Work, mental health and profitability

For many years I’ve focused on productivity in design studios. I’ve developed KPIs and performance targets based on the idea that we should only expect 70% of a designers’ day to be chargeable back to clients (approx 5 hours). I felt this was a reasonable figure because it allowed people time to relax a bit and engage with others in the studio. If charged appropriately this gives a sustainable business.

However according to triple J Hack:

A 2017 UK study found the average time spent working is two hours and 53 minutes each day, with the rest going to social media, news websites, non-work chats with co-workers, taking meal and drinks breaks, going out for a smoke, and searching for new jobs.

Getting a work/life balance right while maintaining mental health and a viable business is tricky.

Research shows that we need to work at least one day a week to feel worthwhile. So, too little work as much as too much work, can be detrimental for our mental health. Pressure to perform during the hours we do work can also cause mental health issues.

I’m getting a headache just trying to get my mind around all this.

Is the answer to let the team decide what they do and when – as long as the work gets done?
Or do we carefully schedule everything and allow plenty of time for the job to be completed?
Do we organise break out time in the studio for mental health activities?
Do we work a 4 day week?
Do we work a 4 hour day?
Do we completely change our business model?

Want to know more?

Structuring your studio to gain a work/life balance is a major issue for business owners. If you would like help to do this contact Greg Branson.

Got a question?

Want to share your point of view? Please feel free to email me.

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Greg Branson

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Greg’s passion is the research and development of methods that improve design management and the role of design in business.

Greg has developed The Design Business School to help owners manage their business better along with showing designers how to get more involved in the studio and develop their career path. Contact Greg.

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