Team Productivity – What You Need to Know This Week

Mar 17, 2015
5 Min Read

Here’s a look at three interesting stories currently in the news that might have ramifications for your team’s productivity.

1. Canceling one-on-one meetings will destroy your productivity

Do you sometimes find yourself tempted to cancel your one-on-ones with employees when you’re pressed for time and need more room in your schedule? You probably figure you can catch up next week and they’ll grab you if there’s anything important, right? Wrong, says a new piece at the Harvard Business Review that points out that not investing the time in one-on-ones leads to a lot of wasted time for both you and your staff later; you’ll be constantly interrupted and distracted by one-off questions that could have been covered in your one-on-one, and you’ll lose the opportunity to problem-solve and adjust strategy early on, rather than having to spend time fixing problems later. “When you cancel one-on-ones and compensate with an open door policy,” writes Elizabeth Grace Saunders, “your time investment mimics that of a call center employee who takes requests in the order they are received, instead of an effective manager and executive who aligns his time investment with his priorities.”

2. Why one start-up won’t allow employees to work from home

With telecommuting continuing to grow and more and more companies allowing employees to work from home at least occasionally, it can be interesting to hear from companies who are taking a stand against remote work. In this piece for Entrepreneur, Uberflip COO Randy Frisch explains why his company has a firm no-work-from-home policy in place. He argues that even using web tools to communicate doesn’t allow for the same sort of collaboration they get face-to-face, and that while telecommuting might make some teams more comfortable and even more productive, “it might also get in the way of the kind of game-changing collaboration that a growing company needs,” but ultimately what matters “is that you choose your position carefully and communicate it effectively.”

Agree or disagree, it’s an interesting read, and worthwhile insight into why your boss might push back when you want to move to Alaska and work remotely.

3. March Madness will lower your team’s productivity – but all is not lost

The lost work time that employees spend crafting brackets, streaming games, or checking scores during March Madness could cost employers $1.9 billion between now and the title game on April 6, according to global outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas. That said, the firm doesn’t recommend trying to squash March Madness activities, which can backfire by harming morale. Instead the firm suggests using it as a tool to boost morale and engagement: “For example, creating a company-wide office pool that is free to enter and offers a free lunch or gift card for the winner could help build camaraderie and encourage interaction among co-workers who may not typically cross paths.”

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