October 15, 2021

What is the value of companies promoting Flow State?

What is the value of companies promoting Flow State? - Main Image
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With many companies adjusting to being back in the office or a hybrid work model, employees are having to change their Flow State. What is a Flow State? (Sometimes just called Flow.) Flow is simply that state of mind in which we feel and perform our best and feel at ease. We all have systems or processes that make it naturally easier for us to access Flow. We can, however, also we can take steps that can allow us to access it.

Switching up work environments over the past year and a half has facilitated many employees having to adjust how the access their Flow State. What is the value of companies promoting Flow State? How has the changing work model impacted Flow? And how can you access your Flow State and increase productivity?

What is Flow?

Your Flow State is what is happening mentally when you are “in the zone.” It’s being fully engaged in a task. Flow was first identified and popularized by psychology researcher, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, from Claremont Graduate University in California. Everyone’s Flow State is different is directly connected to their effort and creativity. When you are in your Flow State, you brain is locked into process and knows exactly what it is going to do from one moment to the next.

What is the value of companies promoting Flow State?

Flow State sounds abstract and kind of like a fuzzy motivation tool. How can it actually benefit companies? The main way is that when employees are in their Flow State, they are doing their best work. Not only that, employees who work in a Flow State often gain greater satisfaction from their work and a that contributes to motivation and company loyalty. While working in a Flow State, employees have more concentrate and focus and therefore, less distractions. The clarity that comes form that leads to innovation. All of these things are qualities that make up exceptional employees.
Flow State can be broken by distraction. Employee distraction is also detrimental to companies. Microsoft’s 2020 WFH study found that before the pandemic, on average, workers felt like 52% of their day was wasted by distractions and unnecessary disturbances. A 2013 study found that employees who were frequently interrupted and dealt with a lot a distractions reported higher fatigue and burnout rates. Burnt out employees are more likely to make mistakes, call in sick, as well as look for new jobs. (As we’ve seen this year with The Great Resignation.)


How has the changing work model impacted Flow?

One of the main advantages to a hybrid work model or allowing employees to choose weather or not they WFH, is that help each employee work in an environment that best suits them. Some employees can tap into their Flow State best in a quiet, comfortable space; weather that be at home or in the office, free of home’s distractions such as children or pets. Others like the background noise of a coffee shop. Some enjoy the collaboration of working in the office and having coworkers around them.

This year has given a lot of people an opportunity to find which type of work environment actually works best for them. Of the over 1,200 employees and 133 executives surveyed in Microsoft’s WFH study at the end of last year, 55% said they would prefer to still work remotely at least 3 days a week. And before this past year, many of those people probably wouldn’t have been given the chance to know what work environment worked best for them.

And how can you access your Flow State and increase productivity?

Here are the 2 main steps needed to tap into your flow state. 

  1. First, you must observe yourself. For the next two weeks, observe yourself, notice what you’re doing, and look for the clues of flow: losing your sense of time or self, feeling that you’re acting with ease, gaining new insights, and having a positive feedback loop.  
  2. Then, when you are in a state of flow, broaden your awareness: Notice and remember the activities surrounding you. Recognize what you’re physically doing and think about what you’re doing mentally.  

What ways have you found to be effective in “getting in the zone” and accessing your Flow State?


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