From time to time, especially in a fast paced and hectic work environment, it is easy to get bogged down and overwhelmed at work. When your head is as cluttered as your inbox and you find yourself on your fourth cup of coffee before 10 AM, it is clearly time to STOP, take a deep breath, and refocus. Seems impossible when new emails are flooding your inbox every second, vying for your attention? Well not for Kars4Kids!
Kars4Kids instituted an email free focus hour, from 11 AM-12 PM, which shuts down our email system, allowing for not only the refocusing of our energy but the promotion of employee-to-employee interaction.
Some benefits include:
1. Exercise- Having to get out of our comfy office chairs to speak to others face-to-face, or, if that is too much, reaching over to pick up our phones, gives us the opportunity to stretch our legs (or arms). This has not only physical, but mental benefits as well (see number 3).
2. Socializing- speaking with others face-to-face means we get the opportunity to get to know our co-workers in a real, authentic way, whereas getting to know each other through email is as non-authentic as it gets.
3. mental break- without a doubt, getting our fingers away from the keyboard and our eyes away from the screen gives the brain a much needed break from the constant focus on our computer screens. Even just a few minutes away allows our brain to refocus, leaving us re-energized when we do resume work.
4. Focus on other work- without the need to reply to or send emails, our time is easily spent on other projects or tasks that need our attention. This focus hour gives us the much needed time to catch up on work that has been put on hold.
While some may be skeptical of this revolutionary idea, we believes that this one hour set aside for the re-focusing of our objectives has proven to be beneficial not only for work output, but inter-office employee relationships. It encourages a co-working and interactive work space. One employee states, “I feel encouraged by the email free focus hour. Without the pressure of needing to send and answer emails, I’m able to relax for a bit, refocus my energy, and give my undivided attention to other tasks at hand without having the constant interruption of emails. I also find myself interacting more with my co-workers without the impersonal barrier of an email!” This personal view reflects what the entire office feels: our email free focus hour is a clear success.
And to the skeptics out there, we say: Don’t knock it till you try it!