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Golden Hour Series Part 3: Adopting the Golden Hour with Sapience Vue

Covid-19 has changed habits – work, personal life; work and meetings have shifted from meeting rooms, hallways, and water coolers to living rooms and kitchen tables. We call this a new ‘WOW – way of working’, breaking century-old working habits and rhythm. 

The pandemic has also changed the global work culture drastically with the shift of work from offices to homes. Today, work has become a bigger part of people’s lives. With remote working, experts are sharing tips to make work more productive and mindful. However, businesses are facing some challenges in managing remote working with a global workforce and time-zone differences. We believe adopting and optimizing the Golden Hour at work – the most focused and distraction-free work hour would greatly help. 

Such challenges create a need for a tool that can visually show what is your golden hour and how you are spending time during workdays by segregating core time, meeting time, offline time, breaks, etc. Sapience Vue at the grass-root level collects digital signals every 15 seconds i.e. 67,200 data points collected within a month and presents correlations of your work habits, revitalization time, focus time, and core time. With Vue, you can get a real-world reflection of all your workday by analyzing effort data and correlating it with the output data. The greatest power of such a tool is to optimize the ‘Golden Hour’ by visually seeing how you are spending your time. You can trace the workdays with the above parameters to optimize the golden hour in a secure, personal manner. 

Brad Killinger, CEO at Sapience Analytics also shared his views on the Golden Hour in the article A Distracted Workplace Costs Far More Than Productivity Loss of how managers and employees can shine through golden hours.

You can optimize the Golden Hour at work with Sapience Vue in the following ways: 

Seek help to get your focus back

Although you will require a lot of self-discipline to fight distractions, Sapience Vue may work wonders for you. As per an Udemy survey, 70% of respondents felt that training could help them block distractions and achieve focus. Sapience Vue reflects your whole day and helps a manager or an individual reporting to you understand the skill gap of your team by analyzing productivity levels. Based on Sapience Vue data, you can discuss with your team and schedule the required training to close the skill gap.  

Make time for self-care

  1. A little self-care is just what you need to get started on your road to better focus. Successful people often owe their success to good habits – waking up early, meditation, decluttering the mind, mental detox, exercise, reading motivational stuff, writing goals, prioritizing, and family time. Sapience Vue work habits insights help to reflect your workdays with self-reporting across multiple parameters:
    • My Work
    • My Core Work
    • My Meetings
    • My Private Time
    • My Unaccounted (distracted time)
  2. My Data Comparison
    • By Team
    • By Location
    • By Job Family 
  3. My Productive Hours (broken down into hourly chunks)

With a data-driven workday reflection, you can feel your day deeply and make time for self-care by balancing work and life. 

Actionable Insights for good

Sapience Vue ensures a healthy view of knowledge worker activity, analytics, and insights with employee privacy; the insights that will allow employers to get a view into the effort to output correlations. Work activity analytics can help you understand work habits & patterns, the time spent on diverse activities, the amount of non-productive time, etc. But this kind of productivity intelligence is only supposed to improve the graph and help employees do their best.

It pays to pay attention to one’s natural type (lark, others, or own) and make adjustments where necessary using technology and tools.

Daniel Pink goes on to explain, “Time of day explains the 20 percent variance between who is performing well and who is not,” Pink says. “Understanding this hidden pattern can allow you — or allow your boss to allow you — to do the right work at the right time, which will allow you to boost your creativity and boost your productivity.”

Optimize the Golden Hour with Sapience Vue

Sapience Vue is a top choice amongst businesses for giving unprecedented visibility into how people work with actionable insights to manage cost and performance across teams and organizations, plus guide in-office and remote workforce deployment strategies. It is the only workforce productivity tool that is helping to optimize the Golden Hour at work with privacy standards and seamless integration. Sapience Vue boosts your new WOW (way of working) by empowering you to understand and optimize the Golden Hour in an automated and contactless manner.

Talk to us or send us an email to understand how Sapience Vue can be a manager’s or an individual contributor’s digital partner in the allocation and adoption of the Golden Hour at work.

Golden Hour Series Part 2: Allocate an Hour at Work to Make it Golden!

Are you able to work at your best? The answer may not appear in your mind at first glance, but it has personal and professional implications. 

Your best performance as an employee comes through a journey of balancing how you work through the day, balancing work and life, having a distraction-free environment, and a content mind. According to a recent study, 66% of US workers don’t have a work-life balance and 77% of full-time US employees experience burnout at their present job.  

