The transition to WFH and hybrid is changing the way we manage workflows.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted every aspect of our personal and professional lives, and many of the changes and adaptations we’ve seen since early 2020 appear to be here to stay. Workplace flexibility and hybrid work models will likely be the new norm moving forward, and teams have become more widely distributed now that more jobs have shifted to full and part-time remote.
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Some effects of the new work models were clear from the beginning: employees would have different equipment needs, the line between work life and home life would blur, and HR policies and processes would need to be altered in order to accommodate the reality of hybrid and remote work.
Other repercussions were more subtle and have taken more time to come into full view. A recent study from the University of Chicago found that productivity dropped by 8% to 19% after employees transitioned to working from home, and many employees were putting in longer days just to maintain the same level of output. One likely cause? Less uninterrupted focus time.
|One study of 10,000 employees in software development found that WFH decreased productivity by up to 19%.|
And while it appears that most companies have tried to compensate for the lack of in-person communication and collaboration with additional meetings and email, the result of this hyper-connectedness may not be as helpful as planned. A report from Microsoft found that users of its Teams platforms saw dramatic increases in the amount of time spent in meetings, chats, and managing emails.
The point is that the more time we spend in meetings and composing emails, the less time we have to focus on creating value for our customers and teams.
|It appears that WFH is making many of us busier while eroding our productivity and costing us opportunities for innovation.|
It’s within this new reality that we turn our attention to managing workflows, and ask how we can leverage them to make work better for our teams and produce better outcomes for our customers. What improvements and optimizations to our flows could bring them into greater harmony with WFH and hybrid work models? How can workflow automation mitigate the effects the pandemic has had on our productivity? Our well-being?
It is in the realm of workflows that change is possible and where impact can be quantified and felt. Workflows hold the keys to visibility, control, and — most importantly — better work experiences for our people.