The Changing Face of Productivity

This really isn’t a new concept but many companies, in industries across the board, are realising that under the influence of advancing technology the concept of what it means to be productive at work is changing. It is no longer required for someone to sit at a desk under the watchful eye of their manager to be productive, if anything it causes the opposite effect on staff. People can now connect to coworkers and servers quicker than ever and sit in the comfort of their most productive space, whether that is at home or at a coffee shop or in a park.

This flexibility in workspace also sees the elimination, or restructuring, of the biggest productivity killers: meetings and managers. Many hours are wasted sitting in meetings, even just “quick 30 minutes” for a team of five people is actually in-effect two and a half hours of time lost in the business. Add two or three of those meetings into the day and you have lost almost a full day of productivity in the team. Effective use of status reports within teams and purpose-driven once a week catch-up sessions can be used as an alternative.

The key to productivity is uninterrupted time. If you or management aren’t comfortable with staff being off-premise, consider productive workspace design within your office. Have quiet booths or spaces where staff can sit away from the distraction of a buzzing open plan. Consider a “no meeting Wednesday” where staff are encouraged to use the day to actually produce the work that has been in-discussion.

I came across this fascinating company called The Barbarian Group that places a huge emphasis on productive workspace. Their office is incredible and the level of work that comes out of it as a result is testament to the importance of workspace design.

My train of thought on this topic was kicked off by THIS TED talk by Jason Fried. Also, this forms part of my monthly trend briefing, have a read on the LIVE+ slide share.

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