Employees find it difficult to achieve consistent productivity. Here’s how you can achieve it.

Employee productivity has recently been of huge focus with the boom in remote work, flexible work hours, and async work. The earlier trend of having productivity directly proportional to the number of hours spent in the office is replaced with how much work is getting done. 

Being in a remote work environment has given more flexibility to employees to do things at their own pace. Although organizations are still at the start of this change, doubts about not achieving productivity are being demolished with an increasing trend of more companies adopting remote work. 

According to research by Gallup, more than 50 percent of employees are ready to leave their current job for one that offers flexible work hours. Flexibility gives employees the power to do things at their own time and pace. This ensures a burden-free workplace, hence a more productive environment. 

Having said that, remote work also comes with its own set of challenges. The chances of distraction are quite high while working from home. According to research by the University of California, once derailed from a task by an interruption, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back on track. Even if we consider a minimum of 2 distractions this amounts to almost an hour of loss in productivity. So keep reminding your employees try to clear cache and different types of temporary files to help it work faster and decrease distractions.

What is consistent productivity?

By definition, productivity is a measurement of the output a worker can produce in a given time frame. Consistent productivity is nothing more than achieving the same quantity and quality of work done in the same amount of time. Productivity is linked to each individual’s capacity and internal and external factors and it is impossible to achieve the same levels of productivity throughout. 

Let’s understand this concept with a live example: 

YearODI RunsInningsAverageStrike rate100/50Highest
20109952447.3885.123/7118
201113813447.6285.564/8117
Source – Cricindeed

Here is a two-year comparison between the ODI averages of Virat Kohli, the well-known Indian Cricketer. If we look at the innings, he has played only 10 more innings in the year 2011 yet the difference in average is only 0.24 runs. In 2011, he scored one more century and one more fifty than the previous year. The difference between the runs scored is 386 runs of which close to 150 were scored with an extra 100/50.

The number of centuries and 50-plus scores he has bagged can be considered as a peak of his productivity. But if we check the year 2010 even with a less than 100/50 score, the average is still maintained. Why is this happening? One reason is that he consistently scored at least 35 runs in each inning. This is the concept of consistent productivity.

It is not possible for an employee to score a 100 or a 50,, every time he/she works and the employer has to understand that a consistent score of 35 is also giving the same end result. This translates to having flexibility, working remotely, async work, etc. Let’s understand this in more detail. 

How Springworks is leveraging flexible work hours?

Flexible work hours do not mean working at night or odd hours. It means more flexibility within the time allocated to you. It is difficult to maintain a fixed schedule while working remotely. According to a survey by Inc., remote workers are taking an average of 22 minutes of break which is more than what an in-office employee takes (18 minutes). 

However, a 22-minute break in a work day of 8 hours is still very less and may lead to burnout. At Springworks our ask is simple:

  • Take breaks in between but ensure that you complete today’s task on the same day.
  • Always better to over-communicate: Put Slack status, and block calendars. Inform your manager that you are not available from X to X. 
  • Inform don’t ask. In simple terms, we encourage employees to just inform the manager there is no need for approval. 

“Your productivity is very important to us. Whatever we can do to automate repetitive tasks should be done”

Kartik Mandaville, CEO at Springworks.

Putting a slack status solves the larger problem of informing each team member individually or on a channel. Moreover, not asking for permission gives employees the confidence to take out the time to do other things on their own time. 

Empathy beings at home. This is one of the cultural tenets that we follow at Springworks. We understand that employees have other commitments and household tasks that they have to do. Not only that, we encourage our employees to take out some time to do things that they love or follow a hobby. Here’s how we are ensuring that the work is not hampered in between:

Blocking the time you are unavailable helps the team members, the manager, and all other stakeholders to plan anything in advance and around your schedule. Something as simple as blocking the calendar can save countless hours of rescheduled meetings or conflicts. 

Conclusion:

Working in a remote setting is fun, but equally challenging. You have to juggle and shift between different tasks and priorities. Moreover, due to a lack of differentiation between the workplace and a place to relax, it becomes difficult to take necessary time off from work which will not allow employees to hit that peak of productivity consistently. Hence as an organization, it’s best to create a healthy work environment and ensure measures that can help in improving the employees’ productivity level. At the same time create an environment where employees understand that they cannot be productive all the time and it is necessary to take time off to achieve consistency 

Rohan Mankad

I am an HR Executive at Springworks. I will be your one-stop resource for all HR thought-leadership pieces covering different topics.

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