Productivity may not be about counting hours spent in the office

Posted by Justin Hesser on June 18, 2012

While many managers may champion the individuals who work 50 to 60 hour work weeks, some experts claim that more hours does not necessarily mean more productivity. According to an article in Harvard Business Review from Harvard Business School professor Bob Pozen, workplace productivity and project management is more about work done rather than time spent, something that can be measured very effectively by the use of a custom database software.

In the article, Pozen points toward meetings as a main point of unproductive time. While meetings may be a great way to communicate with a group of individuals involved in a specific project, or with someone who may be working remotely, they are often unfocused and too long. While a meeting can be an exceptional way to distribute documents and information, the use of a custom database software can easily accomplish this while co-workers remain productive and focused.

Furthermore, Pozen cites a previous HBR article saying that 62 percent of the “highest-earning” individuals in America work 50 hours or more per week, with 35 percent putting in 60 hours or more. This can not only be detrimental to these workers’ personal lives, but also to workplace morale. While many individuals may see long hours as the best means of measuring work ethic and productivity, one way to curtail this decadent habit is to set up a metric system that effectively displays a workers or project team’s progress.

This can easily be done with a custom database software much like FileMaker. Database technology can allow workers to load their completed assignments and check task lists as they progress toward completing a project. By giving employees a way to visualize their progress, it may allow them to accurately assess their productivity so they can achieve a healthier work-life balance.