Giving your best at work under time pressure can induce stress at your work that will spill over to personal time. The key to mindfulness at work with the best performance is unlocking the power of the Golden Hour. As we discussed in our previous blog Golden Hour: Take Charge of Your LIFE (link to the blog), the Golden Hour is the duration when you are most focused and distraction-free. Rightly allocating the hour, optimizing it over time is what will make it golden. In his book, “When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing,” Daniel Pink examines the science of timing and how it shapes our behavior. He distills the latest research — from economics and social psychology to linguistics and molecular biology — to offer key takeaways on how to rework your day to be more successful. In a single day we go through three stages, Pink explains. This is what it looks like for most people:

  • Peak: our mood rises in the morning
  • Trough: our mood declines in the early to mid-afternoon
  • Recovery: our mood boosts back up in the early evening
  • Other people experience their day in the reverse set of stages: recovery, trough and peak.

The order in which you experience these stages depends on your chronotype, or your personal pattern of circadian rhythms, which determines if you’re a “lark” (morning person), an “owl” (evening person), or a “third bird” (somewhere in the middle), explained Pink.

Now is the time to identify and allocate the golden hour for yourself and your team. Go ahead, look at your work patters, and if you are an Owl, a Lark or Third Bird, be it 08:00 AM to 09:00 AM or may be right after lunch, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM or may be later in the evening 11:00 PM to 12:00 AM.

Take frequent breaks 

While it may sound counterintuitive, author Travis Bradberry writes in Quartz – the ideal work rhythm was 52 minutes of work time followed by a 17-minute break. He explains, “For roughly an hour at a time, they were 100% dedicated to the task they needed to accomplish. They didn’t check Facebook ‘real quick’ or get distracted by emails. When they felt fatigued (again, after about an hour), they took short breaks, during which they completely separated themselves from their work. This helped them to dive back in refreshed for another productive hour of work.” 

Things that would help you make the identification and allocation work: 

Keep your breaks short and awareness high and see how quickly you can return to the task at hand with full focus and interest. Your breaks however will quickly turn into guilt trips if you stay away from your time and do not devote your 100% to your work schedule. The nature of your work may not allow frequent breaks, but you can always rejuvenate at intervals by making a conscious attempt. 

Get smart about your phones

Smartphones can be a boon or a bane depending on how you use them. As per a recent survey on digital distraction and workplace safety, employees are spending 2.5 hours of their time during each workday for reasons not related to their job. 

Your phone may lure you into shopping, entertainment, and social media apps, or you may use it for self-monitoring apps that can help you track your phone usage and urge you to use your time wisely. Enterprises are urging their employees to set ‘do not disturb’ periods for phone notifications so that they can focus on their work.

Keep multitasking at minimum if not at bay

As empowering as it may sound, multitasking slows us down. Explains neuroscientist Earl Miller, “(By) Switching from task to task, you think you’re paying attention to everything around you at the same time. But you’re not. You’re not paying attention to one or two things simultaneously, but switching between them rapidly.”

Instead of multi-tasking, divide your time into blocks reserved for specific tasks and mark them in your calendar.

Stay connected through regular communication

Employees may feel ignored or neglected, especially if they are working from home. The onus is on organizations and managers to ensure they connect with employees often. Set incremental deadlines to motivate employees to complete their work on time. This would make them feel supported and would also make them more accountable. For instance, rather than having a deadline of 15 days for a project, it is easier to break it down into smaller tasks and ask them to complete them on specific days.

In the next blog, we will discuss how to make the golden hour a part of your routine, a sustainable mantra and how using a tool can help you understand your work habits, revitalization time, give you insights into how focused you are and where are you spending most of your time and importantly provide a mirror for self-realization, self-actuation and self-motivation. The greatest power of such a tool is to allocate the ‘Golden Hour’ by visually seeing how you are spending your time. You can trace the workdays with the above parameters to optimize the golden hour with a SaaS workforce productivity analytics tool that is easy to deploy, enterprise ready and available globally.

Keep reading and share your thoughts.

Green Shoots – Implement a hybrid workforce model with Sapience Vue

Spring is well underway in the communities that surround New York City. Signs of life are now everywhere outdoors. These green shoots bring optimism.

Hopes were already high this season that a healthy, robust economic recovery will take root. For millions of knowledge workers who are now accustomed to the rhythm of remote working, and who sense the recovery is still fragile, the thought of commuting back to offices a few days per week where social distancing is required may or may not be cause for enthusiasm. 

