Hoodies get a bad name. We often associate them with youths of a certain age – or worn by sports fanatics. And for some they may avoid hoodie wearers for fear of what the wearer may be associated with. So how can they help you at work? I finally identified the answer to this recently when I was staying with my niece – a final year student in the midst of writing her dissertation. With all of the family chatting in the lounge, she went off to her room announcing that she would put up her hoodie and concentrate on writing the latest instalment.
Duh! it was at that point I realised that what hoodies do is block out distraction. Beneath that hood there is little view of the outside world – which means that peripheral vision is limited and you are free to focus on what you want to.
With open plan offices and “always on” technology and smart phones, it can be hard to find a quiet space to work which means in many places there is a lot less high quality thinking being done. So it is no surprise that employees can find it difficult to innovate, think through risks or likely implications of decisions when there is no place for thinking. Just doing.
What I learned from my neice is that it can be useful to “put up the hoodie”, block out distractions and take time to think. Whilst it might not be acceptable office attire in your workplace, if you want to get ahead – learn to adopt the principle of “quality focus” and discover what a difference it can makes to your performance at work.