Ultimate Productivity Guide 2023: how to build your own flow at Work

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In the modern workplace, the concept of fixed office hours has evolved significantly. The traditional notion of an 8-hour work schedule, established in the late 1800s, no longer dominates productivity expectations.

Instead, the office workspace of today embraces a new trend: flexible work schedules. Recognizing the diverse nature of work in 2023, it is evident that a one-size-fits-all approach no longer applies. The current workforce is characterized by a vibrant mix of contingent workers, freelancers, temps, consultants, contractors, and interns who value autonomy and the ability to structure their work in a manner they find most productive.

Here’s an interesting fact: According to data analysis from Eightfold, the participation of the contingent workforce is projected to experience a significant increase in the coming years. In 2023 alone, there is expected to be a 53% surge, despite a decrease observed in 2020 and an average growth rate of only 6% in recent years.

This highlights the shifting dynamics of the modern workplace, where flexibility and adaptability are becoming key factors in harnessing productivity and meeting the needs of a diverse workforce.

What Does Today’s Workplace Look Like? Tech Unicorns Answer 

The above data, combined with the trends of the “new workspace” hypotheses that a flexible workforce has worked its way around building efficient remote teams throughout success stories of 2022/2023. The unicorns of the tech industry have already implemented the likes of remote working, as seen below: 

Google had asked workers to make three days a week offline, allowing them to work from home the other two days.

Salesforce gives individual teams the choice to decide where and how they want to work. 

Microsoft has instructed employees to maintain the hybrid mode between return to the office and work-from-home model proportionately. 

 In support of the current trend of remote working, Eightfold’s Chief Economist Sania Khan says that workers of today usually claim for three main things at the workplace: 

  • Autonomy 
  • Flexibility 
  • Digitization 

Similarly, employers also favor contingent workers because they appreciate the advantages of having access to a flexible, cost-effective, and capable talent pool.

The Productivity Challenge of Today’s Workplace  

If your office space looks like any of the above and is still remote, that’s great. Yet, every comfort choice meets a definite roadblock.

You must also be aware of the grave challenges that come with managing and tracking productivity at your workplace with remote workers far away from your eyes and hiring freelancers to finish time-sensitive expert-level tasks. 

A New Normal: 5 New Paths to Productivity  

In the age of the new normal, it is bound that traditional productivity measures might not work. There is a dire need for innovative techniques that align with today’s workplace ethics. For that, one thing must be considered; the time length of a shift isn’t directly proportional to productivity. The quality of work is.  

Harvard Business Review has found that on average employees who worked 50 hours a week were just as productive as employees who contributed 70 hours a week. Additionally, reports have stated that remote teams with flexible timings are 13% more likely to have employees stay at their jobs.  

Here are some ways remote teams have been ensuring optimum productivity: 

1. Virtual Coworking Sessions 

In 2020 alone, you will be fascinated to know that Zoom saw 200 million daily meeting participants, rising from just 10 million in 2019. This was one of the spearheaders at making virtual meetings a serious productivity strategy, which has now acquired points to be extremely effective for remote teams. 

The crux of productivity states that the shorter the period, the more effective a worker is. Hence, remote teams found a way to schedule virtual coworking short sessions throughout the day where team members connect via video conferencing and resume working on their respective tasks. Collective working sessions over video call once a day improves accountability and motivation for team members to stay focused. 

2. Personalised Workspaces 

 With the flexibility of working from home, remote teams have opted for unique ways to incentivize employees with personalized workspaces, fitness tools, learning and development courses, or home office equipment to help them stay comfortable and productive. This can include ergonomic chairs, standing desks, or noise-canceling headphones. For example, Zapier offers a stipend of $500 for employees to purchase home workplace equipment. 

3. Slack Integration

Slack’s easy-to-access productivity messaging platform has gained traction among remote teams. Communication being a primary problem, Slack offers seamless collaboration for teams to coordinate. Remote teams can simplify their virtual workspace with important Integrations apps like Trello, Asana, or Google Drive all stacked in one place under Slack can help team members stay organised without derailing. 

4. Gamification

Positive reinforcement has been on the books for micro-rewarding employees for ages. Gamification is a relatively newer concept developing on the same theory. Building a dopamine environment by gaming design aesthetics, employees work their non-gaming tasks on gaming like a platform.

For instance, fully remote GitLab implemented a points-based structure where coders earn points for completing their respective tasks. Similarly, Salesforce sales reps are given a gamified work platform where they get a chance to earn points, and badges and get rewarded for contributing to the company’s sales goals. 

5. Time-tracking software

According to a recent data-driven article published by Gartner, the global market for time-tracking software is projected to reach $11.6 billion by 2025. This highlights the significant demand for this technology in both remote and traditional office spaces. Time-tracking software offers a range of productivity benefits, including tools for employee monitoring, expense and invoice billing, and project management techniques. These tools help identify areas where employees may need improvement, outline project details, and digitize the overall management process for team leaders.

If you are considering a transition to remote work, we understand the challenges and uncertainties involved, especially given today’s economic downturn and tighter budget allocations. However, this article aims to demonstrate that with some level of risk, nothing is impossible.

Tackle is a leading provider of time-tracking solutions that empower users to enhance their productivity. Their innovative software enables individuals and teams to effectively manage their time, streamline tasks, and optimize workflow. With Tackle’s user-friendly interface and advanced features, users can easily track work hours, monitor project progress, and generate insightful reports. By leveraging Tackle’s robust tools, individuals and organizations can gain valuable insights into how they allocate their time, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately achieve higher levels of efficiency and productivity.

