Editor’s view: “Switching off could be the most productive thing you do”


When was the last time you truly switched off from work? I mean properly switched off. This includes turning off your work emails, stepping outside your business and mentally, if not physically, taking a holiday. If you are anything like me I expect it was further back than you think.

It is no secret that the jewellery industry is now gearing up for its busiest season of the year. For many brands, retailers and suppliers the next few months leading up to Christmas will be filled with extra hours spent at work, a faster-paced environment and a full-steam ahead attitude.

But does this mean you shouldn’t take a break, even if it is just for a couple of hours a day?

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Work can often get on top of us and it is so easy to get into the mindset that you physically can’t take any time off, because if you do, the work won’t get done. I know I’ve felt like that recently.

However, many studies will tell you that working fewer hours makes you more productive. You would be hard-pressed to find one backing up the reverse.

In an experiment last year, staff at a nursing home in Gothenberg, Sweden switched to working a six-hour day, with no decrease in pay. Upon analysing the impact this had on the business, the company found productivity increased and employees were taking fewer sick days. Following this news, other companies in Sweden, including public and private sector businesses, have followed suit and found the same results.

In the UK, the average working day is 8 hours and 40 minutes. But I bet many of us find ourselves working more than this.

While I am not suggesting drastic changes such as cutting down all employees working days, or even taking a week off to go on holiday during the busiest season of the year (although if you can, great!), what I am recommending is making sure you give yourself head space from work at least once a day.

Whether that means going out for a walk without any technology which can lead you to doing work, or making a conscious decision that home time means home time and all work thoughts and projects stay at the office, it is important to switch off as much as your possibly can. In the long run this will only make our work lives more productive.

It may sound illogical but switching off really could be the most productive thing you do in the lead up to Christmas. So why not give it a go?


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