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No one was prepared for life in lockdown, given that the last worldwide viral pandemic of a similar magnitude, the Spanish flu, was more than 100 years ago. But as we start to go back to work and gain a sense of normalcy, it seems that our notions of productivity has been transformed.
I spoke to a number of people to ask for ways on how we can redefine productivity after the lockdown. Here are some tips from them:
1. ‘I think one way is to not compartmentalise creativity. Don’t limit your staff to office hours & office environment. I left a PR based office job to go self employed and I’ve never felt so productive!’ – Jennifer Hodgson, Owner of Moda PR.
2. ‘We all know we are at our most productive away from distractions. However, during remote working there can be added pressure to be visible online and respond to email quickly, undermining wellbeing and productivity. Create a culture where teams are empowered to block deep focus hours away from email and distractions. Be sure to measure productivity in output, not connectivity.’ – Alex La Via, Workplace Digital Wellbeing Specialist, Live More Offline
3. ‘I work with introverts. But my three simple steps can help almost everyone. First, the gift of time: After asking a question, don’t be afraid of a pause. Second, prepare: Getting meeting agendas and pre -read data out a week early allows introverts to read and process the data. Lastly, facilitate: Manage meetings to ensure all people speak, rather than just the louder (extroverted) ones. – Jon Baker, Founder, Introvert in Business
4. ‘This is a chance for us all to think again about how to run our businesses. Commuting is a huge waste of time and energy, around a quarter of the working day for most people, so I would advocate continuing remote working, at least some of the time, for those who want it. When safe to do so, bring people together regularly to exchanges ideas and to re-establish those personal bonds’. – Anne Cantelo, Founder, Onyx Media
5. ‘Lockdown has forced a lot of companies to work remotely, and I think a lot of people have been surprised about how effective it can be. Many will continue to allow their teams to be based away from the office once lockdown eases. When employees have a slice of the action they benefit from the ‘ownership effect’. They feel more connected to the business and demonstrate enhanced commitment. This is why almost all VCs insist that their portfolio companies have an option scheme in place before agreeing to an investment; companies that share outperform their peers and win.’ – Ifty Nasir, co-founder and CEO of Vestd.
6. ‘Your “cognitive fitness” controls your productivity. Cognition is your ability to make decisions, recall experiences, focus and get things done, process work with speed and accuracy, and plan, organise and use your creativity especially when under stress. The recent strange times have added to everyone’s stress; some in a good way, some in a bad, but all in a different way. Assessing and strengthening your cognition with an adaptive, active, gamified form of ‘mindfulness plus’ will bring out the best you.’ – Keiron Sparrowhawk, MyCognition
7. ‘The pandemic has given us all the opportunity to stop and re-evaluate what’s most important in our lives and I think we need to concentrate on this moving past lockdown. Productivity isn’t just about getting things done and ticking off a list but it’s feeling like you’ve achieved something within yourself and making the most of the day. Don’t bow down to convention, productivity is totally individual.’ – Jemma Thomas, founder, Jemma’s Health Hub
Image credit: Freepik
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