How to ... Be productive in an eight-hour day
The eight-hour workday is a relic of the Industrial Revolution, an ineffective way to organise work, and one which discourages productivity.
This is the view of Linda Trim, a director at office design specialists Giant Leap.
The traditional eight-hour day was created to limit the number of hours of hard manual labour employees were forced to work in factories, but Trim argues that letting go of this "Dickensian approach" will increase productivity.
She has the following advice:
The structure of your working day matters more than its length. A study has found that "people who were strict about taking short breaks were more productive than those who worked longer hours";
The ideal work:break ratio seems to be 52 minutes of work, followed by 17 minutes of rest; and
Align your working day with the natural peaks and troughs of your energy. "Planning your day around hour-long intervals simplifies daunting tasks by breaking them into manageable chunks," says Trim. Dividing your day into "chunks of work and rest that match your natural energy levels feels good, makes your work day go faster and boosts productivity."