6. Non-Tech Productivity Techniques For Offline Teams  

If your team operates in a hybrid or fully offline mode, it’s likely that you would be interested in exploring effective organic production methods that still hold relevance in today’s workplace.

In other words, traditional productivity practices require a makeover. Since the disruptive pandemic emerged, many conventional ways of doing things have been upended. As mentioned earlier, flexible time management was not a prevalent trend, virtual productivity tools were not widely trusted, and the mental well-being of employees was often overlooked by team leaders, given the circumstances. However, the definition of productivity has evolved.

Today, modern methodologies like Agile structures and the use of website blockers have proven to be significantly more effective than promoting abstract notions found in traditional productivity technique lists, such as “waking up early” or “making a to-do list.” The focus has shifted towards implementing practical day-to-day techniques into an employee’s workflow, tailored to the estimated project time and specific requirements.

Here are some key transformative methods for enhancing productivity in the office workspace that team leaders and workers can implement:

  1. Task prioritization: Encourage employees to identify and prioritize their most important and urgent tasks, ensuring they allocate their time and energy accordingly.
  2. Effective communication: Foster a culture of clear and open communication, enabling team members to collaborate efficiently and minimize misunderstandings or delays.
  3. Streamlined workflows: Simplify processes and eliminate unnecessary steps to streamline work and reduce time wasted on non-value-added activities.
  4. Continuous learning and skill development: Encourage employees to engage in ongoing learning opportunities and skill development to enhance their productivity and stay updated with industry trends.
  5. Work-life balance: Promote a healthy work-life balance by emphasizing the importance of rest, breaks, and time off to prevent burnout and boost overall productivity.

7. Defeat employee procrastination 

Set specific and achievable goals for each employee at the start of every project. Employees will only get to work when their time is relatively less for a specific task that can be completed to keep pace. Setting specific and achievable goals can help you focus and avoid procrastination. Break down large tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks, and create deadlines for each task.

8. Use time management techniques

Even in the absence of technology, people have devised effective ways to manage their time. In cases where digital tools have not yet taken over the workspace, here are some scientifically proven organic techniques for time management:

  1. Time blocking: This method involves allocating specific time blocks on calendars for different tasks. By dedicating each time gap to a particular activity, employees can effectively manage their schedules.
  2. Batch processing: Encourage your employees to group similar tasks together in their schedules. For example, if responding is a common task, they can batch activities like responding to emails, making phone calls, and completing pending letters in one go. This approach improves efficiency.
  3. Pomodoro Technique: The Pomodoro Technique is a well-established time management method that follows the 25/5 rule. It involves structuring employee time into 25-minute intervals for assigned tasks, followed by concise 5-minute breaks. This technique has proven effective for teams dealing with smaller task loads.
  4. Eisenhower Matrix: Categorizing tasks and organizing them into subheadings is a traditional productivity method now implemented in time-tracking software. The Eisenhower Matrix divides tasks into four quadrants: Important & Urgent, Important & Not Urgent, Not Important & Urgent, and Not Important & Not Urgent. This approach provides a more specific and effective way to schedule productivity for modern employees.

These techniques have been scientifically validated and can enhance time management and productivity, even without relying heavily on technology.

9. Set up accountability

There is a reason why accountability is one of the most brooded upon, yet effective measures of productivity when your employees are working on important tasks. Accountability can help you stay on track and avoid procrastination from your employees. Some ways to measure accountability are: 

Document and convey realistic expectations and goals for each employee and deliver it to them. 

  1. Provide productive feedback at the end of every task.
  2. Use feedback from your employees to improve your leadership. 
  3. Practice communication, share your goals publicly with your team, and account for progress simultaneously. 

10. Use time tracking software: 

Even though this particular list consists of organic “non-tech” methods, we can’t help but make an exception here with this one method of productivity that has time and again proved to generate improved quantitative revenue. A time tracking software makes every step of a manager’s monitoring act seamless.  

Moreover, automation answers the most significant questions of productivity more than anything else. Team leaders should always opt for automated time-tracking software like Flowace over manual time-tracking software. Flowace’s AI-driven platform becomes your best choice as it streamlines tracking time for all the projects you work on. The out-of-bound tools of Flowace, including auto-categorization, phone call tracking, geofencing, and activity screenshots, make it an all-encompassing personal advisor to your enterprise, in addition to tracking apps and websites accurately and filling them out with detailed timesheet tracking on your dashboard. 

Final Thoughts  

To summarize, it is clear that transformative methods of improving productivity in the office setting, whether through technology or other means, have the potential to revolutionize how employees work, leading to increased efficiency, effectiveness, and output.

However, achieving optimal productivity relies on the relationship between managers or team leaders and their employees. While tools can reduce ambiguity and procrastination, sustained success requires human dedication and collaboration. In 2023, the rise of remote work prompted the adoption of various productivity techniques, such as automated time-tracking software like Flowace, and other tools that significantly enhance worker output. These suggestions can assist in achieving a better work-life balance and fostering workplace growth. Ultimately, attaining maximum productivity entails finding the right balance between technological advancements, human effort, and teamwork.

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Maximize potential: Tackle’s automated time tracking & insights

Maximize potential: Tackle’s automated time tracking & insights