3 things that should never be on your team’s agenda
Maybe it’s human nature, maybe it’s business school, but companies and teams are continuing to make the same productivity mistakes, that end up seriously hindering the workday for their employees. A lot of the things we think just “happen” as a part of office protocol are actually a huge waste of time, and need to be rethought.
Overall, we’re currently doing a really bad job with the 8 work hours we’re given. On average, only 3 hours a day are spent doing productive work.
Companies that fail to change their practices and help employees optimize their time will soon fall behind fast-paced, more modernly-managed businesses.
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If these three items are on your team’s agenda this week, it may be time to rethink the way you’re structuring and managing your team’s work time.
1. Meetings more than 15 minutes
There’s been quite a bit of backlash against meetings in recent years, and with good reason. We waste on average about 31 hours in meetings each month. That’s almost a full week of work every single month spent “recapping” and definitely not paying attention, only to be trailed by a “follow up” email with all of the information that was just covered. This is definitely a convention that can go. With the advent of instant communication platforms for businesses, there’s simply no need for long meetings scheduled throughout the week. Short meetings to get some face time in and go over major ideas or brainstorm are much more effective. Anything else can be shared (and saved and revisited) through online communication.
The solution: An office chat platform. It essentially takes care of all of the functions of a meeting, but runs 24/7 and you can work during it.
2. Replying to internal email
While we’re supposed to be focused on our actual work, we’re actually spending upwards of 6 hours a day focused on managing email. For many of us, it also follows us home. With new, faster and more efficient ways of communicating within the office, email is an unnecessary time killer. It’s the new snail mail and it’s formalities make it more time-consuming than effective.
The solution: Chat platforms and videoconferencing allow for real-time communication whether you’re in the office or not. You can get instant answers to questions, brainstorm in real time, and speak informally and personally with coworkers. Chat and videoconferencing are not only more effective time-wise for teams, but collaboration-wise as well.
As technology improved and let work go “home” with us, there was an increased expectation that employees were to be on call at all times. The work-life balance got a little twisted. But recently, due to problems with workplace stress and anxiety, there’s been a change of heart and many organizations are learning that overtime doesn’t necessarily mean overly productive. Companies like Buffer have committed to a strict 35-hour work week rule to prevent employees from being overwhelmed work and burnt out. They report that employees who are expected to work hard for shorter periods of time – rather than on call 24/7 – are much more satisfied with their jobs and more productive overall.
The solution: Establish hours in which work communication stops, and personal lives resume. Try, in whatever capacity, to give employees flexible schedules and focus on efficiency and work being completed, rather than time clocked in and out of the office.
If your team seems burnt out, and more hours are being wasted with little change in productivity, it may be time to revisit what’s on your team’s agenda for the week and get rid of some of those traditional office protocols. For the solution to better team communication and productivity, join plenty of thriving teams and try Hibox free today.