Time. It’s undeniably one of the most valuable commodities – for both companies and individuals. There are countless books on productivity and time management, efficiencies, and project management. But a common theme many of them have is how to manage around the inefficiencies in work – e-mail, meetings, systems – instead of focusing on how to fix systemic problems.
“The design of work has not kept up with the needs of work. In most companies, doing great work is not as easy as it should be,” according to a report by the Jensen Group, a company dedicated to making it easier to get stuff done, that published The Simplicity Survival Handbook and compiles the SimplerWork Index.
The index has surveyed over 100,000 people in more than 2,000 companies – and the results might surprise you. You can download a free report of the survey summary online.
Among the surprising facts: Over the years this index has been compiled, only 12% of people responded positively to the following statement: “My company is respectful of my time and attention, and is focused on using it wisely and effectively.”
The index also indicates that, among other findings, for every 100 employees:
51 must go back to their manager frequently to determine what they’re supposed to do.
71 can’t find what they need to do their best.
81 think an Xbox works better than the tools their company supplies.
Lacking clear direction, tools, and systems at work can cost time. But, according to The Simplicity Survival Handbook, it can also cost talent. In fact, the design of workflow and workload are matters of respect. The time, attention, ideas, knowledge, and energy you ask your employees to invest in their job day in and day out is certainly worthy of respecting.
So, take a few moments to consider whether your workplace is designed for simplicity or for complexity. Consider the impact of that design on your team.
And, if you’re really brave, share the Simpler Work Survey with your team, and take it yourself – be honest! – (just six short questions on page five of this download) to discover just how good a steward you are being of your employees’ time.
Then, you’ll know what areas of respect your company needs to focus on to help make work not just a more productive, but also more pleasant, place to spend your time.