Good reasons for letting subordinates "slack off" from time to time

The ideal worker is one who works efficiently and constantly. Is this really true? This article will show that not overwhelming subordinates with work and allowing them time for slacking without doing anything need not necessarily be a bad thing and might pay off in the long run.


This text is based on an article on the INSEAD Knowledge website.

Socialising and building relationships

When subordinates have nothing to do for a while, they start talking among themselves. Thus occasional boredom promotes socialisation and healthy relationship building among workers. This is no small thing.

The opportunity to learn

As team managers, you should strive to educate and develop your subordinates. But when are they supposed to do that if you keep piling ever more new responsibilities on them? Give your subordinates a little more time and space and they will have the chance to develop.

Strategic planning

In the daily hustle and bustle, we often do not have the time to stop and think deeply about strategy and other long-term plans. This is why it is good occasionally to put work responsibilities aside and allow time for strategic planning.

Finding new ways and trying new ideas

New ideas do not just fall out of the sky: someone has to come up with them, and that requires time and peace of mind. If employees are in a constant rush, you can hardly expect them to be inventive and come up with new ideas.


The final reason why occasional boredom at work is beneficial is the opportunity for workers to relax, switch off and think about something else entirely. Mental hygiene and relaxation time should not be underestimated.


Article source INSEAD Knowledge - INSEAD Business School knowledge portal
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