5 Ways Work Analytics Will Transform How You’re Managing Digital Teamwork

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Daniella Ingrao, Marketing Manager9 min read

If you’re managing a distributed or digital team of knowledge workers, at some point you’ve asked yourself: “What is my team doing?”

It’s not that you don’t think they’re working or that you don’t trust them to use their time wisely. Of course you trust your people, otherwise they wouldn’t be your people.

It’s just that you can’t see the inputs and progress of what they’re doing. And to compensate for this lack of visibility into your team’s work, you end up digging through more of your collaboration tools, sending more messages and having way more meetings than necessary just to feel like you have a handle on what’s going on.

And let’s be honest. Your entire team is doing the same thing amongst themselves too. This means there’s a whole lot of collaboration distraction happening across the board—somewhere in the ballpark of 90 minute per person per day.

Yikes.

Work has changed, and your management model needs to change with it.

You need data for you and your team to be able to understand the true scale of your collaboration inefficiencies. And you need to start having necessary conversations about how you can work together to eliminate the habits and processes that aren’t creating value for your business or serving anyone’s success.

Here are five ways work analytics will help you transform how you’re managing digital teamwork so you can not only answer that initial question, “what is my team doing,” but also support greater productivity and less digital distraction for your team.

1. Know the scale of your team’s digital distraction problem

We’re all dealing with this huge workplace transformation right now. We’ve never been more digital nor had more remote work flexibility, and we’re all trying to adopt and evolve around these new work models.

We’re leaning on a whole suite of collaboration tools like Slack, Zoom and Asana to support work. And while these tools are useful and necessary, the reality is, there are a ton of inefficiencies in how we’re using them. It’s creating a huge digital distraction problem.

  • Too many messages and notifications
  • Too much time spent in meetings
  • Too much context switching and time spent searching between apps looking for the information needed to do the job

Produce8 is a digital work analytics platform that will show you and your team the scale of your collaboration inefficiencies across your entire tech stack.

Key benefits for your business

  • Pinpoint inefficient work habits, patterns and workflows. Get the data your team needs to identify and start eliminating habits and processes that aren’t creating value. Once your team can see where the inefficiencies are, you can have some necessary conversations, start experimenting with changes to your workflows, and measure the results to ensure you’re making a real impact.
  • Save an hour a day per person. Less digital distraction means more time for focusing on the work that matters. It also means less of the noise and disruption that lead to stress and burnout for your people.

2. See how your team’s using your technology stack

Your business puts a lot of time and effort into building a great stack of technology tools that help you do your jobs better. And every month, you spend a lot of money paying to maintain access to these tools for your digital-first team.

But how much do you really know about how your team’s using them?

  • Which tools in your tech stack get used the most?
  • How frequently are they being used and how does that usage fit into your team’s daily work patterns?
  • Which tools aren’t really being used at all?

As a manager, you should be able to answer these questions. But without access to the right data, this is no easy task.

Produce8 makes it easy for your entire team to understand how your tech stack is being used each day and over time.

Key benefits for your business

  • Know where the work gets done. By performing a usage audit of your apps, you can gain an understanding of how they punctuate your team’s digital workdays and which are really your most important applications. This can serve as evidence that certain tools require more of an investment for your team. It could also reveal some truths about where your team is spending time and getting work done.
  • Manage your tech stack. On the flip side, auditing your app usage can show which tools aren’t being used much at all. This might reveal a need for better training on certain technology if people aren’t using the tools they should be. Or, it could also indicate it’s time to downgrade or eliminate an app subscription entirely. Invest those dollars elsewhere!

Read about how we used Produce8 to audit our entire team's Slack usage . The results of the audit were pretty interesting!

3. Support more flexible work models

We always talk about how the future of work should be about the work outputs, not the inputs. But the truth is, we still need to understand the inputs upfront.

By surfacing any inefficient and unnecessary communication and collaboration patterns, your team can maximize the time it does spend working synchronously while also creating more opportunities for highly productive asynchronous work time.

Key benefits for your business

  • Give your people more time for focused work. This will be music to their ears, trust me! The noisiness of collaboration tools can make it feel impossible for your team members to concentrate on deep work. Eliminating inefficiencies and work inputs that aren’t serving your business goals add quiet space for deep, meaningful work to happen.
  • Leverage talent from across different time zones. Evolving your digital teamwork and the balance between your synchronous and asynchronous work times makes it a lot easier for team members in different time zones to thrive in your organization. This gives your business a huge talent advantage.
  • Enable progressive work models like the 4-day workweek. If your business is thinking about moving in this direction, great! Case studies across the globe are showing that the 4-day workweek can create tremendous benefits for your people and your business. But, keep in mind, you can’t expect your people to succeed in a new 4-day workweek if they’re trying to cram in everything they used to do in 5 days. You first need to chop out the inefficient inputs so you can focus more on what’s driving the business forward—and in less time!

4. Cross-train and onboard better

You can learn a lot by diving into the work and technology usage patterns of your individual team members, too.

Have a rockstar in your business who’s really helping to drive your team’s success? Have a look at how they’re using their tools to navigate the digital workday. This could lead to some great cross-training opportunities for your new hires as well as other team members who may be struggling a bit by comparison.

See that some of your newer team members aren’t spending as much time in certain tools as you think they should be? It’s worth investigating why. Perhaps you need to improve your onboard training. Or maybe there are new tools your team members are relying on instead that could benefit your entire team.

Key benefits for your business

  • Cross-train your team. Learn from the work habits and patterns of your top talent to lift up your entire team. You might also find some team members are using new tools that should be adopted by the entire crew.
  • Help your people get off on the right foot from day one. It can be tough to learn a new job remotely. But being able to show your new hires exactly how others on your team are achieving success can be a helpful resource.

5. Thrive with a more transparent digital work hub

Digital knowledge work can be pretty opaque. Hence that question, ‘what is everyone doing?’

And even if you know your team’s working hard, it’s easy for individual digital workers to feel anxiety around their productivity. ‘Does anyone know how hard I’m working?’ This can lead to all kinds of pressure to put in extra work and answer messages outside of work hours, creating an unhealthy work-life balance that can lead to employee burnout.

Your people are your greatest asset. A digital work analytics tool like Produce8 enables your team to start working together ‘out loud’. Adding transparency to the digital workday by pulling everyone's actions and interactions into a digital work hub creates better work awareness and makes everyone’s contributions count.

Key benefits for your business

  • Reduce roadblocks. When team members can see the work that’s happening in real-time, they can answer their own questions about what’s happening and where the work is at without having to disrupt their team members.
  • Create proof of productivity. There’s no denying the work that’s being done when it’s shown clearly in the data. This makes it easier for employees to celebrate their contributions, and simpler for managers to report on it.

Use digital work analytics to drive the future of work

While digital work isn’t exactly new, we’re all still trying to figure out the best ways to manage more effective digital teamwork environments.

Working with your team and their digital work analytics to create more clarity around the digital work day opens up all kinds of opportunities.

You can collectively eliminate communication and collaboration inefficiencies that are taking up time without offering much value. You can create a more transparent work environment, which means fewer unknowns that require pings and lengthy meetings to resolve. And you can give your people the space and the time to actually work, and maybe delve into those progressive work models that you know leads to healthier, happier and more committed employees.

Good management is about giving your people the information, tools and support they need to succeed—and then getting the heck out of their way so they can actually do it.

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