New Approaches to Productivity?

I have been looking in-depth at what productivity and remote work look like now. Nearly a year into the pandemic, we have managed to be flexible, work from home, and juggle personal responsibilities in ways we could not have imagined. What might help moving forward? I am sharing an idea below about what might work at the corporate level – designating or hiring a Head of Remote Work. I am also covering an article on leadership and employee management. And finally, I am looking at some resources for you personally – that I hope will help inspire you.

Corporate Response – New Structure

Darren Murph is the Head of Remote at Gitlab – a software development company. He wrote an article for LinkedIn about remote work. He acknowledges that most organizations transitioned quickly to fully remote work out of necessity due to the nature of the pandemic’s threat.

As we look ahead, issues are arising in the longer term. These issues include location-impacted compensation, scheduling and communications, cultural development, and learning. And it is not clear is who in the current leadership team of a company should take responsibility for these issues. Is it the Head of Human Resources, the COO, Legal? A committee?

His key point is that companies that try to figure out the new normal as they go along by solving issues as they arise in a “whack-a-mole” fashion without a longer-term plan could end up causing more work for themselves. However, firms that realize “significant change is unavoidable” will iterate a new leadership role that can support your existing leadership team. Additionally, These firms will ultimately have teams that exhibit more productivity. A position that could handle issues as diverse as providing ergonomic remote workplaces, hiring and onboarding, scheduling, network safety, and employee development. He makes a convincing case for this new role. I’d love to hear if you think your company could benefit from this approach. You can read the full article here.

Leadership Response – Co-Creation

This blog is entitled “How to Motivate Lazy Employees,” and the word lazy certainly caught my attention. It is a strong word that I do not think many managers would openly apply to any employee. Especially now, when many employees are isolated in work-from-home situations. What steps can a leader take to motivate their employees and encourage healthy productivity?

As a leader, you can help by making your priorities clear, providing training opportunities, and scheduling regular feedback sessions.
On the other hand, having a strong internal motivation to work hard is when employees perform best. Check to see if external factors are affecting your employee’s performance. Everyone goes through tough times. See if you both can co-create an environment where everyone is working towards the same goal. An environment that will ignite the employee’s natural motivation.

The article concludes with ten action items for you to try with your “unmanageable” employee.

Personal Response – Concepts to Explore

The new TED@Work program is a curated program of TED talks for companies to use for employee development – including topics on productivity. There are four examples in this introductory blog- all the included videos are useful, funny, and inspiring in true TED talk form.

Designer Paolo Cardini humorously and helpfully recommends Monotasking. Communication expert Julian Treasure’s talk is full of thought-provoking information about communication modes and mastering the mechanics of speaking to be heard. Writer Melinda Epler shares a personal story of workplace advocacy that puts a human face on many of the watchwords that we hear today.

Finally, Management Consultant Nigel Marsh’s talk is a must-watch. He points out that we need to approach the concept of work-life balance with a keen sense perspective. Don’t add one more thing to your to-do list right now. Instead, take a global view and find a way to do the small things that will really matter in the end. His description of his perfect day is priceless. And admittedly unattainable. But he points out that maybe a pretty good week or month is within reach.

Let me know what you think of this month’s topic, and if there are other topics you would like to explore together. I am here to help if you are working on making your staffing plan as flexible as possible. If you are on the other side of the equation and are seeking a new position, check out our current openings. Questions? You can CONTACT US.