According to a Wall Street Journal article that highlights the complexities employers will face while executing workforce strategies for a return to office, most (if not all) favor a ‘hybrid’ model. Based on our experience, no matter which working models are adopted, they must unleash human potential if they are to maintain an organization’s competitive edge.

At Sapience, we believe the answers that will inform effective workforce strategies are in plain sight, if only technologies are deployed that capture true insights into each team member’s capacity to deliver their highest and best effort. Organizations that have not yet embraced the use of automated, non-invasive productivity measurement tools risk being left behind if they cannot reliably portray a complete story of employee work patterns and wellness.

By leveraging our workforce analytics and productivity solution, Vue, Sapience clients understand work effort and patterns by location, function, department, and much more. With Vue, our clients mesh data derived from the quality of effort individuals and teams devote to work activities amidst broader considerations that inform senior managers how the business is performing relative to expectations.

As hybrid workplace models are rolled out over coming months, how will these organizations identify headcount and capacity restrictions and reference this data to back up concerns voiced by managers if they express their teams are stressed or overworked? Businesses that survived a long duration event and adapted to new ways of working cannot lose sight of metrics that reliably quantify whether human capital strategies are effective as the recovery unfolds. 

Let us show you how Sapience can help your organization identify and reinforce productive work patterns, manage capacity and utilization, and ensure your hybrid working model is aligned to how we all naturally interact, communicate, and deliver healthy output.

Golden Hour Series Part 1: Take Charge of Your Life

Know the hour most golden for you

Although there is good news on increasing productivity, employees are having long workdays with too many emails and virtual meetings for virtual collaboration in remote working. According to Harvard Business School, during the pandemic employees sent 5.2% more emails daily. Employees are sending around 8.3% more emails after business hours. They are sending more emails and attending more meetings, presumably coping with more distractions since the pandemic started-it is lengthening the workdays, blurring life and work. 

Increasing numbers of emails, meetings, and distractions are the main culprits of long exhausting workdays. Statistics suggest an average employee experiences 56 interruptions a day, and 80% of interruptions are trivial. Distractions typically cost 3 hours per day, and this wastage amounts to $24 – $36 Million in wages annually for an organization with 1000 employees.

The top distractions:

The top distraction culprits include:

  • Excessive emails: An average employee checks their email 36 times in an hour and gets 304 weekly business emails on average. 
  • Frequent meetings: Most employees end up attending 62 meetings per month and end up spending 31 hours in unproductive meetings every month.
  • Incessant interruptions: Employees typically face 56 interruptions per day and use 2 hours per day to recover from them.

It’s time to deal with these distractions, boost productivity, and take charge of your life. The key to improving productivity and attaining a work-life balance is to fully use your ‘golden hour’. 

According to a lifework balance strategist Sabrina Cadini, “Your golden hour is a period when you are extremely productive and able to accomplish more than usual.”

Here’s our take on the golden hour and handling distractions like a pro. Read on.

Know your golden hour

Golden hour is the time when you are alert, focused, committed, and most motivated. It’s when you dive deep into your work and make the most of that time. Agreed, you may not have total control over your work schedule, but you can always begin somewhere. Start with blocking a few hours for work that’s on priority and needs your undivided attention. You may soon realize you function optimally in the first few hours of the day or are more alert at noon when you have some grip on your schedule. Whatever works for you, make sure that you seize that time because that’s where your golden hour is.

The core concept behind the golden hour is to cut out distraction to offer an ecosystem that inspires productivity by enabling your employees to organize their focus.

Businesses can create a focused work environment to facilitate the golden hour. They can request employees to block all unnecessary notifications, avoid emails, meetings, and deny outside visitor access for one hour

According to a study, an organization with over 5000 employees can add $400 million yearly to the bottom line by utilizing the golden hour. The key benefits of the golden hours are:

Ignorance of the golden hour creates exhaustion and finally employee burnout. New Spring Health Study Conducted by The Harris Poll Explores How 2020 Events Impact Employees Mental Health study finds 76% of U.S. employees are currently experiencing worker burnout.

According to Gartner, the impact of employee burnout is severe. Mostly they take sick leaves or look for better opportunities in the market

Hence, seize the golden hour at work. Dream big and achieve more

In the next blog, we will discuss how to identify and allocate the hour that would be most golden for you or your team and make it radical and make it count. Keep reading and share your thoughts.

Maximize Time Management and Employee Productivity with IoT-enabled Solutions

In a world where time is becoming an important currency, it can be challenging for individuals to focus on work, with distractions, which makes proper planning even more difficult. Time management has become even more critical now since we work in a hybrid work from office/work from home environment. Remote working is the new normal and the work culture is fast evolving into Work From Anywhere (WFA). The pandemic has compelled organizations the world over to focus on things that really matter.

