A shorter work week might force us all to cut meetings, limit email and interruptions, and operate at a much more deliberate, productive and happier level.
“Imagine in the physical workplace, for the entirety of an 8-hr workday, an assistant followed you around with a handheld mirror, and for every single task you did and every conversation you had, they made sure you could see your own face in that mirror” Jeremy N. Bailenson –Nonverbal Overload: A Theoretical Argument for the … Continue reading The Productivity Paradox and Zoom Fatigue: Why Technology Won’t Solve Our Problems
After the sudden and miraculous shift to remote work – the office fightback has well and truly begun.
This weeks post looks at the two pizza team which was popularised by Jeff Bezos.
In the early days of Amazon he instituted a rule that every internal team should be small enough that it could be fed with two pizzas.
The goal was, like almost everything Amazon does, focused on two aims: efficiency and scalability.
Is it finally the time that our organisations will make the shift to smaller teams, not just because of financial savings, but because of their increased effectiveness and productivity?
Read the post by clicking the link. And if you like it I’d really appreciate a share on your social network of choice.
Have a great weekend!
One of the few positives of the pandemic lockdown was the opportunity to reset the way in which we spend our working day. This was the chance to prove that remote work actually works. As someone whose job it is to run workplace experiments I’d say six or seven weeks is a very good point … Continue reading Death By Zoom: Have We Failed The Mass Home Working Experiment?
The office, after management, is arguably the biggest inefficiency tax that organisations layer over themselves. They cost huge amounts to procure and maintain, they become an all too convenient base for meetings (another inefficiency tax), and they set a precedent for the expected hours that people are meant to work. Offices promote lengthy commuting which … Continue reading The Way We Work Isn’t Working
Joy’s law is the principle that “no matter who you are, most of the smartest people work for someone else”. Bill Joy, the computer engineer to whom it’s attributed argued that if you rely solely on your own employees, you’ll never solve all your customers’ needs. It’s a quote that’s never been more true. Joy … Continue reading The Smartest People Will Never Work For You
“Collaboration is an essential skill of the digital economy. And yet how to collaborate productively is hardly ever taught either in universities or in the workplace.” – Gerry McGovern It’s only a couple of months since I posted Why We Don’t Collaborate, but a few things I’ve been reading and observing make it a subject … Continue reading The No.1 Problem With The Digital Workplace
We’ve never felt so busy at work, and never been less engaged. 90% of people say they expect to find a substantial degree of joy at work, yet only 37% report that they do. Many of our organisations remain afflicted by: Initiative-itis: The condition of mistaking busyness for productivity Vanity Projects: Things that only got … Continue reading How To Avoid Corporate Initiativitis
You can seek to impose order on your inbox all you like – but eventually you’ll need to confront the fact that the deluge of messages, and the urge you feel to get them all dealt with, aren’t really about technology. They’re manifestations of larger, more personal dilemmas – Oliver Burkeman At the back-end of … Continue reading The Fruitless Quest For Inbox Zero: Eight Tips To Protect Your Time
In the early days of Amazon, Jeff Bezos came up with a rule: every team should be small enough that it could be fed with two pizzas. The ‘Two Pizza Rule’ signalled that Bezos didn’t want more talking, more line reports and more communication. He wanted a decentralised, even disorganised company where creativity and independence prevailed … Continue reading Why Small Teams Win
The best organisational cultures are tolerant of the loner, the thinker. – John Wade “If I was you,” said a colleague recently “now would be a very good time to involve customers, to get more people involved”. No, I thought, right now that would be the worst thing we could do. Collaboration can kill creativity. … Continue reading Ending The Myth Of Collaboration
Calm, focused, undistracted, the linear mind is being pushed aside by a new kind of mind that wants and needs to take in and dole out information in short, disjointed, often overlapping bursts—the faster, the better – Nicholas Carr , The Shallows You’d have thought we’d have given up on the physical office by now. … Continue reading Continuous Partial Attention: Designing A Less Distracted Future Of Work
‘There isn’t a child alive who dreams of being a project manager’ – so said Scott Berkun. He pointed out that project managers can unintentionally reinforce their work as (let’s be honest) dull – by trying to get everyone to pay attention to spreadsheets, specifications, PowerPoint presentations and status reports, failing to realise these are the … Continue reading Why We Need To Learn To Love Project Managers
From ten to eleven, have breakfast for seven; From eleven to noon, think you’ve come too soon; From twelve to one, think what’s to be done; From one to two, find nothing to do; From two to three, think it will be; A very great bore to stay till four. – A Day At The … Continue reading How The 9-5 Saps Our Creativity and Harms Our Productivity
Last week I was getting a drink when a colleague asked me “So, you busy as usual?” I took a second to avoid my kneejerk affirmative response and went for it: “No – we’ve decided to slow down. Give ourselves some time to really think about things”. They looked at me like I’d lost my … Continue reading Don’t Let Busyness Kill Your Creativity
“Presenteeism is the biggest threat to UK workplace productivity. Workers coming in and doing nothing is more dangerous than absenteeism” – Professor Cary Cooper A full car park and people appearing busy at their desks is zero evidence that any meaningful work is taking place. UK productivity, our output divided by the hours spent producing … Continue reading We Need To Promote Outcomes At Work Not Presenteeism
According to Clayton Christensen , of the 30,000 new consumer products that are launched each year – 95% fail. Compare this with the public, voluntary and non-profit sectors – where hardly anything fails. The social sector must either be fantastic at launching new initiatives, or there’s a lot of things going on that shouldn’t still be living. … Continue reading How To Find And Kill Zombie Projects
Technology failed us. We thought the world of work was to be reimagined. The death of the office. The end of email. A utopia of work/life integration fueled by work-where-you-want technology. It hasn’t happened. Six years ago 2.8 million people made daily commutes of two hours or more. In 2016 that’s risen to 3.7 million. … Continue reading Technology Won’t Kill Meetings – But We Can
I’ve just had to apply for a new passport. It’s one of those things that you generally only do every ten years or so. It prompts you to ruminate on a few things. Ageing: That old passport photo you were embarrassed about now looks like the ideal version of you. You shudder at the thought of … Continue reading How To Make Complex Things Simple