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Deep work

Be less busy and more productive with deep work

Be less busy and more productive with deep work

Your organisation will rely on a variety of skills and styles of work to do what you do. But your executives and knowledge workers may be increasingly dragged into emails, online chats and meetings that distract them from the more intensive critical tasks that we need them to do. As a consequence they may feel more distracted and less satisfied.

This programme helps you consider how your staff can be more productive and less busy with deeper work, with the introduction of some environmental approaches and solutions, and some common sense rules that you can introduce.

Grab your snorkel and let’s delve into the deep…

Programme overview

“Our technology is racing ahead but so many of our skills and organisations are lagging behind” Race against the machine – Brynjolfsson & McAffee 

Can we honestly say that as societies or organisations we’ve genuinely looked at the real implications of technology in the workplace? We all see the benefits but do we properly weigh these against the detriments to our productivity, our focus, our happiness and our job satisfaction. Many recent studies have and the message is loud and clear: the way we currently work with technology isn’t having the positive impact that we think it is.

A range of recent literature and new ideas are now seeking to challenge the new status quo of how, when and where work is done, in particular for those people who need to do intensive knowledge work. This presents a collective challenge of Performative Busyness, by organisations and individuals.

“In the absence of clear indicators of what it means to be productive and valuable in their jobs, many knowledge workers turn back towards an industrial indicator of productivity. Doing lots of stuff in a visible manner”
– Cal Newport, Deep Work

Whilst many of these new approaches are centric to the individual ‘deep work journey’, we believe there are big opportunities for organisations and teams to collectively address this. Our Sector Three programme on embedding deep work translates many of these concepts to actionable change that can help organisations develop a more modern flow of work to switch between deep and shallow work.

What we do

In ‘plain human’ we help you:

  • Review the organisational factors that dictate your ways of working.
  • Map the deep and shallow work styles that currently take place in your teams. We match this with your own organisational dynamic, and what work environments could enhance their productivity, happiness and job satisfaction.
  • Work across the wider team to develop good habits around e-mail and meeting productivity, both considering amount and turnover. We have developed a number of focus topics for review and options that could improve them.
  • Consider a shift from shallow, routine, repetitive or administrative work towards workflow and automation, through what we call ‘routine work terminator’ roles, working across teams and projects to support workflow mindset and then to automate flows.
  • Establish common rules to shift the culture of e-mail from ubiquitous chat to task and finish – with the objective being how few emails people can use to get tasks done.

We always work with you to explore and test ideas in partnership, building implementable change that works for you. We never try and force you into a model that doesn’t fit.

How we do it

We’re all about starting at the start and seeing it through to a sustainable place. We provide a range of support activities that will change as the project progresses. See below the different stages and how we can support you through the whole or part of the process.


We talk with your teams to understand how and where people are at their most and least productive, and what factors affect this. We consider and discuss the flow of daily, weekly and periodic workloads that may affect workload.

Build a vision

We share insights and ideas to help inspire new ways of working within your teams, and to build a collective charter on how staff can support each other to achieve deeper working.

Test and loop

Different approaches fit different teams and organisations. We support an environment of evolution and learning to continuously assess and improve experiments.


At key testing stages and once clear lessons have emerged, we support team discussions to collectively assess what has changed and what it means.


We help you to spread the lessons from your testing, and suggest actions and review points to ensure that positive change is protected.


New experiences mean new skills; both hard and soft. Throughout we seek to identify and support what change is happening for the individual to ensure that the change is person enabled. Where key group roles emerge, especially leadership, we will help identify learning paths so people can build valuable skill-sets.

Get in touch to find out more
See what we do