What is “overwork” and how can you take advantage of the summer to revamp your business and your team?
Businesses need to be where their customers are. Therefore, summer is not the same for all organizations. For some it can be a period of low productivity, while for others it can be a seasonal period that brings together the maximum workload, especially after the disruptions we have experienced and the uncertainty we experience today. hui.
Even so, whether it is summer or winter, all people in all organizations need to set aside time during the year to break routines, get in touch with new contexts, be inspired, rest. , circulate new ideas, improve creativity and ensure that they have the necessary strength to win in the market.
It is important that leaders have full confidence in the capabilities of their teams and that they and their employees take the time to relax, come up with new ideas and reflect on how they can make changes that help. to achieve the goals of their organization.
All specialists agree that after a few days off, creativity flourishes, ideas begin to flow and relationships with colleagues improve. And businesses, as organizations made up of people that they are, also require updating certain mechanics that hinder the pursuit of goals.
Jonathan Escobar is CEO of ActioGlobal, a company specializing in transforming organizations around the world in various industries. Having helped many companies to effectively integrate High Performance organizational best practices, he considers “overwork” to be a common problem for all.
What does this anglicism mean? Overwork is the excess of unproductive work that often takes us away from real goals: meetings not focused on decision-making, duplication of work and activities and processes that are not useful to the purpose and mission of the organization.
According to Escobar, “Most companies fail to have governance based on forums and meetings that only serve to reaffirm the status quo, where a disturbing number of PowerPoint slides are shown to report things that are often already known. because they have already been communicated, and where activities and projects are presented that do not have clear and measurable objectives and will probably end up in a folder in the cloud ”.
This loss of time causes many to feel overworked. Summer is a break from the work activities that business leaders must use to reset, rethink the way the organization works, incorporating, eliminating or changing unhealthy or unproductive habits.
According to Jonathan Escobar, there are four elements that generate overwork:
Time spent in unproductive meetings, which involve a waste of energy Lack of focus on a specific goal that sets direction for all members of the organization in sync Lack of time to focus on “Deep Work” , this really important work The lack of balance between moments and workspaces to be able to relax and come back with more strength
Escobar offers simplification of the entire meeting system by eliminating redundant processes. To do this, the first thing is to be clear on the reason for each meeting and what is expected of it, what will be its content and who are the people who should participate, by excluding listeners.
“It is also important to know how to choose the appropriate channel for each case, in person or online, and to mark a series of good practices,” says Jonathan Escobar. Its duration, contrary to what is usual in Spanish companies, should not exceed 15 minutes because “these meetings should be used only and exclusively to make decisions, never to report on the work carried out”, adds Escobar. And finally, it is important to establish a cadence, a rhythm of meeting that makes them more effective.
It is also very important and unusual to agree on a timebox for the week. It is necessary to set both the reserved times so that the teams can synchronize and self-organize to achieve the objectives, as well as the times without appointments in the agendas: spaces of concentration to be able to carry out detailed work. , “Deep Work” without fear of being interrupted by meetings, because these will be strictly prohibited. Jonathan Escobar says that “this is especially important in technology organizations where there are people programming who require a high concentration.”
And, finally, to seek balance, to establish good practices of digital disconnection where the “states” of the components are respected and to avoid sending notifications.
How to eliminate overwork?
In summary, here are the guidelines that ActioGlobal offers for the best day-to-day functioning of organizations:
Hold meetings only when there is a clear outcome to be achieved, for example, make a decision in several well-defined scenarios with data. Participants must have a clear responsibility before, during and after its performance. They should speak with transparency and honesty, avoiding politics. They should not be used to account for the past, but to make decisions that have an impact on the future. The leaders should not be present to be informed of the work carried out but to unblock the teams at the points which are out of their reach. Power point is not necessary for making decisions and, if used, it should be as concise as possible, in one page and with numbers that help us make decisions. The meeting standard should be 15 minutes, not 1 hour as is currently the case. All internal communication must be transparent and must be done through open channels, avoiding e-mails as much as possible.