The vision for the future of work we’re all aiming for is predicated upon being able to see not just what’s happening today, but what’s coming tomorrow. John Furneaux, CEO, and Co-founder at Hive shares why leaders need data-driven insights to boost productivity and reduce stress across their teams
If you want to improve productivity and collaboration in the workplace, the first thing to recognize is that all organizations work in similar ways, regardless of size or industry. In my experience driving productivity for over a decade at multinationals and startups alike, I’ve found this to be this to be true from governing bodies to big oil corporations to small businesses because we all work in teams.
The second thing is, although teams are fundamentally the same, individuals are different. We all work and learn differently, we all have different strengths, and that’s more than okay. So how can we as leaders, HR practitioners, and managers cater to both teams and individuals to drive business success?
Let’s start by taking a step back to agree that the way we work right now is pretty broken across the board. The average worker only spends about 39% of their time on role-specific tasks. The rest of that huge chunk of time? Reading and answering email (28%), searching and gathering information (19%), and communicating and collaborating internally (14%). There’s just no way that’s the best we can do today.
On top of this, it’s no secret that there’s widespread and regular frustration from a lack of visibility into what is going on across our teams. How can we problem solve, enact changes, or spot opportunities if we don’t have the right knowledge?
We all want to change how work happens inside of our companies, but we need insights into whether or not we’ll be understaffed next month or if workloads are improperly balanced across team members to do this right. The vision for the future of work we’re all talking about and aiming for is completely predicated on being able to see not just what’s going on today, but what’s coming tomorrow .
Although change is hard, the good news is, we’re closer to this than you might think. The role of analytics and machine learning in the workplace cannot be overstated, and HR, in particular, has been making significant moves into data-driven decision making. There are a few basic things everyone needs to be successful in an office environment: we need to communicate, we need to be able to share information, and we need a clear view of what’s happening. Platforms and tools that address these needs are forming a growing and critical market.
The real connective tissue, I’d argue, lies in analytics. Analytics are poised to enable a new wave of productivity by showing organizations how to improve the way that people work together and refine the ways individuals contribute.
Say you could now know weeks in advance, that you’ll need to make a new hire for an upcoming project. Or imagine if you were proactively alerted when one team member has way too many tasks on their plate and you could step in to sort it out before it becomes a real problem. Even on a personal level, what would it mean for your own productivity if you had insight into what times of day you get the most done?
With this kind of information, we could, for example, stop scheduling meetings on Wednesday mornings because we know that’s when the team is getting the most done. You could provide a team lunch on Fridays because you know that’s when productivity drops, and even schedule in your own admin time just after lunch if that’s when you normally complete fewer tasks.