July 6th, 2015

Getting Employees to Work Smarter. Tips from the Productivityist

Office Productivity Tips from Mike Vardy

Photo Credit: Simple REV

You’re looking at an employee computer monitoring solution because you’re just not getting a good level of productivity out of your people. Instead of doing their work on your computers, they’re leveling up as panda shamans in MMO games or updating their social network. Computer monitoring is part of the solution – but if you want your workers to be their best, you need to run your office in the right way. We chatted with renowned productivity coach Mike Vardy of The Productivityist about how to achieve that:

How bad is the problem of workplace productivity? How much of an impact does Facebook, Twitter, online gaming, or online shopping really have?

When it comes to online productivity, we have so much access to so many platforms, we’re easily pulled away with just the slightest notification. The problem is that we work reactively rather than productivity. Instead, let’s do what we can in the time we have available. Rather than being so focused on results that we end up with spikes and valleys, we can be OK with taking a little bit longer and making measured progress.

Distractions pull us away because we have an urgency addiction. The notification we get in our inbox feels urgent, but often, it’s not. That new notification on whatever device is not a command.

What are some ways to keep employees from burning out or losing productivity at the office?

One of the biggest things is just giving them time to do some self-management. Give them the capability to plan their day the day before. That way, they’ve got a clear head at the end of the day and can have a more enjoyable life – which will pay off when they come back to the office.

We should also encourage them to work by mode rather than by project. For example, let’s say I’m about to go into email: what ones do I need to deal with right away? Go in with missions, rather than questions. It increases productivity, but doesn’t increase the feeling of being overwhelmed. Mode-based work is the way of the future.

How do you measure success for various productivity solutions?

The best way is by taking some kind of regular review process. I’m not a big believer in having meetings for meetings’ sake. That said, if you’re working by mode, you can see they’ve moved different projects forward by working in the same mode. Do a mode status update. You can knock this out fast.

Another thing organizations are starting to take on is working on themes. For example, Monday, our focus is on marketing. Tuesday, administration. Wednesday, content creation. That’s easier to wrap your head around. There are only a certain number of themes you can work on and stay focused.

Is there an acceptable level of productivity? It’s probably not realistic to expect employees to be doing productive work every single minute they’re on the computer. And does that productivity shift throughout the day?

Willpower definitely plays a role in how much you can focus on your work — and it drains as the day goes on. Some people are morning people who knock out a bunch of tasks in the morning – and then fall off for the rest of the day. Night owls will do their low energy tasks in the morning and take on bigger tasks at night. It’s about having awareness of your own strengths and when you’re working at your best. Organizations need to be cognizant of that, so that night owls can at least make some progress in the morning.

Disconnecting is also good for productivity. Breaks are key. Its no secret people have great ideas when they’re out for a jog or in the shower. Eating lunch at your desk is the worst thing you can do! We all need to disconnect sometime and recharge the batteries so that we can come at the next time and do good work.

Looking to add computer monitoring to your employee productivity strategy? Contact SoftActivity today