With the rise of research into well-being in the workplace, it’s the perfect time for business-owners and employees alike to consider how Flow can harness and strengthen a sense of well-being.
Flow, which is the state of being in which a person is completely immersed and fully focused in an activity that requires equal high amounts of skill and challenge, has many positive benefits for the workplace. Research indicates that the quality of performance at work will be greatly enhanced, creativity increases, engagement grows and ability to participate in deeper learning intensifies.
There are several things that managers, employees and entrepreneurs can do to sustain the flow process to reap these benefits for the longevity of their careers:
Setting clear goals - this can reinforce engagement with work duties, provide autonomy and help focus the mind on how to perform the task at hand
Receiving immediate feedback – akin to the feedback that one receives whilst playing video games, receiving feedback directly after a task enables people implement an alternative course of action whilst continuously learning whilst the task is still “fresh” and relevant. This is why many organisations embark on gamification for many learning and development activities
Balancing skill and challenge – research indicates that people are more likely to experience flow during work when compared to their leisure time. This is because flow is most likely to occur when highly challenge situations are met with equally high personal skills to deal with those challenges, thereby providing the ideal optimal experience for people to learn and grow
Developing concentration & focused attention – as with Mindfulness, the ability to sustain concentration prevents us from ruminating about past events or worrying about the future. From a neurological perspective, focused attention helps to regulate and calm the amygdala, part of the Limbic System within the brain, which is responsible for emotions and our survival instincts. In so doing, we can deal with issues without an overly-emotional response.
Flow can be an invaluable attribute within the workplace. With so many associated benefits, it’s prudent for all workers to take note of how this psychological state of well-being can affect several aspects of working life, from job performance, organisational effectiveness and management skills.