Productivity = Energy + Focus + Coordination + Cooperation. Lynda Gratton’s formula.

At a recent HR Roundtable hosted by Harvest, Guest facilitator global L&D Lead, Wayne Robertson shared on further reading and research he’d undertaken and found Lynda Gratton a key influencer on hybrid working.

British organisational theorist, consultant, and Professor of Management Practice at London Business School and the founder of HSM Advisory, Linda Gratton is known for her work on organisational behaviour.

“To ensure that a hybrid work arrangement works, leaders have to build a context of place and time that accentuates rather than depletes productivity. As they (leaders) do this, they need to consider the elements of productivity that are particularly sensitive to these features,” states Gratton.

Gratton presents a formula for Productivity:

Productivity = Energy + Focus + Coordination + Cooperation


The essentials of productive work begin with ENERGY.

“In most jobs, people are more productive when they experience positive vitality and well-being, and their productivity is depleted when they are exhausted or stressed and their working habits become unhealthy.”

“Make working from home a source of energy,” says Gratton. One of the overwhelmingly positive results of working from home during the pandemic is that people are able to reassign their former commuting time to activities that boost their physical energy (through exercise and recreation) and their emotional energy (by spending time with family and friends).”

As a leader, ask yourself, how can I enable the people who are working remotely to be at their most energetic and productive?


The next essential for many jobs where real concentration is necessary is FOCUS.

Gratton advises that when the context — that is, the place and time of work — allows people to focus, they can be highly productive. Their focus suffers when their context is distracting and their attention is scattered.

Workplaces need to provide tools so that remote workers can be at their most productive.  E.g., the right OH&S office set up. Have conversations with the team about how they remain focussed and work best to their own rhythm. “For example, my best work is when I intensely focus for 90 minutes and then take a break,”

Emails, WhatsApp, Teams Messages – the distractions are endless – turn of notifications and lost the temptation to look! The average human has the attention span of  6 seconds.  Every time you get distracted it takes 6 minutes to get back to where you were.


Use office space to amplify Cooperation COOPERATION.

While some tasks are best fulfilled when people can focus and work on their own, others require coordinating in real time. Gratton advises using office space to “amplify cooperation”.


Some tasks demand significant COORDINATION with others.

There are jobs and tasks that require teams to cooperate and actively share ideas in ways that enable them to ideate and innovative. When the contexts of place and time create barriers to cooperation, productivity can suffer. People can become resistant, and infighting can break out. Being in the office is essentially a social activity.

“Take advantage of asynchronous time to boost focus and use synchronised time for tasks that require coordination,” says Gratton.

Linda Gratton has written a Blog on this titled” Four Principles to Ensure Hybrid Work is Productive Work”.


Wayne Robertson.

Wayne Robertson, ex Leadership & Development Director, Wesfarmers Insurance currently works with US company YPO and works entirely remotely.

Harvest thanks Wayne Robertson for taking part in our February Geelong HR Roundtable “People Management in a Hybrid World.” Link to blog.

You can follow Wayne Robertson on Linked in


Where to from here? Save the Date.

Organisations and those managers who are trying to “squash” working from home, good luck, because hybrid working, although evolving, is here to stay.

If your organisation is not offering hybrid working, staff members will look for an organisation that is offering it and doing it well.

Harvest’s 20 July 2022 Geelong HR Roundtable will further explore the topic of “The Future of Work” with a line up of leading panellists. All welcome. 


Have you read our blog on “Successfully Leading Hybrid Teams?”

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