From an employee’s point of view, the things that rate higher include their device performance (endpoint performance), smooth collaboration, quick IT support, good quality of work, and a continued level of engagement. From the employer’s viewpoint inclusive culture, higher levels of engagement, productivity and time management continue to top their list of business objectives while also ensuring that employees do not suffer burnout.

What modern organizations need are IoT-enabled enterprise-wide insights into the digital footprints of their people, process and technology to stay on top of their game. 

The need

In a remote-first world, IoT-enabled solutions are making action oriented, moving from gut feeling to fact-based enterprise digital transformation’s a reality. As IoT forges into work activity analytics, HR leaders are faced with the challenge of dealing with a deluge of data analyzing information that is relevant and critical. There is a constant need to correlate information to create a highly engaging hybrid work environment.

Clocking in at 9 and clocking out at 6 is no longer the measure of productivity. Time needs to be used effectively by both managers and team members to ensure that there is a collaborative effort towards a common goal. Conversation among devices therefore is not enough as there should be a more empathetic dialogue between team members.

As Sarah Fisher, General Manager, Human Resources, Microsoft EMEA explains, “For many businesses, their normal day-to-day reality has been based in a traditional office setting. So, it’s hard for many workers to quickly adapt to a new way of remote working. This includes managers and leaders who face the challenge of not only making sure core business objectives are met in times of increased uncertainty, but also ensuring their teams stay cohesive and engaged during a stressful time.”

Employee engagement, performance ratings, time leaks, error analysis, learning and leadership, downtime losses, etc. need to be studied in tandem to make informed business decisions using analytics keeping employee privacy sacrosanct. After all, trust is the linchpin between employees and employers while clear communication is the key to building a responsible workforce. Organizations need to ensure that their people feel empowered, connected, and heard. Only then will they step forward with new ideas and work unanimously to achieve team goals.

The solution

There is a strong correlation between time management and productivity. It is important to understand how employees spend their time without them feeling they are under constant scrutiny.  The focus should be on output insights with a detailed analysis of employee productivity on each project and the time invested in fulfilling a task. Time management and analysis should be employed to understand how time leaks can be avoided, and to understand the ratio of time spent on important tasks versus time spent on avoidable tasks. This kind of analysis provides the means to identify waste, process bottlenecks and work unobtrusively. Modern solutions based on an IoT platform offer highly sophisticated data collection, aggregation, and correlation mechanisms. They are powered with a presentation engine that creates user friendly dashboards that display productivity and time analysis in meticulous detail to help identify patterns and define business goals and priorities.

This data also helps employees as they get a 360-degree view of their own activities and how they can effectively manage their time to ensure they are prioritizing and meeting their assigned objectives. It’s all interconnected. Employees get a perspective that helps them identify the areas they need to focus on while becoming more accountable, and in turn more reliable. This produces a self-reinforcing productivity loop that creates a win-win situation for all.

According to a Gartner survey involving a mix of industries, 47% respondents plan to allow their employees to work remotely full time going forward, some indicated they were in favor of flex days while others reported granting flex hours. Elisabeth Joyce, Vice President of Advisory in the Gartner HR practice expressed, “The COVID-19 pandemic brought about a huge experiment in widespread remote working. As business leaders plan and execute the reopening of their workplaces, they are evaluating more permanent remote working arrangements as a way to meet employee expectations and to build more resilient business operations.”

The Workplace productivity checklist

  • Choose outcome over punched in hours. More hours do not imply better performance. It’s important to know what each employee brings to the table.
  • Define objectives. Establish goals early on for employees to navigate through tasks and be on track.
  • Pick the right tools. Choose IoT-enabled solutions or tools that are specially designed to manage enterprise work activity analytics for better time management and productivity.
  • Communicate often. Regular communication will ensure there is no friction among team members and lead to better collaboration. It’s also a great way to gather qualitative feedback.

Trust the experts

The easiest way to fast-track workplace productivity is to collaborate with Sapience Analytics. Our solutions are deployed across 18 countries and can help enterprises save money and time and increase work output efficiently. For contactless data and enterprise-ready IoT-enabled solutions, choose Sapience Vue. It provides cross-functional views of team effort along with customizable reports that factor in core time, focus time, meeting time, and more to help organizations get a comprehensive view of work patterns while safeguarding employee privacy.

