Elizabeth Bernstein wrote a wonderful article in The Wall Street Journal about the impact changing clocks for Daylight Savings time has on your relationships. "Increasingly, researchers are demonstrating that getting poor sleep or too little sleep can make us behave badly," says Elizabeth Bernstein. "Even a small loss of sleep can have a large negative impact."
And while Elizabeth Bernstein focused her attention on marriage and personal relationships, these insights also apply to your business. Specifically, as your sleep deprived co-workers come into work with shorter tempers, acting more volatile and generally not feeling their best, a chain reaction of negativity begins to fester. Civility is tested when you are sleep-deprived.
The problem is, this negative impact on business is harder to recognize as its happening. Short tempers and outbursts are not usually associated with Daylight Savings Time. Even more subtle is the impact sleep deprivation has on your work. But think about it. Are you really giving your absolute best when you're exhausted? Of course not. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture and yet as entrepreneurs we can easily miss or overlook changes in our team's morale, energy and motivation.
So here's a tip: assign one or more people to start an energy committee. In addition to their core job function, this person or group is now responsible for monitoring the energy of your team. How are people feeling? What's the mood of the organization? What could we be doing differently to increase the energy if our people.
Your team's energy is a lot more important than you might think.
This does not mean that you need more coffee breaks. While caffeine is a stimulant, it's artificial and isn't the kind of lasting energy your team needs. Lasting energy comes from healthy eating and exercise, but can also come from several other things such as:
When our Kansas City office first brought a ping pong table into their office, my knee jerk reaction was "Why do we need that? Oh please don't let us become one of those dot com companies that went out of business because their perks were more important than their product."
But that first reaction was dead wrong. Our creative and production team used that ping pong table to talk out problems and keep the office energy high. In fact, if you look at the total hours worked pre and post installation, that ping pong table increased the time spent at the office and is at the very least, a contributing factor to our overall increase in productivity. Inspired by this move, I chose to get rid of one of our conference rooms so that I could add a ping pong table to our New York office. Time will tell if we get the same results, but I suspect that playing while you are working and solving problems will spur and increase in productivity and effectiveness.
So take notice of the energy drain in your company. While changing the clocks may not have been good for your business, a renewed focus on increasing the overall energy inside your company will help you grow and increase your productivity and effectiveness.