Before we get into this article one question you may be asking yourself is: Does productivity increase when working from home?
The simple and straight answer is: Not really… At least, not at first.
But, what is productivity? How do you know when you are productive?
Productivity is the rate at which results are produced. Simply put, you are productive when you are aware of the rate at which you produce results. Eg. Bake 24 cookies per hour, close 1 deal per week, receive 3 referrals per month… it is anything that can be measured over time.
Increasing results can mean you can produce more results in less time. Eg. Go from 24 cookies per hour to 30 cookies per hour. You can do this by either being efficient (going faster), effective (doing more with less – requires thinking!) or leveraging other people’s time, skills, resources, experience, or whatever else so that the rate at which result is produced increases over time (requires systems!).
So, when you’re dealing with a productivity issue you will have a result (or set of results) that you can expect. To be aware of what it takes to produce a particular result you will have measures and data tracked for those measures over time.
If you don’t have measures and data tracked over time (eg. Daily, weekly, monthly basis), then you don’t really know how you produce your results. All this means is you won’t know the rate of increase or decrease in your productivity.
So, when you first start working from home do you have measures? No. Do you have data? No. So can you possibly increase your productivity if you have nothing to measure it against in that environment? No.
So, what it takes to be productive at home is to identify measures for things that you do and begin tracking them.
For example, let’s say you want to have 1 new client per week. While you may be aware of what it takes you to produce that result at your office, doing it from home is a new game so you will need to track your data newly.
Things you can track include number of reach-outs on LinkedIn, number of conversations, scheduled discovery calls, completed discovery calls, number of needs discovered, number of initial offers made, number of offers fitted and customized, number of offers accepted.
You can certainly add more but that’s a good start. If you track this information over 4 to 6 weeks on a daily basis you will then see how your activity correlates to your results. If you produced your intended result of 1 client per week, then you will know what it takes.
If you didn’t produce the result as intended, you will have to re-evaluate your activity and the quality of your action eg. Are you focusing on efficiency, or are you focusing on effectiveness?
Of course, you have to keep in mind that every time you start a new system (eg. Working from home) you have to account for the fact that it will take time for the new system to come online – so here is where being reliable and holding yourself to account comes into play.
We recommend having a trained coach holding you to account so you don’t let yourself slide or stop your activity altogether.
If you’re looking to better assess your productivity in working from home you are welcome to contact us for a complimentary “working from home” analysis. We will ask you some key questions and determine key leverage points for how you can become more productive.