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Is your business making the most of its time? Experts share insights to celebrate World Productivity Day

Sunday, June 20th marks World Productivity Day. Despite being on the day of rest, it serves as an important reminder for business leaders to evaluate their workplace productivity levels and discover new strategies and tools to increase them.

Over the past two years, there has been much talk about how in-person, hybrid or remote work and the tools we use to enable it have led to increased or decreased productivity. Since everyone has a different work style, there’s no one clear answer. However, it’s important to look to leadership to see what works across different organizations and how we can all get things done more efficiently.

We’ve provided expert commentary from the technology industry about why productivity is so critical at this time. There are even tips for how businesses can maximize their commitment to what matters most, while streamlining practices and saving time to ultimately increase revenue while also supporting the mental health of their employees.


Adrian Knapp, CEO & founder, Aparavi

"Productivity requires keeping things efficient, stripping waste, and finding ways to streamline processes. When it comes to data management, implementing intelligence and automation to identify, classify, optimize and move your unstructured data allows you to do more with it efficiently and cost-effectively. Knowing what your data holds will enable you to improve efficiency and productivity for your business at a large scale for a fraction of the cost."


Paul Farrington, chief product officer at Glasswall 

"Far too often, cybersecurity tools and policies can actually stand in the way of productivity, rather than improve it. We all know the critical importance of cyber defense, but if little consideration is given to how this impacts employees' daily workflows, the broader impact can be detrimental.

Manual security checks are a prime example. On the face of it, asking employees to make sure they're personally analyzing every email and attachment to avoid falling victim to a phishing attack can be seen as good cyber hygiene - and to a great extent that's correct. However, although it may only take a few seconds to check, for an office-based worker who receives hundreds of emails every week and exchanges files regularly, this can add up to a significant proportion of the working day. A manual process like this also increases the risk of human error  - after all, an attacker only needs to get lucky once.   

Businesses can't afford to be held back by manual security checks, so it's crucial for IT teams to consider the latest security technologies that can provide round-the-clock, automated protection that doesn't negatively impact productivity, and consequently, business growth. For example, Content Disarm and Reconstruction (CDR) is a simple approach that allows employees to open every file and attachment immediately, uninterrupted and without the risk of them containing hidden malicious files. The process cleans and rebuilds all files to the known good manufacturer's specification, closing any security blind spots and making it impossible for a threat to exist in the file. It's particularly beneficial when used for email security, as users no longer need worry about the safety of files being shared within and from outside the organization. The process takes place instantly, maintaining security without impacting productivity - a small change that can make a big difference." 


Kyle Reichelt, product manager, Wisetail 

"World Productivity Day is a great reminder for organizations to evaluate what drives their employees. While there are certain factors within control - like benefits, socials, etc. - some are purely up to mother nature. From our research on weather-related productivity, we see an increased focus on work-life balance being the driving force in this transition as we re-enter life after two years of the COVID-pandemic. Notably, the research found that 85% of employees say having Summer Fridays makes them feel happier at work. This is in line with what we have already observed over the last two years: productivity levels increase and/or remain consistent when employees are given the space and trust to manage their own work environment and pace."


Markeith Allen, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Mission Driven Organizations at Diligent

"Increased connectivity, visibility, and scrutiny have made nonprofit boards more accountable than ever for the success of their organizations. With board productivity and effectiveness recognized among the organizational priorities that lead to mission achievement, it is important to consider indicators of high board performance in the changing nonprofit environment. The following practices are indicative of high board productivity and effectiveness:

1. Embrace technology 

A critical first step in building board effectiveness today is helping boards overcome cyber anxiety. The topic of IT is intimidating to some, so approaching the tenets of good governance from a digital perspective can be reassuring - and even enticing.

2. Be intentional about how the board works 

There is a close connection between board effectiveness and clarity about how the board does its work. This includes factors such as the people involved, board culture, decision-making processes, and board structure. Various elements of effective board processes include strong communication, efficiency and engagement. 

3. Recruit strategically 

Having the right people around the table is paramount. Board composition must reflect the organization's diversity needs in terms of skill sets, perspective, experience, and demographics (including ethnicity, race, level of experience, gender, geography, and more). Board composition also should represent constituent voices and align with strategic goals. 

4. Practice governance 

The practice of governance involves more than meeting preparation and attendance, financial contributions, and oversight. Some key practices that lead to greater board effectiveness are framing board and committee meeting agendas for governance, setting realistic expectations through detailed job descriptions, and conducting annual board member self-assessments."


Andrew Yu, Founder and CEO, Modo Labs

"World Productivity Day is a perfect opportunity to think about the topic from a human-centered perspective – what drives people to be more productive? Even before the pandemic, research showed that people who are engaged are more productive. Now that hybrid work is looking like the permanent way forward, engagement is proving to be even more critical. We’re seeing data that shows disengaged employees cost the world $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.
In the era of hybrid work, how do we engage a workforce and drive productivity? With every day we learn more – we see that collaboration with colleagues, connection with organizational culture, support and concern for our well being and professional growth all lead to greater engagement. When people are not together in one place, these experiences must be enabled digitally. But we have to be careful not to create new friction in our tech-enabled workday, as hours spent switching between apps and tools are totally non productive.
At Modo we’re working with global organizations to deliver digital experiences that unify all the tools and communication people need to work productively, connect, grow professionally, and engage, wherever they are. From World Productivity Day 2021 to 2022, we see a digital evolution; a movement from tools for pure work enablement to tools for employee engagement."


Terry Storrar, managing director UK, Leaseweb

"In an ideal world, many of us would love the ability to operate at 100% capacity all of the time. The reality of everyday life, however, is that staying productive can be a serious challenge. It often requires copious amounts of energy and focus that we don’t always have and can make maintaining a healthy work/life balance feel impossible. It’s important to remember that being productive shouldn’t mean doing more than you’re capable of or working to the point of burnout. True productivity is about being efficient, streamlining processes, and prioritizing what really matters.

At Leaseweb, one of our core values is simply ‘get things done.' Encouraging the right mindset and implementing simple yet effective methods, such as the 80/20 rule, can provide immense value. The 80/20 rule states that 80% of a business' income comes from 20% of its projects. It’s a tool used to highlight the importance of identifying the highest priority work, ensuring that the available resources are being spent on the most valuable projects.

When life gets busy it’s easy to jump in headfirst without taking the time to stop, take a step back and assess the most efficient way to address your tasks. This World Productivity Day try to reframe your mindset and think about doing what’s important and impactful rather than expending energy where it’s not needed."


Published Monday, June 20, 2022 7:32 AM by David Marshall
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