Team Productivity – What You Need to Know This Week

May 12, 2015
4 Min Read

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

1. Some people are faking those long work hours

Not everyone who appears to be working 80-hour workweeks is actually doing it; some of them are faking it. Erin Reid, a professor at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business, studied one elite consulting firm with a culture of long hours and found three groups of people: people who embraced the culture and worked long hours and who were usually top performers; people who explicitly pushed back against those expectations and usually suffered in their performance reviews for it – and who were disproportionately women; and people who quietly took back time for themselves without calling attention to it, and received reviews as strong as the first group’s. In other words, the last group “passed” as workaholics – but in reality weren’t.

2. Emails and spreadsheets are killing your productivity

Corporate managers spend more time on unproductive administrative tasks than on strategic initiatives and other key job requirements, according to a new study of managers in the U.S. and UK. Nine in 10 of the 1,000 managers surveyed spent significant time on tasks outside their core job functions, like filling out forms and updating spreadsheets. On average, managers spent “more than 15 hours or two days a week on routine administrative tasks, with 20% spending three days or more.”

What’s more, 80% of the managers surveyed relied primarily on manual tools such as email, telephone calls, and personal visits to get the work done, but 75% said they would be more efficient and productive “if the technology in the office were more like the technologies they use at home and on the go.” Learn the Hidden Cost of Spreadsheets in this Free eBook.

3. Can being aware of your emotions make you more productive?

Could taking a minute to think about how you feel about each of the events on your schedule today make your day a super-productive one? Psychologist Josh Davis argues that because emotions have a huge impact on mental energy, they can make it harder or easier to complete tasks, making you energetic or lethargic. Davis says you should plan your work accordingly, such as scheduling activities that don’t require significant focus for times when you know you’ll be anxious or tired, and scheduling work that requires focus and creativity for times when your energy will be high. He also says that you can strategically alter your emotional state,  by deliberately doing energy-raising activities like walking up and down the stairs for 10 minutes or even just thinking about upcoming plans that you’re excited about. Learn 10 Proven Tips to Improve Your Productivity at Work - Free Book.

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