Brad Killinger, CEO, Sapience Analytics elaborates, “With employee privacy at the core, Sapience Vue, our SaaS next-gen contactless and automated enterprise knowledge workforce work analytics solution, is built to help enterprises drive greater business value by providing accurate and real-time insights into the business effort data. With Machine Learning, Sapience Vue helps predict future operational outcomes that can help drive fact-based and better business decisions.”

Final thoughts

Enterprise business work activity analytics is critical in a hybrid work environment. Contact our Solutions Specialist to optimize productivity and get a better grip on time management. What’s more, it works exceedingly well for employees as well as managers and HR leaders. Request a demo now to get started on a more productive journey to success.

Analytics Will Be at the Helm of a Digitally Skilled Workforce in 2021 and Beyond

Amidst all the chaos and scare that 2020 brought along, enterprises pumped more money to up their digital game. Digital investments became a primary focus, and digital dexterity was suddenly on everyone’s mind. In fact, it is touted as the number one ingredient for successful digitization, and enterprises are trying their best to cultivate it.

They are now working on a war footing reimagining strategies and revisiting objectives to build the digital workplace of the future and be better prepared. As Evan Hardie, IDC Canada Research Director – Future of Work rightly explained at a recent webinar, “In the past, organizations would usually cut costs and try to ride out a crisis. This time, the dynamics are actually very different. Companies that were on their way to digitally transforming are now seeing the advantages firsthand. And those that were caught off-guard are doubling down on their investment.”

The focus is now on securing remote and distributed work models for the long haul. IDC predicts spending on digital transformation between 2021 and 2023 to touch $6.8 trillion thereby putting the spotlight on the importance of placing digital dexterity at the forefront of all initiatives. Clearly, the key lies in building critical competencies to build digital agility and reap measurable business outcomes.

Interestingly, the Gartner 2019 Digital Workplace Survey declared India as the most digitally dexterous country globally, followed by the UK and the US thanks to its incredibly large Gen Z workforce and its perennial pursuit of learning new skills and adopting novel technologies. What’s more, digital workers were willing to be trained on-the-job, and 45% of the survey respondents did not mind their work habits being tracked and monitored.

As Rashmi Choudhary, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner, explained, “Seven out of ten employees in India said that adoption of new digital technologies would create career opportunities and higher-paying jobs. Digital workers in India believe that an intelligent workplace contributes to an increased focus on more meaningful, business-critical work. At the same time, they expect that their organization is mitigating the risk it entails by being monitored.”

Know thy people

The world is gearing up for a hybrid workplace, a phenomenon that will continue even after the pandemic. The amount of time knowledge workers spent on tasks have always been a matter of concern for employers. But in the wake of the pandemic, researchers came up with fascinating findings of the way knowledge workers managed their time. According to those published by the Harvard Business Review, meeting time went down by 12% and the time spent interacting with customers and external partners was up by 9%. Accountability increased, so did focus. They undertook additional activities purely because they felt they were critical and not because their managers wanted them to.

Findings such as the above clearly indicate the vital role analytics plays in giving enterprises the bird’s eye view on workplace activities. As per CCS Insights, mental health will be a top priority for many business leaders leading to a surge in tools for assessing their mental well-being that will soon be integrated into the work environment. It is important to understand what drives them and how every little thing affects their mood and emotional well-being. AI is now increasingly used in HR not only to plan and organize recruitments and training programs but also to analyze, predict, and address the needs of employees. As Angela Ashenden, Principal Analyst in Workplace Transformation at CCS Insights, foresees, “We could potentially see the use of AI technologies to monitor employee sentiment, for example through their written communications or even through their facial expressions.”

While everyone agrees on the importance of building a digitally dexterous workforce, it has been a matter of debate as to who should take the lead. While some assume it comes under the IT department’s scope, others feel an enterprise-wide attitude shift is likely only when HR decides to promote digital dexterity. In reality, it is everybody’s job and responsibility. However, the team leaders and managers have a more significant role to play here, considering that they interact with employees the most, even in siloed settings.

How employees spend their time is a matter of concern for enterprises. The focus has shifted on how effectively they utilize their time to ensure that there are no burnouts. While it is impossible to keep a tab on the distributed workforce’s activities, it is possible to identify bottlenecks with concrete data and analytics. According to LinkedIn Global Talent Tends 2020 report, 92% of talent professionals perceive People Analytics as the key to transforming HR and recruiting in the coming years.

