Great bosses leading successful companies won’t want you to work more.
They want you to be more productive. To bring better results in less time. Since…
Productivity = Work done / Time spent
When some kind of (pointy-haired) boss asks you to spend more time at work, they are asking to increase the divisor. Increasing the divisor, by itself, will only DECREASE productivity.
Some other type of boss (not as pointy-haired but still kind of) could ask you to increase both the divisor and the dividend. The trick then is that if you would spend an extra 20% time at work, you would need to get at least a 21% increase in the work done to be more productive. This could seem plausible… but by definition extra work is done AFTER you’ve work your normal hours, so it’s unlikely that those extra hours would be the ones getting the most work done.
And all of this leave great bosses with the only strategy able to let them increase productivity. They must make sure to leave alone the divisor. The people is working as much as they should. So they need to INCREASE THE DIVIDEND. More work done in the same time.
How can you accomplish this? Let’s see some strategies:
- Automation. Every time you need to have something done several times a week (or a month, or a year), please, automate.
- Change the point of view. People shouldn’t wonder how many extra hours do they need to get this work done, but how is the best way to have this work done in as few hours as possible.
- Remove obstacles each time tech people is stuck doing other things than their work. E.g. blurry requirements, old-fashioned hardware difficult to work with, dealing with licenses that expired, tough procedures to ask for holidays or reporting progress, …
- State clear channels for communication. Avoid email lists. Define information radiators. Death penalty on the bosses who arrange long meetings with everyone involved.
- Focus on focusing. Everyone working in one task at each time, until it’s done.
- Seth Godin on Productivity: “It turns out that the most productive thing we can do is to stop working on someone else’s task list and figure out a more useful contribution instead.”
- Pointy Haired Boss on Wikipedia.
- Finding focus, pride and satisfaction.
- Focus and The Fellowship of the Ring.