centred productivity will deliver more business value.
  • Creating the “space” and conditions for human-centred productivity, can reduce daily workplace saturation, which creates the opportunity for a more agile, change-able workforce.
  • A more engaged, value-focused workforce will be more motivated to adopt innovations and inventions to continue to deliver value, thus creating a culture that is change-ready and capable of rapid transformation.