Thursday, September 28, 2023

How to reduce working hours without compromising productivity?

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Shreya Christina
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With more employers offering employees the option to opt for a hybrid schedule of in-person and remote work or full telecommuting, the question of whether the traditional 40-hour work week should be maintained is a conversation some companies are beginning to have. On the one hand, recent years have shown that business output can be maintained with a distributed workforce and reduced hours in uncertain times. On the other hand, there is the ongoing concern that these positive outcomes could ultimately reduce the quality of the company’s products or services and harm the company’s established workplace culture.

The decision to reduce the number of hours worked can only be made with careful consideration, with leaders considering both the future of the company and the perspective of their employees. To help, a panel of Business Council members share strategies that business leaders can use to switch to a four-day workweek or work fewer hours without compromising productivity.

1. Increase efficiency with planning

Be efficient. Don’t let a minute go to waste. Use every second to do something productive or something that will benefit your business. The best way to do this is to schedule everything. This way you can see where you fall short and pick it up again during that four-day working week. The extra rest day will then enable the team to work more and more efficiently during those four days. – Todd Price, Circumference Roofing

2. Set goals based on statistics

Using a highly focused, metrics-based organizational goal setting practice can put the focus back on productivity and output and less on the time it takes to get there. It also gives individuals within a company more autonomy to understand their responsibilities, take responsibility and take responsibility for results without feeling the need to show hours worked as a benchmark. – Vikram Ahuja, Talent500 Business Council is the leading growth and networking organization for entrepreneurs and leaders. Am I eligible?

3. Make updates more accessible

Make it easy for people to get status or progress updates without everyone having to be in a meeting. Effective work visualization keeps teams cohesive and organized, while also allowing stakeholders to check in without the need for a conversation. Agile tools are my favorite for this, especially a nice well-designed virtual Kanban board in Trello, Asana, Jira or any other similar platform. – Andrea Fryrear, Agile Sherpas

4. Bring clarity to teams

According to the Pareto principle, 20% of a team’s effort leads to 80% of the results. The clearer a team is about the few things that yield the most results, the more productive they will be. By training their teams to think and execute strategically, leaders can help their teams achieve what previously required five days in a four-day work week. – Nneka Unachukwu, EntreMD

5. Focus on the results

A four day work week is not feasible for most companies these days unless it is in the tech or medical sector and they can extend their hours. However, if a salesperson has high efficiency and a high conversion rate, time at work isn’t important – the results are. – Boris Kalendarev, Special capital

6. Give employees autonomy over their schedules

Give your team the ability to manage their own schedule. Resist the urge to value face time over actual output and quality of work. Giving team members autonomy over their schedules motivates them to find efficiencies that benefit the business. As a business leader, you also want to model this flexibility so that employees can use it with confidence. – Jamie Trull, Balance CFO LLC

7. Block time

Time blocking is probably one of the most important, necessary and powerful tools you can teach your teams. The reality is that on an eight-hour workday, most do only four hours of actual work. By enabling productivity, you can achieve more in a shorter time frame, and then feel more justified and ready to work fewer hours. – Carson Porter, REV Agency Syndicate

8. Eliminate unnecessary tasks

To save time while maximizing productivity, focus on what matters and get rid of the fluff. Eliminate or reduce meetings and long conversations for matters that can be handled with a quick email. A huge amount of time is wasted if it takes too much fluff to get things done. – Timothy Dick, VOIPO

9. Embrace Diversity

Don’t try to pigeonhole everyone, because everyone is different. Each person will have their own way of working most efficiently. Ask people how they work best and then embrace it. If someone works best by starting at 5 in the morning but doesn’t work well in the evening, embrace that. If someone is terrible in the morning but great in the evening, embrace that. – Michael Bach, CCDI advice

10. Plan ahead

To get everything done right in less time, plan ahead and take your biorhythm into account to know when your productivity is highest or lowest. Don’t use your best hours for less important work, such as emails in the morning, while doing important work when you are least productive (e.g., after lunch). Rearrange projects that require attention to detail to the most productive hours. With time control you can work fewer hours! – Jerry Cahn, Brilliant old

11. Increase automation and digitization across the company

The answer to this question is simple and complex. It is simple because it is clear that there is a need to automate processes, increase the overall efficiency of labor and increase the digitization of all parts of the business. It is not so easy because only well-organized and motivated teams can implement such procedures. It’s a worthy goal, so you’ll have to work hard for it! – Andrey Kovalev, BusinessInvitee Consulting Group

12. Make Data Comparisons

Take data and check it out! Looking at the business pre- and post-Covid provides a truly unique opportunity to compare the data. Many studies have looked at productivity with fewer working hours or working from home and have shown countless times that employees at home tend to be more productive and have a healthier work-life balance. If the data supports a healthier lifestyle, why not follow it? – Alex Argianas, Argentina & Associates

13. Consider whether current processes are not jeopardizing business

Four-day work weeks have already been proven to increase productivity. studies have been shown to increase the quality of work, profitability and mental health of employees. They are also known to reduce missed deadlines and staff turnover. As a leader, you should be more concerned about compromising productivity if you stick to a five-day work week. – Deyman Doolittle, ShipSigma

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