How can you supercharge your productivity and harness your true remote work potential? Crossover VP of Content Marketing Andrew Allen, gives us some insights into how his productivity sky-rocketed after joining Crossover and some facts around productivity monitoring (hint: it's not scary at all).
Have you ever wondered why the office cubicle layout became so popular? It's not just because it's easier and cheaper for a company to build than offices that have doors. It's also because sitting in full view of everyone else builds a certain degree of accountability for employees.
Andrew remembers one colleague in a previous role, Bill, who played candy crush all day for weeks in full view of the team. Bill finally got fired. But, the question is, if the team had all been working remotely, would they have even known about Bill’s candy crush addiction?
Will Productivity Plummet?
The main barrier stopping most companies from letting their people do remote work is a fear productivity will plummet. Of course, the second barrier is what they will do with real estate that’s now free from employees.
When Andrew started his career at Crossover, he was unsure about how he would measure his own productivity, and obviously how managers would give feedback. He was relatively new to this whole ‘remote work’ thing. What he found was a system that could help him increase his productivity and reach his true working performance potential. Sounds great doesn't it!
Why Do We Feel We Still Need to Hold People Accountable?
The global COVID pandemic proved most people can actually be more productive by doing remote work (or work from home), rather than in the office. However unfortunately for businesses it also gave rise to some new and “creative” forms of work fraud (and this isn’t simply just changing a date on your resume).
Businesses found their staff moonlighting two jobs at once (workers were ‘doubling their pay' this way), or outsourcing their work to someone else. We know what you're thinking, but both situations happen surprisingly often.
So it's just not realistic for a business to expect zero accountability from people when they do remote work or work from home. When you’re in an office, at least the manager knows the person you're paying is the person that you hired and actually doing the work. It's pretty understandable why a lot of companies, including Amazon, are trying to make sure that's also true with remote workers. This is especially important when you're hiring people from all over the world, as we do with Crossover.
How Do We Measure Accountability + Productivity?
Unfortunately, there are a few countries where we see high levels of fraud from applicants in comparison to other countries. Most companies just simply won’t hire from those countries for this specific reason, but that hurts the honest people who are ready to do well at their jobs, and want to put in the hard remote work yards. Rather than not even give these people an opportunity (and miss out on the best talent), we have a way to prove they're ready and willing to work.
To help us measure our productivity (and minimize any potential issues with people outsourcing their work), our remote work teams use a productivity monitoring software. We also don't play favorites - everyone at Crossover goes through the same processes (even Andrew).
Andrew was honest with us - at first he wasn’t too sure about this, but then he began to think of it as similar to a “FitBit for Work”. Olympic coaches use FitBits every day to help their athletes reach their peak performance, so how could this help him?
How Does This Help Me Reach My Peak Work Performance?
A coach is there to use FitBit data to help athletes win medals. Using this software as a ‘FitBit for Work’ is just as a powerful tool for office workers. For example, using this, Andrew actually found he got more work done when he attacked his most important task first, even if it meant he doesn't check the email inbox for the first hour or two of the day. Andrew always thought he wasn't a morning person, but it turns out that time is really valuable to him - and this is something he wouldn’t have known or been able to utilize without the process.
At Crossover, we also believe the best work performance comes when you can do ‘deep work’. You know those times when you aren’t interrupted by anything and you lose yourself in your work? That’s when you get your best results. By using productivity software, you can also ensure you've structured yourself to maximize this deep work time, and get the best results you can.
Obviously this software measures data input (ie keyboard clicks). However, managers do understand some activities don't generate keyboard activity, and the productivity shown in software can ebb and flow at times. This is just like a coach wouldn’t expect an athlete to have any walking data if they just had ankle surgery. It’s all about understanding and perspective.
Ready to Harness Your True Potential?
Initially, anything you’re unfamiliar with like tracking remote work productivity can sound daunting. But, unless you're like Bill and playing candy crush all day, productivity monitoring software is nothing to be scared about. You just have to harness it right, like Andrew did when he first started remote work with Crossover.
Andrew has also come to realize it's a small concession to make for the freedoms full-time remote work brings. Plus, that's even truer for his colleagues who live in countries where the gap between local pay and the jobs on Crossover is even bigger.
Make sure you check out Andrew’s other articles on how he found starting his remote work role at Crossover, and the things he wished he had known before starting. If you’re inspired to join the remote work revolution with us at Crossover, see what jobs are on offer here. Find out why remote work, works here.