There is no single defined style of working these days; the social economy, the start-up culture and greater work-from-home flexibility across the world has redefined the way we work. However, many of us find ourselves sceptical about the fact that solid, productive work can really get done in a coffee shop or from the living room couch, in a pair of pyjamas. On the contrary, a growing body of research supports the theory that new-age working styles boost productivity.
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Here’s a low-down of new-age working styles. If you’re stuck in a rut, running low on motivation or feeling unproductive, perhaps it is time to try one of these working styles.
Shorter working hours
Let’s not waste time and space in divulging the details of the proposal – it can be found all over the internet. Instead, let us gain a true insight into what it would mean for you. When you work for say, 7 hours a day, you are able to sleep 7 hours as well. And it would still leave you with 10 hours to do what you truly wish to do. Here are the factual benefits of this realistic time-spend. When you sleep well – you are able to think more clearly and be more productive. In fact, having a shorter work day can leave you with enough energy to spend on your personal pursuits. Once you start spending time on your hobbies and other interests, you may find that you return to work refreshed and with enough energy to finish multiple tasks in quick bursts.
Many believe this new-age working style is indeed the new way of working. In fact, the internet (and indeed, real life) is full of freelance evangelists who urge everyone else to go ‘freelance’ and feel the difference! Of course, the freelance life has its pitfalls. For instance, the guarantee of security that comes with a full-time job unfortunately doesn’t exist in the freelance world. But that is changing. And the reason for that isn’t growing freelance accounts within big companies or unicorn start-ups but something less predictable than that. The concept of learning on the job is slowly losing its sheen. Freelancers are often more knowledgeable, interesting and hands-on than their 9-5 counterparts. Why is that? It’s simple – freelancing gives you the opportunity to work from anywhere as long as you have a good internet connection. That means you could be working while sitting in a jazz bar, in the community park, in your best friend’s house or the tatty neighbourhood coffee shop. In these open spaces, untouched by cubicles, hierarchy, office politics and romances that fade before blooming, one can meet innumerable interesting people; learn new things, like Steve Jobs did - After dropping out from college he chose to learn calligraphy and attributes it to Apple’s love for exceptional typography. In short, it’s your work and you get to define the culture.
Working to music
Music makes love to the brain. It accounts for more synapses, discipline and sharper focus. Indeed, many creative organisations, such as advertising agencies embrace this new-age working style – working with music in the background. The only thing to keep in mind is that it shouldn’t hinder your work by coming in the way of it but align itself, like an invisible associate who makes work enjoyable. People have been known to work while listening to Bach, Mozart, Ravi Shankar and African instrumentalists. The key to finding your work music is to find the rhythm/pace at which you like to work. This union might take a while to come about but when it will, it will leave you happier and in high spirits.
Stream of consciousness writing
Just because this form of writing was made popular by the famous novelist Virginia Woolf, it’s hardly the reason to relegate it to the desks of writers. Stream of consciousness is a form of meditation, except that here, you are writing. This is a great way to boost productivity, free your mind of clutter and get back to work refreshed. All you have to do in stream of consciousness writing is to pour your thoughts out – without editing or censoring anything – onto blank pages. Think of it as spring cleaning for your mind.
Change of space
Why should meetings be restricted to utterly boring conference rooms? The more open and casual the setting is, the better it proves for those involved to really get involved. While ‘change of space’ is technically not a new-age working style, it does involve opening up one’s mind to a new way of working. If you’re a manager calling for a meeting, you should trust your employees enough to focus on what you’re saying in a coffee shop full of interesting people!
Do you have to take our word on the efficiency of these new-age working styles? Absolutely not! Try it for yourself and see how your productivity gets a boost. If you are overworked, your path is simple. You need a break, you need a change of scene. Grab a cup of coffee, turn on the music and start chipping away at that quarterly report. And then, leave a comment below on whether or not your boss was completely bowled over by your renewed efficiency!