Measure Focus Time to Improve Productivity

Focus time - or the uninterrupted time available for individual work - has become increasingly more important for remote teams. This is especially true for knowledge workers that often need an average of 4 hours of focus time per day to complete their individual work.

Companies have seen an explosion in the number of meetings, emails and chat messages used to help with coordination and information flow while teams are remote. This reduces focus time and leads to a big spike in the amount of context switching teams do between tools. Context switch costs, as well as lack of focus time leads to longer workdays, increased stress/burnout and is often correlated with increases in involuntary attrition.

In order to improve, the team has to balance collaboration and communication with ensuring they have enough focus time.   While collaboration is key to teamwork, too much collaboration is draining and too many meetings also leads to longer workdays, with more employees working after hours or on weekends.

Measuring focus time helps employees not just be productive but also ensures that they aren’t on risk of burnout and stress. A few of the strategies companies are employing to ensure they have enough focus time are:

  1. Training teams on blocking out two hours of uninterrupted focus time in the calendar each day
  2. Implementing a no after-hours email policy
  3. Designating specific days as meeting free afternoon days

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