Have you seen the new Lucozade ad? The energy drink brand has decided to shake its image as a hangover cure and look for a new audience amongst busy professionals. The campaign, titled ‘find your flow’, features normal people in everyday situations performing beyond their best thanks to Lucozade.
“Flow. The unmistakeable feeling of unstoppable. Of no problem that can’t be solved. Of no-one else can do it better. That whatever the day throws at you, you simply take it in your stride because you’ve found your rhythm. You’re on top form.” (Lucozade 2015, Find your flow)
The ad company responsible, Grey London, have taken inspiration from psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi who created the concept of ‘flow’ after extensive research on the topic. It’s the feeling of being completely ‘into’ what you are doing. Of being wholly absorbed in a task or activity and of losing yourself in a moment.
Csikszentmihalyi describes ‘flow’ as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.”
That’s what I want to feel when I’m at work and what I want my team to feel also. I’d like them to love what they do so much that they can immerse themselves in their tasks and spend most of their time ‘in the zone’.
Why should we aim to help individuals find their ‘flow’ in the workplace?
I’m really conscious that people spend a lot of time at work. Over a lifetime, it’s around 90,000 hours if we work full-time from leaving school to retirement. This is time that many people would rather spend doing something else such as sitting in the garden, playing with the children or walking the dog.
It’s an ambitious aim but I want the people in my teams to enjoy what they do almost as much so they are focused on delivering great things for the organisation rather than wishing they were somewhere else. My view is that if I can help them find their ‘flow’ at work, I can help them to maximise their contribution to the organisation and enhance their overall life satisfaction.
How do we create an environment that supports individuals to find their flow’?
Based on 10 factors which are known to accompany the feeling of ‘flow’ here are 8 things that leaders should seek to provide in the workplace to allow employees to immerse themselves in their activities:
1) Set clear goals that are challenging but achievable
2) Allow people to concentrate on their goals and focus their attention
3) Ensure their work is rewarding and ensure recognition of their efforts
4) Create an environment where they feel secure and not self-conscious
5) Give feedback
6) Ensure tasks are achievable and suitable for the individual’s level of skill whilst providing a healthy challenge
7) Allow ownership of a task or responsibility
8) Minimise any distractions that will prevent the individual from focusing on the activity
Do you agree that helping people to find their ‘flow’ is an important goal? Have you tried to create this kind of environment in your workplace? Let us know your experiences by posting in the comments below.
Photo credit: Pixabay