By Wayne Vanwyck – The opportunity to work remotely has been around for a while, however, the pandemic accelerated its adoption. Now most companies that can have remote employees do have some staff working from home (WFH). But how does this new environment work in terms of two important factors – focus and results? And what impact does it have on your succession planning?
If your employees have a dedicated space at home from which to work, their ability to focus without all the distractions: others dropping in on them, chatter all around, and endless meetings that may have little to do with their productivity, they are bound to accomplish more in less time.
Every interruption – even a momentary one, requires several minutes after to refocus on the immediate task. A block of time without disturbances is a time in which you can produce better results. One client of mine said he could get all his work done in two days versus a full week in the office!
The same is true for owners. You need uninterrupted time. Time to think, reflect, succession plan and visualize the future. For most owners that’s nearly impossible to do in the office because there are too many distractions.
So, the pandemic had the positive, unintended consequence of freeing you up to work from home as well and hopefully you took advantage of that time to:
- Focus on your priorities.
- Think about the future.
- Make plans for what’s next.
If you have the right metrics to manage results, maybe it doesn’t matter where the work is coming from and how it gets done. Are you paying for people’s time or the results they produce?
Let’s face it. Most people operate with the expectation of working a certain number of hours in a week – whether the job requires it or not. But what should they do if they can get an ‘A’ on their performance evaluation by working only 20 hours? Work tends to expand to fill the time allotted. Having employees WFH requires stronger key performance indicators (KPIs), it forces you to be a better manager. That’s win-win.
When others are focused on their responsibilities, you should be free to do more of what you probably should have been doing anyway. Things like setting goals, measuring progress towards those goals, and succession planning to prepare for the time when you will exit or transition your business.
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