What is it?
Colloquially referred to as “being in the zone,” flow state is the mental state of being fully immersed in an activity, where everything else beyond the immediate task seems to disappear. It is often associated with situations involving individuals playing sports, gaming, or participating in creative activities such as art or music. But professional situations such as designing, coding, researching, conducting surgery, or solving complex business problems can also help achieve a flow state.
Flow is not a project that can be implemented. Rather, an organization establishes a pattern of behaviors and practices that can influence and stimulate individuals and teams to experience flow.
Why does it matter?
Flow state helps improve productivity
- Organizations are challenged to increase productivity and, at the same time, keep employees engaged and high performing. While there is no single way to tackle these challenges, research suggests that achieving a flow state positively influences these areas of concern (and more).
- Flow state is the gold standard of productivity, when individuals feel and perform most confidently. Organizations that activate the conditions for flow state enable employees to achieve optimal results, increasing engagement, performance, and productivity.
- Flow state and the conditions needed to achieve it can be different for every individual. An organization cannot simply manifest a flow state; it needs to establish a pattern of behaviors and work triggers that can influence and stimulate individuals and teams to encourage a flow state.
This research introduces the concept of flow state, the four phases of the flow cycle, workplace flow triggers, and employee, manager, and organizational tactics to encourage flow.