San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

5 reasons to embrace slow productivity as a company

Photo by Unseen Studio on Unsplash

The alarmingly increasing cost of living leads to more severe things than we’ve imagined. There’s indeed more pressure on employees to get an additional part-time and even full-time job besides their current one to face all the financial struggles, which triggered one of the worst physical and emotional consequences of the 21st century: burnout. 

One out of five workers are so stressed about the unbearable workload that they’re unable to manage their feelings. That’s why most are drained, procrastinate at work or are detached from the actual work they have to do. In such situations, the brain copes in different ways with stress, so companies can expect various symptoms of burnout to appear during an agitated period at work. 

Luckily, an emerging trend might help employees balance their work-life: slow productivity. It’s a newer concept built on the failing grind of companies and gurus that encourage us to work until we can’t anymore. Here are five reasons why you should implement this practice in your business.


It prevents occupational accidents 

Being overworked puts you in danger of getting injured. Employees who barely get sleep because they have tasks to finish or are constantly subject to new and complex projects with no additional support are more likely to get injured by tripping or falling, which can be the base of a compensation claim. At the same time, constant stress can lead to PTSD from layoffs and long working hours, especially when a history of mental disorders is involved. 

However, slow productivity is the opposite. It implies you can work at slower rates and achieve the same goals since your focus is solely on fewer tasks and more on their quality. This means employees have more time to relax and regain balance, so their health isn’t compromised.  


It enhances creativity 

Creativity is one of the most wanted skills in almost any kind of job because it allows employees to find better solutions to supposed problems. Not even AI can compete with an employee whose creativity levels help improve the company. 

Hence, introducing slow productivity within your company allows workers to have enough time and resources to brainstorm ideas and look for better ways to do their tasks while being productive. However, you must know that if you put too much responsibility on only one of your employees whose creative skills are impressive, they’ll most likely experience creative burnout, so taking it easy and working at a slower pace is the best solution. 


It helps create a “deep work” policy

Of course, slow productivity doesn’t mean spending eight hours on a computer and barely getting any work done. By taking things slower, employers can focus better on their tasks, entering the “deep work” state in which, if they’re not interrupted, they can give their all in the tiniest and easiest project, making it an artwork. 

Deep work is vital in any industry because it increases work quality without putting a strain on people’s health. However, spotting distractions and eliminating them might be a real challenge. That’s why you may encourage this practice by creating rituals, tracking where time is lost and scheduling recharging periods. 


It sets realistic expectations 

In business, it’s easy to get motivated at the moment and be productive for a short period. However, this is only the consequence of high expectations, which aren’t great to handle because they give the impression that you can do anything as long as you’re motivated enough. 

With slow productivity, you won’t fall from a pedestal because you’ll have realistic expectations on how much workload you can manage or the time you’ll spend on finishing a particular project. That’s because you won’t experience highs and lows in your productivity but will instead have a constant flow of involvement in your tasks, which will help further develop skills. 


It limits social media usage 

Social media is another problem of this century, and people are now trying to fix it. While we’re concerned about how much time kids spend on their phones, we know that workers also tend to kill time at work by checking social media. While it’s common for it to happen when they’re bored, it can also occur due to stress and being overwhelmed. 

However, concentrating on a project without the pressure of multiple and tight projects will surely keep employees from their phones due to their dedication. Of course, a social media in the workplace policy would be helpful for them to follow, but it’s not necessary to develop if people don’t seem to be attracted to their phones. 


Not convinced? Here’s what too much productivity leads to 

Striving to increase productivity levels is every company’s goal. Still, when it comes to achieving it as fast as possible to increase sales, businesses have to take a step back and reconsider their methods. That’s because too much productivity can lead to:

  • Lack of connection with the task, where the big-picture view is usually absent;
  • Poor communication, since the focus is only on finishing procedures in any way possible;
  • Inconsistency in visions, objectives and transparency;
  • A weak company culture based on fear of retaliation;

At the same time, if you notice productivity levels going down despite straightforward tasks, you may want to consider how suitable the technology and tools are for your work. You may not acknowledge how much workers struggle to complete their jobs since you’re not in their place, but if you try working on their computers and completing mundane tasks, maybe you’ll see what needs to be fixed. 


Final considerations 

Embracing slow productivity may be one of the best things to do in the age of ever-changing technologies and trends. It may be possible that the solution to balancing work and life is to take it against the rapid current of things and run your business differently by prioritising your employees’ health and mental state. 

Of course, a slow productivity culture needs to have some limits and policies that you can work with your team to ensure you check all important aspects. 

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