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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: Research: Flexible work can dampen motivation


It seems that flexibility has largely been touted as the knight in shining armor for the corporate working world since the start of the pandemic – and many of us have benefited from that in one way or another. And while there have been some discussions about the downsides of flexibility for employers and also for cities reliant on workers coming into the office at traditional hours, there hasn’t been a lot of discussion about what some of the downsides to flexibility might be for individual workers. The Harvard Business Review looks at research that digs into that: While workers have largely benefitted from flexibility, working at odd hours with distractions can decrease motivation and make work feel less enjoyable. In some ways this is self explanatory because if you don’t work in the afternoon to get something done and instead work right before bed, you may feel like you’d rather be enjoying time with loved ones or doing other leisure activities. But the good news is researchers found that this is more of a psychological barrier than anything. It can be addressed with cues that may help shift your mindset like “customizing your calendar display, installing an app to notify you when it’s work time, or simply reminding yourself to focus on the benefits of flexibility, to make working when you want to work more palatable.”

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