5 ways to be more productive right now

4 min read
Laura Furlong
  •  Jun 3, 2022
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The topic of productivity has shifted into focus as employers address remote, hybrid, and distributed post-pandemic workplaces. After a massive transition to remote work in 2020, employer flexibility is at a premium, but there has also been a bit of data whiplash as to whether employees were more productive inside or outside of work. While some studies suggest that non-remote employees tend to be less productive at work, others find remote employees to be as, if not more, productive.

This begs more than a few questions, including: 

  • How can employees be more productive in their workspace, years into a post-pandemic work environment, when competing with pandemic fatigue and outright burnout?
  • How does this malaise, along with the overshadowing presence of a changing work environment, redefine productivity moving forward? 

Below, we hone in on a few ways companies and its employees can recalibrate what it means to be productive right now, based on InVision 2022 Trend Report data and what the company has learned as it enters its 11th year as a remote workplace.

Flexibility matters

We’re not talking about Simone Biles-level flexibility here, but companies are offering malleable work schedules based on the data. According to InVision’s 2022 Trend Report, we found companies and employees prefer and are shifting to a remote or hybrid work schedule, also categorized as flexible work schedules. 

As Satya Nadella, CEO at Microsoft, recently noted, “Employee expectations are changing, and we will need to define productivity much more broadly — inclusive of collaboration, learning, and wellbeing to drive career advancement for every worker, including frontline and knowledge workers, as well as for new graduates and those who are in the workforce today. All this needs to be done with flexibility in when, where, and how people work.” 

Companies and employees are starting to gravitate to flexible schedules and understand that work and life balance is a key component to a company.

What this means for you

With a flexible work schedule, employees can seize the opportunity to produce their best work under the hours that work best for their schedule. If your company currently offers a flexible work schedule, it’s time to explore if that route works for you currently and into the future.

Provide digital tools that connect everyone

As we see an increase in flexible work schedules, staying connected has never been more important. The purpose of an office is to have seamless communication and increase productivity amongst employees. When that office is taken away or office time is reduced, communication and productivity can decrease, but digital tools when working remote or hybrid can prevent this from happening.

In a recent survey from InVision, 85% of respondents said they experimented with new tools or technologies in the workspace. Companies need the ability to leverage knowledge across teams with online, inclusive collaboration tools to optimize hybrid, remote, and flexible work models. 

What this means for you

Integrating these digital tools company-wide allows for centralized teams to visually collaborate and engage no matter where they work from. When you stay connected, you tend to stay aligned and avoid miscommunication, which in turn saves time and increases productivity.

Know when to take a break

This sounds simple in theory, but digital fatigue is real. Microsoft Teams meetings have more than doubled from February 2020 to February 2021 — and the meetings have increased by an average of 10 minutes, according to company data. With more meetings comes additional screen time, and the workforce is feeling the digital fatigue with longer periods of sitting at a computer linked to worsened work performance

What this means for you

Breaks have been linked to increased work productivity, which is why it’s vital for employees to step away from screens for a moment of reprieve. Knowing when to take a break is important for your overall performance so start implementing it now and into the future. 

Try time blocking 

Time blocking has been proven to increase productivity. Defined as a time management technique that divides time into scheduled blocks with each time block indicating what will be completed, time blocking is a great way to make decisions and plan your schedule. For example, employees can block off three morning hours to meetings and 4 hours in the afternoon  to complete a project or everyday task on a prioritized to-do list. It allows for personalized time management in a way that is more effective — focusing on tasks without interruptions.

What this means for you

As an effective strategy to improve your work output, time blocking encourages you to take charge and plan your schedule, set goals for what will be done during that scheduled time, and get to work. Essentially, it is a helpful tool to manage your time, your way! Start strategizing your schedule with time blocking and you may see your work output increasing.

Ask for help

Feeling overwhelmed with the ever changing work landscape? You may be reluctant to ask for assistance, but communicating to your coworkers when you need help breeds the opportunity to foster interdependence among teams. With interdependence, teams can become more reliant on each other and in turn foster a healthier camaraderie to reach shared goals at a quicker pace.

What this means for you

In the future if you need a little help, remember to just ask around. You never know who might be your best ally on completing an upcoming project or have a solution to a problem you’re working through. 

Inside 2022: Trends that will define the year ahead

Dive into the four key themes that emerged in 2021, and what they mean for your team in the coming year. Plus, gain access to best company practices in 2022, informed by survey data and industry experts.

Access the free report!

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