Productivity. We all want to squeeze the most of every minute.
Do more and more in the shortest time possible (or at least your manager wants you to). But is there a productivity formula, especially when it comes to teamwork? Are we obsessed with productivity asking these questions over and over again?
What productivity means nowadays?
Productivity is a measure of efficiency. In other words - how much one employee can do in a given period of time. But as we do almost everything in teams now, the HR improvement processes are focusing on the bigger picture. In this case it is productivity and efficiency of a team.
We live in times of revolution 4.0 - it has never been easier to be productive.
I mean - you’re using an excellent task manager, some team communication tool, and most probably a time tracker. Can’t live (or more specifically, work) without them, huh?
Your work is so nicely organized thanks to them. You stick to the deadlines focusing on your tasks by their importance. Nothing and nobody is distracting you, as you probably work remotely most of the time, and when in office - having your headphones on with some classical or ambient music (because it’s helping you to be more productive or... is it?).
Wait, wasn’t it all about team productivity?
Thanks to all these teamwork improvements we no longer have to interact with teammates. More and more people are deciding to work totally remotely.
There is no need to come to the office and talk about the project.
Modern companies are using the vertical organizational structure. Roles and responsibilities are clearly defined and you know exacly what to do in every moment. Is it that great though?
Employees often lack creativity as they’re not giving anything from themselves to the project. They don’t have any direct interaction with it, staying focused on one particular part of the job. A tiny little piece of the big picture - not knowing the rest
of people working on the same matter.
But there is another approach, almost perfect one. The matrix organization, with the project in the very center of attention, coordinated across functional departments. Employees have to be in contact with many people - and it’s helping to spread the information and to speed up the decision process. This kind of work culture requires a lot of self-management, but the know-how of every expert can be shared. And that is how productivity is born!
Productivity as a Service
Why we’re still working on our desks, not interacting with teammates then?
The answer is quite simple. The more productivity tools we have, the more we want to focus on our own performance. The more we’re focused on our own performance- the more productivity tools are being created.
That’s a vicious circle.
We spend so much time on finding the one app that will make everything for us. Then, we’re spending time testing it - is this the right app? A few days after,
there is a brand new alternative with amazing reviews, so… you need to have it!
When going through some social media channels I realized how much time we spend on doing the research itself. How to improve productivity? Best productivity software? What is the best productivity app? Dozens of questions and even more answers.
It made me wonder why people think that productivity is something external.
You cannot simply install effectiveness into a computer or add it to your browser. We need to keep in mind that all the team communication apps, task managers, etc are only helping us in everyday tasks. I’m not trying to say that they are useless.
I love using them myself and can’t imagine starting my morning at work without them!
But in the end, we still need to do the work ourselves and there is no software that will change it (at least not yet).
As we do everything in teams we should really focus on the productivity of the whole squad, not individuals. It’s a simple rule of synergy. The combined effect is greater than the sum of separate effects.
When it comes to work we can treat the combined effect as a product of team collaboration. The sum of the separate effects is teamwork. It may be tough at first to see the difference, as they both involve a group of people working together to complete a shared goal.
Yet, team collaboration applies the rule of synergy. Teammates work together as equals, usually without a leader. Of course, to collaborate effectively, people need excellent interpersonal skills. Each person needs to put some effort into the project.
But it pays off - in productivity!
To be more productive as an individual, you need to think about the project and productivity of your team as a whole. You can do more minding your own business, but isn't it important to get something out of work you're doing everyday? :)