The post-Covid world has exposed the rocks at the bottom of the river.  When most of our companies and the economy (the river) were running high in early 2020, we didn’t see the rocks (the inefficiencies). But when the water is low (with a tight job market and more limited budgets) we can now see the issues and their need to be fixed before these problems become more pressing.  

As productivity professionals that help leaders and teams better optimize their time, talent and technology, we are constantly sharing ways to work smarter. Here are the best places to focus on for the rest of this year: 

Individual inefficiencies – Where do you waste time in your day redoing, searching for documents, or doing things you shouldn’t?  Do you allow interruptions to steal your time? Simple strategies like turning off the noise and allowing time for thoughtful, uninterrupted focus allow you to get your most important work done each day. 

Hybrid work options – In many industries there are fewer people available to do the same work. People want flexibility and the ability to work in a hybrid world and it’s easily possible with the software most companies have today. To compete for the best talent, you will probably have to allow people to work two or three days a week somewhere where they can easily get their job done in eight hours and quickly transition to spending time with friends and family. 

Hybrid work processes – If you are still “making do” with systems and processes you quickly added in 2020, it is time to reassess and set goals for improvements this year. Look at the way your teams work together to see where the ball drops between players. Where are things unnecessarily delayed? Would having better communication and collaboration tools allow for faster and more thorough transitions between players? Is there a need for clearer roles and responsibilities and accountability?  Or clearly defined processes so teams stop pointing fingers between departments? 

Upgrade your tools – Evaluate the functionality of your tools and choose ones that are specifically designed for notifying people when it’s their turn for work or so everyone can quickly see the status of projects and don’t have to ask each other for updates.  The task management tools in Microsoft 365 are amazing.  

Double down on culture – Creating a culture that truly aligns with your company values has never been more important. Lead with empathy, transparency and trustworthiness. Take flexibility further and scale new ways of working. Set new “rules of engagement” so people are empowered to work in a way they know will drive their productivity. 

If you’d like more help finding ways to work smarter with fewer resources, let us know. We Coach , Consult and Train people to optimize their time, talent and technology. 

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