The way forward

From a digital adoption perspective, there are certain capabilities that organizations must focus on cultivating among their people. First and foremost, employees should be encouraged to learn and deploy digital tools. Employee training must accordingly be conducted for effective software onboarding and digitization. Digital dexterity will not be a reality unless there is open-mindedness among teams to be digital-ready and future-ready. Enterprises must aim for the kind of digital dexterity that enables them to pivot their strategies to align them with the skills of the workforce and integrate them into workforce workflows. Reskilling programs may also be needed for a mature workforce that may not be conversant with modern technologies.

Only then would we be able to measure the digital footprint and activities of workers through critical data and real-time insights about capacity, capability, and challenges. The insights should offer operational visibility around people, processes, and technology without resorting to intrusive surveillance tactics that can sabotage trust.

The whole exercise should build trust and resilience while ushering in complete transparency in these uncertain times. At Sapience, we have been helping organizations with enterprise business work activity analytics through tools and techniques to foster a culture of positive change and productivity in a hybrid workplace. We offer actionable insights to drive business growth and build digital dexterity. Having analyzed more than 1 trillion hours for customers, we know exactly how to help you digitally transform your organization.

Workforce analytics is the enabler organizations have been looking for to grow and scale new heights. What better time than 2021 to further leverage technology to redefine how work gets done and embrace the most remarkable workplace transformations of all time.

Have a digitally fit 2021.

Driving operational outcomes with the power of workforce analytic solutions

Organizations worldwide are eagerly adopting workforce analytics. It has opened doors to better understanding and renders a firm grip on business and productivity even in a fast-growing WFH environment. Despite the buzz around work activity analytics and its incredible benefits, we’ve barely scratched the surface to experience its full benefits. The good news is that the number of organizations embracing work analytics tools is growing considerably.

The raging pandemic has forced us to rethink work and gear up swiftly for the new normal. Yet, as per Deloitte’s report, only 56% of organizations have embraced automation, while a good 72% are yet, to leverage automation’s benefits. Individual accountability and transparency are more important than ever in a rapidly evolving work culture. Unprecedented visibility into workplace patterns, productivity, governance, and compliance is what organizations are looking for. Work activity analytics tools provide this and more to maintain agility and a competitive edge irrespective of whether people are working remotely or at the workplace.

The global pandemic has underlined the importance of analytical capabilities to realize business goals in the current environment. Suddenly, organizations are feeling their epochal impact on business. As per a recent Sisense survey that involved 460 professionals from Australia and New Zealand, a whopping 67% of respondents believed BI and analytics programs were critical for daily operations, while 55% of organizations were now leveraging data sources, analytics, and dashboards more often.

The pandemic has compelled organizations to evaluate their analytics measures to see if they utilize real-time contactless data most effectively. Simply put, work activity analytics is all about how effectively you engage with your people, how efficiently you employ business processes, and how well you adopt new technologies. It’s how teams and departments collaborate and work in tandem. Work analytics can offer incredible insights into the past and the future and help predict operational outcomes.
Here are a few things you can achieve with work analytics.

Work analytics solutions come with Insights that tell you how resources are allocated, the amount of time spent on varied activities, including meetings, emails, sales activities, resolving issues, etc. This helps identify inefficiencies as well as makes more significant room for improvement. When you understand how a typical week looks, you can better understand issues and grievances and prevent burnouts. The rationale behind employing work analytics tools is to create a win-win for both organizations and employees to streamline activities and tasks that leave employees motivated and focused. Decision-makers are better positioned to analyze the work habits that help some departments be more productive than others. Work analytics reports tell you precisely how teams communicate and help you develop a realistic estimate of the dollar value of time spent on each activity. So if you want to calculate the average hourly rate of FTEs, voila, you got it.

The success of an organization often boils down to how happy its employees are. Usually, it’s up to the respective managers to motivate their teams, engage with them daily, respond to requests and individual issues, and create an inclusive environment for their teams. Typically, 1:1s, skip-level meetings, 6-month check-ins are all good habits to cultivate at the workplace. Work activity analytics can gauge employee well-being at work by looking into the ways teams collaborate and mitigate the risk of collaborative overload.
There has to be a right balance between individual focused work and time spent collaborating for effective time management. While meetings are necessary to better understand and make decisions by consensus, analytics can help identify unhealthy meeting habits that can negatively affect productivity and engagement. For instance, frequent recurring meetings, double-booked meetings, long meetings, large meetings with rather long durations can indicate a lack of autonomy or underutilized time.

For a team to enjoy inclusivity, everyone must get rightful access to key meetings, projects, and individuals within the organization. Work activity analytics data helps determine important work events within a team and keep a tab on shared documents, projects, and emails by allocating weightage to seniority, responsibility, and role. This ensures equal and enthusiastic participation of different demographic groups to learn, grow, and evolve.

