Over reliance on gut instinct is leading to bad hiring decisions

Office productivity vs. home productivity. Right now, there’s a dilemma facing many employers. Where are your employees at their best?
Almost half (45%) of workers say they are more productive working in an office than remotely. The sentiment to work more productively in an office comes at a time when an unprecedented number of employees are working remotely.
These figures were derived from a study by The Manifest, providers of data-driven benchmarks for small businesses. Manifest’s study looked at the productiveness of working from home and office locations. The research involved The Manifest surveying 365 workers across the US from all age groups.
Just 30% of employees say they are more productive working from home, compared to 45% in an office. Almost a quarter (24%) say they are equally productive working in an office and from home.

Office vs Home Productivity

With more employees working from home than ever before, it’s important employers and their staff implement measures to try boost and maintain productivity, motivation and morale.
The Manifest’s research unveiled strategies to help remote working teams improve the productiveness of remote working and stay motivated.

Use a Designated Workspace

43% of the survey’s respondents said they have a designated workspace while working from home. Designating an area of the home specifically for working is a leading strategy for promoting productivity and motivation.
Bethan Vincent, marketing director of app and web developers Netsells, converted a spare bedroom at her home into an office. Vincent shared with The Manifest the importance of having that dedicated space when working from home.
“This ensures I have a dedicated space to work from and ‘commute’ to each morning. Even if you can’t spare a whole room, I do believe it’s important to have a dedicated space you work in and leave at the end of the day, even if it’s just clearing away your laptop from a kitchen table,” said the marketing director.

Structure of the Working Day

It is also important to have a structure to the day when working from home. The research shows that 36% of employees say having a structure so the day resembles ‘normal’ working hours can help boost productivity. The working daily routine should include defined starting and finishing times.

Take Breaks

According to the survey, 34% of workers believe taking breaks is essential in the quest to remain productive when working from home.
The research highlights the ‘Pomodoro Technique’, involving breaking work up into 25-minute increments with short 3 – 5-minute breaks in-between.

Set a Schedule

It is not uncommon for people working from home to suffer from a concept known as ‘time famine.’ This refers to the feeling of being overwhelmed and having too much to do in too little time.
Setting a schedule, of which 26% of the respondents admitted to doing, can help overcome such feelings and make accomplishing tasks more attainable.

Limit Distractions

Another method for boosting productivity when homeworking is to reduce distractions. According to the survey, almost a quarter of remote workers believe by actively limited distractions, productivity is increased.

Regularly Communicate with Colleagues

Almost a quarter of remote workers (23%) believe that regular communication with co-workers is important for maintaining productivity. With the wealth of apps and software designed for instant and seamless remote communication, there is little excuse for not holding regular, productivity-boosting meetings with teams.
The key message of The Manifest’s survey is that for homeworking to be productive, effort needs to be made to achieve the optimum working environment.
New research* from pre-hire assessment specialists, ThriveMap, reveals hiring managers are relying too heavily on their gut instinct and not enough on objective data when making hiring decisions. Half of hiring managers said when they reflected on new recruits that didn’t work out, these were the result of them paying too much attention to how they felt about the candidate. This means that too often personal judgments, unconscious bias, and subjective preconceptions are getting in the way of organizations hiring the most suitable candidates. With the Black Lives Matter campaign highlighting inequalities in the workplace, employers need to seriously consider how they can address the issue of hiring bias.
The figures show that younger hiring managers, who are likely to have less experience, are the most likely to fall into this trap. 61% of those aged under 35 said that a new recruit hadn’t been a success because they paid too much attention to their gut instinct. Organizations need to be aware of this potential hazard and ensure they have a robust, fair, and transparent hiring process which provides hiring managers with a clear framework and objective data to base their recruitment decisions on.
Men are much more likely than women to have made this mistake. 58% said they had made a bad hire through over-reliance on their gut instinct, compared to 42% of women. Various studies have shown that men are significantly more assured than women in the workplace[1]. This trait may be leading to overconfidence in their abilities and personal judgments, leading them to make more poor hiring decisions, based on feelings rather than facts.
Chris Platts, CEO of ThriveMap said, “These findings reveal that not using fair and objective measures to assess candidates leads directly to hiring mistakes. Recruiting managers who make decisions based on how they feel about a candidate rather than whether they have the capability and desire to do the job, are wasting valuable time and resources. Employers are under pressure to show they are taking diversity and inclusion seriously. Evidencing that hiring processes are inclusive, transparent and based on something more than “gut feel” is an essential component to making change happen.”