Deep Work, Flow Time, Focus Time. Whatever You Call It, We All Want It.
Unless you work alone, finding quiet, uninterrupted work time can be a challenge no matter what industry you work in. Recently, Tallwave moved into a new office and when we designed the space, opportunities for deep work were taken into consideration. Why? Because we recognize that it’s important to carve out time for deep thought and being immersed in work—even if it’s only for a few hours at a time. It helps us to be more productive and engaged in critical thinking.
So here are 5 ways that we manifest deep work time at Tallwave.
Work From Home, Coffee Shops, Beach, Wherever
One of the advantages to this modern working world we live in is that work can happen pretty much anywhere there’s Wi-Fi. Tallwave understands this and offers flexibility when it comes to working remotely. Some of our Tallwavers work remotely full-time. For the rest of us, if we have space in our day to work from home or steal away to a coffee shop for the afternoon, we can (within reason, of course). Sometimes even just plugging away on a project for an hour at home before coming into the office can make a big difference in a day.
Use Dedicated Focus Space in the Office
Working in an open office environment is great for team collaboration but at times it can also be distracting. With people walking by or conversations happening at the desk next to you, it’s easy to lose focus on the task at hand.
Our new office was designed with a solution: focus rooms. If you’re sitting in one of these spaces it’s like hanging up a do-not-disturb sign. They are located away from heavy traffic areas for reduced noise and walk-bys, making them perfect for getting into deep work.
Create Ways to Reduce Meetings
While our new office was being set up, the entire company worked remotely for about a week and a half. During that time one common theme kept popping up—people were feeling super productive. Through group discussions we determined that of the reasons for this was a deliberate reduction in status meetings. So when thinking about how we could bring those work-from-home productivity levels into the office, keeping the reduced number of meetings rose to the top of the idea pile.
Reducing status meetings means we all need to be responsible for communicating with our project teammates on a regular basis. For us, this takes the form of regular Basecamp updates. Taking just a few minutes to communicate on Basecamp can save us multiple 30-minute meetings every week.
Take a Break
It seems counter-intuitive to take a break to be more productive but it actually works. Taking a lunch break, going for a short walk, or just walking away from your computer for a few minutes can help your brain recharge.
At Tallwave, we have a room dedicated to this purpose. We call it the wellness room and it can be used any time you just need to step away for a few minutes and breathe. The only kind of meeting you can have in this room is a meeting with yourself.
Additionally, our team shares in the value of being “deliberately healthy” and we’re committed to mindfulness in the workplace as part of that value.
Turn On Do Not Disturb
Email, Basecamp notifications, text messages. These are all things that can take us away from a state of deep work. We encourage Tallwavers to turn off notifications during deep work time to reduce distractions. And if someone has scheduled work time on their calendar, you better have a good reason for wanting to book over it.
Ultimately, whether you’re in a busy, open office like ours, working remote, or working in a cubicle, finding a way to manifest deep work time is important, and luckily, a little effort can go a long way.
Written by Holly Ringerud—Senior Content Strategist