Agility, a critical factor in having better business outcomes, occurs when best practices are followed and resources are equally available. So if we have to compare the performance of two teams, it is fair to do so only when both teams get the same time, automation, and support. If, despite standardization, one team can deliver faster than the other, clearly there are bottlenecks in communication, collaboration, requirement analysis, or some other department that needs immediate resolution.

All in all, there’s a lot to look forward to with work activity analytics solutions at the helm of business operations. The focus is on leveraging insights and tools to drive business strategy while offering a better employee experience. While doing so, it is essential to be human in these digitally-driven times.
As Rohit Singla, Chief Evangelist at Sapience Analytics, explains, “The Sapience Vue solution provides a factual data-driven view of workforce (employee and contingent) effort without invading their privacy – providing an enlightened approach to remote work management. Sapience Vue works without the use of intrusive surveillance tactics such as screen scraping, keystroke capture, location tracking, or video recording.”

Transform your work activity with Sapience

Sapience Analytics is here to help you grow your business with actionable insights and data-driven strategies. Our next-gen enterprise analytics tool Sapience Vue is just what you need to strike a balance between effort and outcomes.
Request a demo to know how to improve your enterprise’s work element to drive operational outcomes successfully with real-time analytics.

How COVID-19 Has Fast-Forwarded the Future of Work

Sapience Analytics is featured in a new article in TIME magazine on productivity and post-pandemic workforce trends.

A four-day work week, shorter hours, and remote work: The means of re-inventing work have been talked about for years, long before the COVID-19 pandemic brought about workplace upheaval. Now, faced with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, these workplace innovation and transformation concepts are being put into practice.

According to the article, “The pandemic is forcing companies to rethink how they structure work, and some are trying ambitious changes to try to fix what is broken. They’re shortening the workweek, doing away with meetings and rethinking the butts-in-seats mentality. They’re adjusting workdays to suit the needs of employees scattered across time zones and faced with childcare responsibilities. Some are even reimagining offices as nonwork retreats for employees who need a break from home.”
In the midst of all this change, organizations are being forced to conduct a closer examination of employee productivity and burnout, with as many as 1 in 4 people working from home globally, up from more than 1 in 12 before the pandemic.

“Aside from interruptions by kids, roommates and spouses, we’re dealing with colleagues who use Slack and email to ask questions that, in pre-pandemic days, could have been dealt with quickly in impromptu hallway conversations. There are more meetings so that colleagues who no longer catch up over coffee in a shared kitchen can hear what everyone is up to. After companies transitioned to remote work in March, the number of meetings jumped 12.9%, the number of internal emails increased, and workdays grew 48 1⁄2 minutes longer, according to one global study of 3 million workers.

But with increased work time, we are seeing less focused work that keeps workers happy and productive. Instead, people are spending their time switching between meetings, emails, chats and their core work tasks. This has been shown to erode focus, which can erode up to 40% of employees’ productive time.
Given the fundamental shift in where work is conducted and how it gets done, how do businesses ensure continuity, productivity, and management effectiveness?

For more than a decade, Sapience has developed a consistent track record of helping clients increase work output by up to 40 percent, time spent on core work by up to 30 percent, and correlations between effort and output by as much as 64 percent.

Sapience workplace analytics technology aggregates thousands of data points – digital output from every corner of the enterprise, every 15 seconds – to provide an unprecedented level of operational visibility around people, processes, and technology.

These insights – a fully automated and real-time multifaceted view of Enterprise Effort – are then translated into prescriptive reports providing the WHAT, WHEN, and WHERE to support data-driven digital transformation. With Sapience, businesses build a better version of their organization every day, for ultimate agility and competitive advantage.

How Big Data in the Workplace is Key to Success in the Post-COVID Era – SIG 2020 Global Executive Summit

Sapience Analytics is proud to be a featured speaker at the Sourcing Industry Group (SIG) Fall Global Executive Summit. The world’s most advanced and forward-thinking industry event for procurement practitioners, the SIG Global Executive Summit will be virtual this year, delivering a fully digital experience Oct. 13-15.

Sapience’s Vice President of Business Development Richard Reep will be presenting on Oct. 13 at 3:30 p.m. ET, on the topic, “Beyond 2020 Vision: Focusing through the Right Operational Efficiency Lens.”

In coping with the COVID crisis, operational and workforce challenges are resulting in strategy resets for many industries. Sourcing, procurement, and vendor management (SPVM) leaders will be at the core of this shift and will require accurate data to reshape their businesses well into the next decade.

