The subject of productivity – and how to achieve it – is something that has attracted many mantras down the years. Everyone seems to know how to get more work done in a shorter space of time, but how many of those widespread beliefs really stand up to scrutiny? Is a traditional ‘9 to 5’ workday, for instance, the best way to encourage productivity, or is it something that we’ve all just got into the habit of, without really questioning it? Flexible working can yield great benefits to both individuals an organisations as it allows people to work in a way that fits with their home life, meaning that they are more focused when working.

After all, the 9-5 concept goes back to the days of Henry Ford and the infancy of mass production. As Kylie Ora Lobell pointed out in a recent article in Business Insider, “there’s no scientific proof that working those hours, or that many hours, is better for you.” That begs a question that has been asked by many professionals and students of performance management training: if the job isn’t customer facing, shouldn’t the emphasis just be on getting the work done, rather than doing it over certain office hours?

That isn’t the only productivity myth that might need busting. You might also ask yourself whether your staff will necessarily be more productive working in an office than at home. This depends on the nature of a given team member’s home and how it compares to the office – some people might lack a comfortable space in which to work at home, or might not be helped into a workmanlike state of mind by a constant cat on their lap and endless trips to the fridge for snacks!

It’s therefore not a question of whether you definitely should or shouldn’t give your own staff the option to work from home – what’s important is to help your people to decide whether doing so really is the right option for them. This might include asking them whether they have a genuinely suitable workspace other than the couch, as well as whether they will miss the social interaction of the office or be able to work in a disciplined manner in the space where they usually relax.

Indeed, for many so-called productivity ‘myths’, it’s not always the case that they definitely do or don’t ring true – the answer often depends greatly on the individual or job. Multitasking, for example, isn’t always the best thing for productivity, but can also be essential in certain jobs, such as journalism. Our performance management training can help you and your employees to judge for themselves whether multitasking is required or desirable and if so, how best to do it.

These are just some of the most common productivity myths – which others have you heard? Enquire to Cerulean’s friendly learning and development team today about performance management training that will help you to significantly boost the productivity of your own team.