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Stop. Listen. Think.

by Carol Rozwell  |  April 4, 2016  |  Submit a Comment

Recently, I agreed to be the designated driver for a friend who needed one of those medical procedures that did not allow him to drive himself home. The nurse told us I’d have about two hours to wait once the procedure began. Thankfully, the waiting room was pleasant and I’d brought a bunch of mobile devices so I could get some work done while I waited. So I parked myself next to the aquarium and began to figure out how to spend the time.

Sometimes we get handed an unavoidable reminder of the importance of stopping to take, as CokeĀ ads used to say, the pause that refreshes. Much has been written about the value of slowing down at work in order to accomplish more.

It had been a busy week with a bunch of high-priority work being heaped on top of a pretty large (figuratively speaking) stack of stuff. Concern about the procedure added to the stress. As I paused to decide what to do next, I tuned out the TV and paid more attention to the rhythmic sound of the water rushing into the aquarium tank. Watching the fish swim around, foraging for breakfast tidbits added to solace this snippet of nature in the waiting room of a medical facility provided.

By the time the procedure was over and it was time for me to face the traffic for the ride home, I’d gotten the monkey off my back from yesterday’s crisis and figured out how to complete the last section of a research note I was working on. Having the time to think in the presence of a calming natural metaphor (water) helped me slow down enough to see a possibility that had eluded me when I was sitting fingers to keyboard last night.

Employee productivity has long been the goal of so many tech deployments. Tech tools can help, and so can creating a more human workspace environment for workers. People work on a variety of different types of tasks every day. Sometimes a common space where a team can brainstorm is needed; other times a space for quiet cogitation is necessary.

Those organizations that hope to increase employee effectiveness will benefit from paying attention to creating smart workspaces where people can slow down to accomplish more, as well as interact with intuitive ease. For more ideas on this concept, our clients can read our new research.

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Carol Rozwell
VP Distinguished Analyst
11 years at Gartner
21 years IT industry

Carol Rozwell is a vice president and distinguished analyst on Gartner's Digital Workplace team. Read Full Bio

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