Amid persistently high inflation, volatile market conditions, and uncertainty on consumer demand and sentiment, companies are increasingly starting to freeze hiring. Teams are quickly realizing that they need to find ways to work more efficiently with limited resources. This however is easier said than done. Hybrid and remote work has tended to increase coordination overhead and make it somewhat more challenging for teams to gain visibility into areas where potential efficiency improvements can be made. This is coupled with increasing pressure on remaining team members which is likely to lead to increased burnout rates.
How do organizations work to adapt to these new challenges? Data and analytics are crucial components in doing so. Here are some metrics we’re seeing companies use to gain visibility into how their teams are working and to help optimize how they work and collaborate to get more done in an increasingly constrained environment.
Why this metric: This signifies whether the balance of collaborative and individual time is adequate. Most knowledge workers need a minimum of 50% focus time and at least 30% collaborative work in order to feel like they have the correct information and the time and bandwidth to accomplish their day-to-day tasks.
Why this metric: Focus time has been shown to be highly correlated to productivity and accomplishment of business goals and objectives. The right amount of focus time for the team varies on the function as well as the company cultural norms. However, Worklytics' guideline is at least 4 hours a day for most knowledge worker teams.
Why this metric: This measures whether meetings are overloading the teams. Typically we have found that more than 10 hours of meetings a week tends to get stressful for most individual contributors.
Why this metric: Market volatility and signs of a possible downturn can be a stressor on employee mental health. In addition, any hiring freezes, and resource limitations mean that workers have to do more than before, which can cause attrition of the top talent at the worst time for the company. A leading indicator of burnout tends to be after-hours or weekend work; measuring this allows leaders to keep an eye on burnout risk.
Why this metric: Over Collaboration with more than 10 people is a leading indicator of inefficiency in the organization and is highly correlated with bureaucratic processes.
Why this metric: Visibility with senior management is a strong indicator of employee engagement and morale.
Over the past few downturns, the key determinant of a company thriving vs. struggling has been the team’s ability to adapt to new changes and challenges. Measuring a few key metrics on how your team gets work helps leaders ensure your team is well positioned to adjust to the economic challenges ahead.