How Parkinson's Law Can Improve Your Business Productivity

How Parkinson’s Law Can Improve Your Business Productivity

16th May 23

Simon recently visited Nottingham University to speak to postgraduate students and business leaders about ReThink and how to improve productivity in the workplace. 

Many topics were discussed – too many for one blog post. So here is the first part of a series that covers topics from Simon’s presentation. 

Today, we look at Parkinson’s Law, outlining the observation and discovering the most efficient time for working.

What is Parkinson’s Law?

Articulated by Cyril Northcote Parkinson, the observation states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. 

In other words, the time taken to complete work reflects the amount of time available to complete it. When a person is given more time than they need, they will probably use it anyway. Too much available time creates a slow pace and it takes longer to complete the task. Insufficient time creates pressure and risks non-completion or a drop in quality.

How to apply this in your business

The key to applying this in the workplace is time management. Using work studies to estimate how much time a task will take enables you to use that time effectively.

By estimating the time, you are “intention building”, meaning you’re more likely to deliver when carrying out the task at hand.

At ReThink, we offer a range of services that help you gain critical insights by applying a mix of work measurement and analytical techniques. When applying Parkinson’s Law, a time and motion study is extremely beneficial – it outlines exactly how long it takes to complete tasks, identifying opportunities to simplify and speed them up.

When colleagues need to complete a task, allowing less time means they are more likely to find greater ways to get things done. And by ensuring colleagues use the right amount of time to complete a task, you will:

  • Reduce wasted time
  • Use available time more effectively, and
  • Generate more sales

If you would like to find out more about how Parkinson’s Law can improve your business productivity, give our team a call.