September 30, 2021

Is There Value In Companies Promoting Flow State this year?

What is the value of companies promoting Flow State? - Main Image
title overlaying an image of a neon sign of a brain inside an outline of a body.

With many companies adjusting to being back in the office or adopting a hybrid work model, employees are having to change their Flow State.

What is “Flow” State?

Commonly called “flow,” it is simply the state of mind in which we feel and perform at our best and feel at ease.

Your Flow State is what is happening mentally when you are “in the zone.” It’s being fully engaged in a task.

Switching up work environments over the past 1.5 years has forced many employees to adjust how they access their Flow State.

What’s the value of companies promoting Flow State?

Flow State sounds like a fuzzy motivational tool. There are benefits to companies who adopt it, however.

When employees are in their Flow State, they are doing their best work. Employees who work in a Flow State often gain greater satisfaction from their work which contributes to motivation and company loyalty. While working in a Flow State, there is more concentration and focus.

All of these things are qualities that make up exceptional employees.

Flow State is easily broken by distraction, which can be 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.)

WFH-Hybrid-Office pros and cons

How has changing work models impacted Flow?

One main benefit to a hybrid work model is that it allows employees to work in an environment that best suits them. In most cases, employees are able to tap into their flow state best in a quiet, comfortable space whether it’s at home or in the office.

Some employees thrive with background noise such as a coffee shop. Some enjoy being able to collaborate with coworkers inside the office.

This last year has given a lot of people the opportunity to find which type of environment works best for them.

Over 1,200 employees and 133 executives were surveyed in Microsoft’s WFH study. 55% said they would prefer to still work remotely at least 3 days a week.

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

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

  1. First, you must observe yourself.

    For the next two weeks, I challenge you to observe yourself. Notice what you’re doing, and look for the clues of flow. These can feel like losing your sense of time or self, feeling that you’re acting with ease, gaining new insights, and having a positive feedback loop.  
  2. Next, 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 what you’re doing mentally.  

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