CEO of ActivTrakis a veteran technology executive and entrepreneur focused on delivering enterprise-grade solutions to mid-market companies.
It’s a tough time to be a leader.
My social feeds are filled with articles about the growing headwinds weakening our economy — the impact of telecommuting and hybrid work on hiring and retention, the cost of inactive commercial office space, and SaaS technologies consuming budgets.
In the wake of a once-in-a-generation pandemic, today’s facts She looks a lot different Compared to previous recessions, which requires different beacon to lead us forward. As I speak with other companies, there are four main areas of concern that continue to emerge – and I think I’ll share some thoughts on recommendations to help address them.
Operational adjustments to today’s work environment can affect employees’ ability to remain productive, maintain focus and feel engaged. According to Gallup data, only 36% of American employees are engaged in their work, which leaves much room for improvement. This entails thinking about how to meet resource requirements amid tighter spending and employment terms.
Before taking drastic measures such as staff reduction, it is worth asking first: Is anyone or any team currently underutilized or overused? Can some employees do more work or can work be redistributed? How does team productivity differ across remote, hybrid and office environments? Do we have the right training and policies in place to ensure continued balance and well-being? Answering these questions can help prioritize key business initiatives that are less disruptive to the workforce, more engaged with employees and more useful for achieving better business outcomes.
Employee Engagement and Burnout
According to the 2021 report published By Asana (via CIO Dive), “72% of workers [feel] Pressure to multitask during the day as multiple platforms demand attention. “How does that affect their focus, fatigue, and morale? Even before the pandemic, 91% of professionals in the United States He said Uncontrollable stress or frustration affects the quality of their work, and nearly 70% said their employer is not doing enough to reduce burnout. The shift to telecommuting and hybrid work has exacerbated this. When we think about workforce planning and headcount, we should also think about how we retain and nurture our employees.
As leaders, it is our duty to ask: Where do employees spend their time? Is it too much, not enough, or right? How does that vary by time of day, day of the week, or different locations? Do you constantly bombard them with interruptions and dispersal? How does that compare between teams and individuals? With this data, organizations can take steps to ensure healthy work habits that directly impact employee engagement and retention. This can include reducing unproductive meetings, eliminating ongoing administrative “check-ins” or limiting core business hours for collaboration.
For decades, organizational design experts have focused on a human-centered approach to improving how people work together and how companies respond to change. However, business leaders face many challenges in doing so, such as the NOBL Academy Describe:
“Bureaucracy gets in the way of moving business forward. We are becoming less customer focused, and we can’t see how our actions affect the big picture. We are tasked with responding to a faster world by working longer and harder, not smarter.”
This “smarter” part is key. How is the best performance performed on operations? How much of this work is deep work versus multitasking versus collaboration? Are there opportunities to learn from them and train others? What are the correct metrics to choose to capture the basis of productive work? How can we more effectively engage and empower employees to see and improve their work habits? Creating metrics for hours worked, productive hours, and focused working time can be a powerful way to gain insights into a team’s efficiency and effectiveness—which brings me to the fourth and final consideration: technology use and investment.
Use of resources and investment
“Resources” in this category include technology in addition to real estate. according to Research By Ladders, “25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote” by 2023. That’s a ton of empty conference rooms and potential SaaS licenses non-existent. Mark Wayland, Chief Revenue Officer at Box, expressed this Honestly: “Our tech pool is like a crowded club – I can’t let more applications in until a few have left… If you can’t answer the question ‘What can I retire?'” “Question, I’m not listening.”
He is not alone. While it’s true that remote work has put the burden of operations on IT, more and more CIOs are asking: What technologies are my biggest spenders? How is it used and by whom? What opportunities are there to improve licenses or increase training? Similar considerations apply to office space. As back to the office go up, as well as the inflationary cost of renting and operating one. Hybrid and remote teams make these investments more difficult to justify. Do you know how often employees come into the office? Do you have more space than you really need? Is this space optimally configured to facilitate focus and collaboration activities that lead to productivity and results?
Having the right ideas can help turn economic uncertainty into action during tough times. Fortunately, many of the answers we need are right in front of us; We just need to look closer and harder to find them. The four areas listed above are a great place to start.