Article: Workplace productivity mantra during pandemic - Find the most effective and efficient way to deliver outcomes

Strategic HR

Workplace productivity mantra during pandemic - Find the most effective and efficient way to deliver outcomes

Despite adopting all those changes to ensure smooth functioning, enhanced productivity remains elusive.
Workplace productivity mantra during pandemic - Find the most effective and efficient way to deliver outcomes

Workplaces across sectors have witnessed disruptions during pandemic. There are companies in certain sectors that have witnessed an uptick in client engagements during pandemic. However, workplace disruptions have eventually prevented those companies from achieving deliverables. During the pandemic, ensuring health and wellness of the family has become the top-most priority for all of us.

Add to that, evolving priorities of the clients and intermittent localised lockdowns. All have disrupted the momentum at the workplace. To avoid further interruptions at work, companies were quite prompt in introducing the work-from-home model, installing time tracking software and organising daily zoom calls for meetings with team members and clients. Despite adopting all those changes to ensure smooth functioning, enhanced productivity remains elusive. That reality-check brings the focus back on the core proposition - purpose.  

Adding purpose to the process of executing daily tasks actually keeps the team members focussed and motivated. If actions are not backed by a definite goal, team members usually become detached. Speculations on why they were being asked to do certain tasks or change course ultimately distract them from the key deliverables. To offer clarity of thoughts, it's important to articulate to the team members the relevance of a specific outcome from the client's perspective. 

To avoid such situations, corporates with an agile outlook keep reviewing their strategies periodically. They assess the effectiveness of the strategies in guiding them to their stated goals. As hybrid models consisting of both work-from-home and work-from-office arrangements have become the new-normal, the human resource leaders need to align the workplace culture with the changed realities. This way, each member of a team will be able to discover the most effective and efficient way to deliver outcomes by banking on their strengths. Here are four ways to achieve that goal.

Identify a location which boosts productivity

In a work-from-home scenario, the team members can be allowed to work from a place of their choice where they can devote undivided attention to work. The place needs to be self-sustained in terms of digital technology, ergonomic furniture, etc. Everyone has different family dynamics. So, offering the flexibility and freedom to choose remote locations to work always helps in getting the best out of the team members. Therefore, as per the changed work-from-home arrangement, the definition of home is a place where you can operate optimally. For some, the process of identifying that location could involve moving to their hometowns with family so that they can develop a family support system. For some, it is about moving to a quiet location due to lack of space. The leaders need to offer the support to their team members to help them identify the places, settle in those places comfortably and start delivering.   

Encourage real time peer-based learning

Although digital training and upskilling come with a lot of benefits, nothing beats real time peer-based learning. Peer-based learning sets up a strong foundation for an engaged workplace. It also helps leaders to leverage experience and knowledge of the employees to drive growth in business. It inculcates collaborative spirit among team members, thus boosting self-esteem and productivity. To promote peer-based learning, companies can keep offices open for select teams to work together for a few days every week. This goes a long way in sharing best practices and building collective productivity.

Switch from IST (Indian Standard Time) to IET (Individual Efficiency Time)

Apart from reporting to work and delivering on the KRAs, team members juggle varied family responsibilities and priorities at home. That means team members scale their respective efficiency peaks at different times of the day. Therefore, maintaining a fixed time for work output in a day may not serve the purpose of achieving productivity while working from home. It's advisable to set aside a few hours at the beginning of the day to discuss internally work outcomes and timelines and team members can be allowed to manage the rest of the time to deliver on the KRAs.

Use gig talent to unlock productivity

Trend of using gig talent to unlock productivity is steadily gaining pace among corporates. Gig talent helps companies develop competencies in meeting customer demand, innovating products and services within a short time span. Companies hire gig talent for specific projects with skill sets that don’t exist within the team. Everyday tasks that keep the resources occupied can be outsourced to a specialized gig talent pool. Gig talent is available for social media management, content development and management, policy set ups, audits, etc. Productivity of a corporation goes up when leaders leverage the power of the gig economy to enhance the delivery efficiency of their team members.

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Topics: Strategic HR, #GuestArticle, #PerformanceBeyondProductivity, #COVID-19, #Future of Work

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