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10 Things I Learned from Company Data - How to stay productive in a world in flux

Jan Rezab
December 11, 2020
Let's focus on organizational collaboration and take a look at where we stand, and in which direction we need to be going in as companies.

In our last newsletter I revealed my top ten productivity hacks, and the topic certainly struck a chord with many readers. It was our most shared newsletter to date and David Green and myHRfuture included the piece in the selection of their best people analytics articles.

Now I’ll focus on organizational collaboration, taking a look at where we stand, and in which direction we need to be going in as companies.

News in productive collaboration:

  • Salesforce gets some Slack - Will this mean they will compete for a full collaboration suite in the future? Is this the beginning of a battle over Workflow? Time will tell, and I for one am eager to see what the future holds.
  • Cisco Webex acquires Slido - Cisco’s hardware is exemplary, and with new leadership at the helm, they are now doubling-down on software investment. Acquiring Slido is a dominant step - it is the ultimate engagement and moderation app for virtual meeting. Great move. Is Cisco going to tread further into live events / streaming? With its quality hardware, it has the pulling power to make waves.
  • More acquisitions, smoother collaboration environment? - Employees are suffering tool fatigue and the CIOs who are rethinking their collaboration tools are the ones who will provide the antidote. Integrating collaboration tools into a single, fluent ecosystem means less multitasking and better productivity. Aaron Levie, Box CEO, predicts ‘a new front-end for the future of work.’

10 Things I Know About Productivity

This is what I’ve learned while analyzing data on company collaboration. We need to fix organizational productivity - that we know - but first we have to understand how.

Where are we?

1. We’re distracted, overloaded, fatigued

Imagine that you just graduated from a good college and are interviewed for a junior manager position. You feel optimistic. But the interviewer is brutally honest:

“Hello Jan, so here we go! You’ll have 120 meetings per month. You’ll send 100+ emails a day. You’ll receive 1,500 emails per day. You’ll be CC-ed into many emails that may be irrelevant. You’ll have to flick through dozens of Slack channels also, every day (some of it will be relevant to you, who knows how much). When will you do your work, you ask? I don’t know - you figure it out.’

How optimistic are you feeling now?

2. Distraction is the new normal

2020 has brought workplace interruptions to an entirely new level. We have more weekly meetings, more meetings, more video calls, more written communication than before, yet our cross-team networks are decreasing. Productivity is a fickle thing. You’re bombarded with meetings, interrupted by Zoom calls, prodded at by emails - is it any wonder you’re feeling unproductive?

3. Hyper-collaboration affects our well-being

Our constant distractions and communication expectations are driving down our productivity and driving up our stress levels. We feel like we are doing more but our ultimate focus time, our time to put our brains to task, is tiny. Work satisfaction suffers.

What can we do?

4. Analyze your data ASAP

Taking stock of where we’re sitting by using data to analyze the situation is crucial for any business that wants to protect productivity and prevent burnout. Oftentimes, we work with companies who have no awareness of the gravity of the situation until they plug into their data. They need to find a new normal and they need to learn how from their data.

5. Share data with your team leaders!

Every team leader should be entitled to their productivity data. Trust me, they will want it. When managers realize how valuable their data is, they will jump at the chance to optimize their team’s performance.

6. Pick the right metrics and issues to focus on

One of the biggest challenges lies in deciphering which metrics are key. We are always happy to show clients which issues to zoom in on, interpret the relevant metrics, and learn how to improve.

How to drive change?

7. First, fix meetings, emails, and chat

These are the most obvious aspects to change, and progress is easily tracked on a regular basis. Start with big meetings, recurring meetings, email CCs, cross-team meetings. You might be surprised by how easy shifting company culture can be when it comes to declining meetings, cutting back on redundant messaging, etc.

8. Create a culture of continuous change

You will soon find that once you start improving, it’s a recurring process. Don’t view this as a never ending challenge, but instead as something that leaders work on persistently, using data to bolster continuous productivity.

9. Take your collaboration tools to the next level

Document sharing, commenting, using modern tools like Slack, MS Teams, and pushing these tools to their limits - the companies that have had these tools had almost no change in 2020. They were ready, as every company should be. I still can’t believe that there are meetings where 4 people are sitting around a laptop or a screen with a USB camera, or the management board of the company. The ROI of this hardware is easy to calculate, yet companies still don’t do it.

10. Digital transformation 3.0 - A new breed of company

The benefits of implementing digital transformation, a transformation that fits to the changing mould of company dynamics, are enormous. The companies that are mastering their data and navigating into the years to come will fast outpace the ones left in the dark.

Join the new breed of companies and don’t get left behind - leave your competitors behind. Data can be your advantage.

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Today, we would like to announce the launch of our health metrics. What are these health metrics? They show how well different tools are adopted in your company, how your productivity scores, and exactly how to improve these metrics to meet the set benchmarks.

What’s new at Time is Ltd.?

  • Workplace Insights - We have launched the workplace app your team needs for better collaboration! Sign up now for better insights on how you use Gmail, Drive, Calendar, and Meet. How are your teams leveraging Google Workspace’s powerful tools?
  • Org. Chart app of the future - Now with half a million activations, our Time is Ltd. Org. Chart app is the most popular organizational chart app on Google Workspace Marketplace!
  • We have repackaged our entire analysis separately to suit CIOs and their teams, CHROs and their teams, Sales directors and their teams. Are you are going to rock one of these roles next year? Give us a call, let us boost your projections. Here is a quick walk through of the HR package
  • Tackle distractions and drive performance on the organizational level. Download our focus time whitepaper "Paying attention to attention pays off."

Get in touch, save your time

At Time is Ltd., we measure digital collaboration and productivity, without ever sacrificing employee privacy. We provide an advanced analytical SaaS platform that delivers a holistic view of an organization collaboration patterns. We measure your team’s digital footprint to improve communication, productivity as well as save precious time. Our approach only aggregates meta-data from a variety of data sources, to show how your teams work with your collaboration tools so you can get them more productive and motivated.

Jan Rezab

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