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Create Better Workdays for Your Team by “Working Out Loud”

Elliot Chan, Digital Marketing Manager5 min read

"Working out loud" is a concept that involves sharing one's work progress, insights, and experiences with others in a transparent manner.

By working out loud, you can identify three areas holding your organization back from peak performance: your habits, your team’s working style, and your company’s policies. Because individuals cannot fix team and company-level issues by themselves, this method is essential.

Produce8 enables teams to work out loud without the downside of narrating their work. Our Shared Workspace provides your team with clarity and allows them to see what their workday looks like.

By putting workflow issues, shared knowledge, and technology interactions on the table, we can identify what is broken and build trust and accountability among team members.

Want to get set up with Produce8 ? Book a demo with us so we can help your team create space for great work!

Why work out loud?

Why incorporate working out loud into your team’s workflow?

Because time is the most valuable asset your team has—and it’s unknowingly being wasted.

Just think about managed services providers (MSPs) in the IT space, for example, where every second counts. Resolution time has been increasing and ticket close rates are on a downward trend. This has led to clients losing thousands and MSPs scrambling to find a solution.

Is your team underperforming? And does nobody know why? Well, the best way to solve that problem is to understand how we all work.

77% of workers feel burnt out in their current jobs because they are working early mornings and late into the evenings to complete all their tasks. This is often due to the workday being too distracting.

Digital collaboration is essential, too. And yet 67% of workers say that spending too much time in digital meetings takes them away from their primary tasks.

How to solve these problems? By working out loud. Doing so provides the data necessary to move toward solutions.

The practice of working out loud involves:

Team-based learning: This allows others to see the thought processes, problem-solving techniques, and challenges faced by individuals.

Increasing visibility: When individuals openly share their work, others will recognize their contributions, spot opportunities for collaboration, and even assist them with career advancement.

Building networks: Connect with others who might be working on similar projects, use similar tools, or have similar interests. This creates communities where people can provide feedback and collaborate more effectively.

Sharing work progress: To eliminate distracting status updates and reduce the need for time-consuming synchronous collaboration, individuals are encouraged to share their work progress with their peers. Produce8 allows this to occur seamlessly.

Why Produce8 promotes team opt-in

For working out loud to be effective, the entire team must buy in. They need to actively participate and commit to the process.

Be careful: If individuals are made to work out loud without knowing the goals of the process, it might just seem like an extra thing to do. Worse, it might feel intrusive.

With anything new, it’s good to allow a grace period for people to explore on their own.

Produce8 enables team members to work independently with their data before sharing it with the whole team. And as workers feel more comfortable studying their work habits, they can be brought into a team environment where the data is shared. This will enable workers to better understand each other and develop a culture of working out loud.

Sharing data doesn’t have to last forever, either. You can do it for two weeks, two months, or two quarters. The goal is to gain insights, take action, and measure the effectiveness of change.

To initiate working out loud, we recommend you and your team follow this tested process that has worked for our clients in the past:

  1. Invite people, don’t demand it.
  2. Explain the issue the business is having and the concern for individual focus, team collaboration, and company policies.
  3. Empower the individual and allow them time to get comfortable studying their workdays.
  4. Bring the team together after everyone has had some time to explore the process and establish trust.

These four steps equip everyone with valuable insights to improve future decision-making.

How Produce8 makes working out loud easy

Set up Produce8:

Produce8 simplifies working out loud for your entire team. Just connect the browser and desktop extensions and link your work apps—it all takes less than five minutes!

Invite your team:

Encourage your teams to join the Shared Workspace. Send an email giving them a heads up and explain why you want them to do this. When they accept, they can choose to opt-in to the work apps they use regularly.

Work out loud:

Next, return to your work and follow these steps to make the most out of working out loud:

1. Run a baseline test. Understand how your team normally works without applying any changes for a few days.

2. Pinpoint areas for improvement. Some common indicators of distraction, over-collaboration, and burnout include short interactions with apps, extended duration with collaboration tools, missed breaks, and engagement with work tools on evenings and weekends.

3. Make changes and set goals. Creating a target helps establish personal accountability and builds motivation for healthier work habits.

4. Analyze whether the changes were successful or not. Share learning with the team to finally foster a culture of working out loud.

Want to learn more about working out loud and validating the effectiveness of your workflow with data? Book a free consultation with our team today—we would love to help you!

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