Why workplace analysis is essential, no matter where people work
Presented by ActivTrak
With the acceleration of remote working brought about by Covid-19, many organizations quickly realized that they needed new ways of understanding and measuring productivity. However, the truth is that we have needed new ways of thinking about productivity for years, but we may not have realized it until the forced disruption caused by the pandemic. We must not be mistaken in thinking that when the constraints of Covid-19 disappear, the challenges posed by our highly digital environment will also disappear.
Organizations have long had a false sense of security that if they can see employees at their desks, then they can keep the pulse of productivity. It just isn’t, and productivity in the digital age is about more than just being in front of a computer.
To truly understand and improve productivity, you need to know:
- How teams invest their time to assess if it fits with priorities and roles
- How much time is spent on focused work vs. meetings or collaboration apps
- Which apps typically cause distractions that interrupt targeted work
- When working hours are constantly increasing or being high so you can help avoid burnout
- Whether individuals are efficient with their time – that is, how much of their screen time is spent on productive activities
The truth is, productivity measurement and workplace analytics are more critical than ever, whether teams are working remotely, together in the same office, or across a combination of operating models.
Objective, data-driven productivity measurement
Even in an office with a direct view of your team, it’s impossible to have a holistic view of real productivity. Proximity bias can be misleading, and observations of arrival and departure time, office work, and collaboration with colleagues are superficial. These perceptions are also subjective, often based on other factors not directly related to productivity.
With a workplace analytics platform like ActivTrak, you get an objective view of productive time, focus time, risk of burnout and more, based on real data versus subjective perception. of the manager. So you can ensure that your most productive team members are recognized for their efforts and can provide coaching and training to those who have the opportunity to improve.
ActivTrak dashboard for productivity, efficiency and focus
More efficient workforce and resource planning
One of the most important (and difficult) parts of being a manager is advocating with your leadership for the resources your team needs to be successful. When it’s time to plan for workforce and resources, having real data to understand workloads, utilization levels, burnout risk, and productivity can be extremely useful, especially when that data is collected consistently across all teams. With real data, leaders can understand where the greatest resource gaps lie and ensure people are added where they are needed most.
ActivTrak usage dashboard showing how working hours compare to healthy ranges
Keep the pulse of employee engagement
In a recent Brandon Hall Group survey, 80% of organizations indicated that increased productivity is a key measure of employee engagement, but only 8% believe they can actually measure productivity.
Keeping the pulse of employee engagement has several benefits:
- Proactively check with team members before they start looking for a new job
- Evaluate where you can come up with projects more aligned with the skills and interests of team members
- Realize the full productivity potential of your teams
- Help everyone feel invested in the mission, milestones and success of the business
Many companies use periodic surveys or managers’ perceptions to assess engagement. But these strategies only capture data at a specific point in time and can be subjective.
With a workplace analytics platform like ActivTrak, you have continuous measurement of productivity, which helps provide a much more complete picture of employee engagement.
ActivTrak dashboard with productivity trends and focus time
Experiment and learn to work more efficiently
With a workplace analytics solution like ActivTrak, you can set benchmarks for productivity and focus time, and collaborate with your team on experiences to help everyone improve. At ActivTrak, for example, we’ve experimented with “Focus Fridays,” where we try to avoid scheduling internal meetings, as well as “Focus Blocks,” where people block specific hours each day for focused work.
Using our real data, we found that teams who sliced targeted blocks each day were able to save an average of 1 hour of extra productive work. per day, while those who devoted an entire day to focused work gained only 0.4 hour increase in productive working time per day.
Focus time experiment: before and after
Our ability to share such data with individuals and teams and to involve everyone in the experimentation process has benefited us not only in terms of productivity, but also in terms of building a culture of transparency, collaboration and continuous improvement.
Assess where individuals and teams are most productive
Many organizations are still hesitant to embrace remote working on a large scale, even after operating that way during the pandemic. But many employees appreciate the time saved by not having to travel, and find that they can be more productive without the distractions of an office environment.
With a workplace analytics platform like ActivTrak, remote working can be a win-win solution for employees and organizations. Organizations can save costs while having the peace of mind that working hour expectations are being met. And employees can take advantage of the benefits of working from home, as well as access to their own productivity metrics to understand and improve their work habits.
Also, in recent months, offering remote work has become an important competitive advantage in terms of hiring. Recent surveys have shown that up to 97% of employees do not want to return to an office full time *. Hiring and retaining the best talent is important for every organization, and offering remote work will continue to be a key advantage in the war for talent.
* Extract from the Forbes article “5 statistics employers need to know about remote labor“
The workplace is changing, and the way we think about and measure productivity must change with it. Whether teams are working in a traditional office environment, at home, or in a hybrid combination, there is no substitute for real data to understand productivity, focus, burnout risk, and other key metrics of organizational health. Additionally, organizations that make this data available to individuals and managers can gain even more by involving everyone in the process of continuous productivity improvement.
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ActivTrak helps businesses unlock their productivity potential. Our award-winning workforce analysis and productivity management software delivers expert insight that empowers people, optimizes processes and maximizes technology. Additionally, with data from over 9,000 customers and over 450,000 users, ActivTrak’s Labor productivity lab is a global center of groundbreaking research and expertise that helps businesses embrace and embody the future of work.
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