“Solitude”, the word sounds so 17th Century right? Does it conjure up an image of William Wordsworth writing his poetry? We think so, too! With “collaboration” being the new vogue, solitude is long forgotten. We are encouraged to work in teams, with a team leader, in an office without walls, where business heads prize skills over people, where we work in association and not in isolation. Modern offices leave no place for a split second of peace and silence, and what is the retrospective effect of this organized chaos that we call an office? Degrading mental health and lack of productivity!
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Picasso said, “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible,” and his quote is in line with innumerable studies that show people are more creative when they enjoy privacy and less interaction.
Here is why we think modern work cultures should encourage solitude.
It helps tackle burnout
The rat-race for productivity is one highway to hell. Workers are so engrossed with “being productive” that they often forget the fact that sometimes doing nothing helps with doing a lot of things. Solitude allows a break from the tyrant that is work, a break from the constant computer beeps, phone chimes and the jibber jabber that goes around the workplace. It is very important for companies to create a work-free leisure spot where the employees can just escape for a few minutes amongst all the office hustle and bustle.
It improves memory
Studies have shown that staying in isolation can improve memory. If a company wants their works to bring out their ace game every day, encouraging solitude is very important. Staying in solitude helps sharpen our spatial memory and attain uninterrupted attention on things that matters. So make sure to encourage your employees to take a stroll after heavy duty work to reflect in peace.
One might think that sitting at a conference table for two hours with a bunch of people in the room will help develop idea that is brilliant, but that’s not so much the case – it’s more of a professional chaos. Moreover, introverts will be less likely to speak up in situations like these even if they have a “eureka” idea. As stated in The Utopian Life, creative process includes a stage called incubation, where all the ideas you have ever been exposed to bind together resulting in coming up with a brilliant idea. The secret to incubation is to disengage from work and rest.
With the whole world focused on increasing productivity, having a little time off to think can result in increased levels of productiveness and self-awareness. If your company intends to boost the productivity and resourcefulness of their employees for the better, indulge in a little peace keeping!
It’s easy to forget something as “mere” as solitude, and we often give little or no importance to it. But for the reasons mentioned above, it is important for companies to set up a quiet little space that is clutter free for their employees to take a break every now and then.
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