During Richard’s session, attendees will learn:

  • How to expose an adverse COVID side-effect: Outsourcing2 or Double-Outsourcing
  • The challenges traditional manual reporting pose as organizations navigate the continuing issues stemming from COVID and related economic impacts
  • How leading BFSI companies are leveraging the right Lens to gain newfound operational visibility and workforce insights
  • How leading IT software and services companies can leverage big data to reveal trends and opportunities to resolve productivity challenges

The changes wrought by COVID have shifted the need for digital transformation into overdrive. In the post-COVID era, digital transformation must be practiced daily. But digital transformation at the pace of change can be overwhelming.

Workforce analytics aggregates thousands of data points from every corner of the enterprise to provide an unprecedented level of operational visibility around resource investments in people, processes, and technology. With these insights, organizations can gain a multifaceted view of enterprise effort, to understand the next best actions to support data-driven digital transformation.

Business needs are changing daily. With workforce analytics, organizations can rise to the challenge with the right resources in real-time – providing competitive advantage leading well-equipped enterprises into the 2020s.

Remote Workforce Management: Nurturing Your Greatest Asset Through the Pandemic and Beyond

Now that the mechanics of working from home have been ironed out for your knowledge workforce, it is time to fine tune your company’s new work environment so employee engagement and morale can be brought back to the pre-pandemic highs. It was true before, and it is true today: A happy workforce equals a highly productive company. So how does one go about improving employee happiness and productivity?

“What makes it tricky is that there simply isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution,” said Jannie Kinsey-Goods, Sapience’s senior vice president of human resources. “But we see that companies across the business spectrum are trying to come to terms with this, figuring out what it means for them specifically.”

She references a June survey by Bay Leaf Digital of teams newly working from home, exploring the challenges and benefits experienced by employees, managers and leaders. They found that

  • Employees are concerned with the possibility of reduced productivity, the higher potential for burnout, challenges to collaboration, and a general sense of feeling disconnected.
  • Managers are also worried about maintaining team communication, collaboration and accountability.
  • Senior management revealed a lack of preparedness in measuring the productivity of a remote or hybrid workforce; 30 percent weren’t using any meaningful metrics at all.

Sapience proposes that organizations need a personalized management approach that synergizes three key elements:

  1. Qualitative feedback
  2. Quantitative data
  3. Employee self-awareness and proactivity

Jannie explained these three elements from the human resources perspective.

Qualitative Feedback

Considering widespread concerns with maintaining collaboration and connection, it seems that many people intuitively realize that, even in our high-tech age, there’s simply no substitute for the human touch. Jannie believes managers must make time to check in with their employees and practice active listening.

“Just pick up the phone and ask, ‘Hey, how are you, how’s your family?’ It’s really important that any manager show empathy for what their employees are experiencing,” she said. “Households are facing a diversity of challenges right now – work challenges, school challenges, potentially medical challenges. You must not be afraid to ask, ‘How can I help?’”

Jannie stressed that everything comes back to good communication. Managers must be creative to keep the lines of communication open. Remember the following best practices:

  • Develop an open-door philosophy and contract with each member of the team that it’s OK to ask for confirmation or help.
  • In Teams and Zoom, encourage everyone to show their faces, live, to help others feel more connected.
  • When sending an email, take a few minutes of review to ensure you’re sending the message you intend to convey and that you’re showing respect.
  • When issues seem to be arising, don’t let them fester; pick up the phone and gently clear the air.
  • Regularly conduct short pulse surveys, just to touch base on the latest current topics and to help keep employees mindful and involved.

As an enterprise, Sapience hosts team “show up” meetings with no agenda; they’re solely to reconnect.

“It helps keep our culture alive and unified,” Jannie said. “And I call those who can’t attend just to say, ‘How are you? I’ve missed you.’”

Quantitative Feedback

Managers worry about productivity and accountability, and these worries are often compounded when trying to manage from a distance. However, Jannie reminds us all that, while the pandemic won’t last forever, its consequences could.

“The worst thing is to try to micromanage in our current environment,” she said. “Managers must think long-term, because their employees are going to remember how their employers made them feel at this time. Retention will become a problem for employers who don’t act with respect, who aren’t flexible when it’s needed.”

Some managers just have a higher comfort level with trusting the individual. However, for those who struggle with this, clear lines of communication become even more important:

  • Maintain regularly scheduled check-ins.
  • Communicate crystal-clear expectations for effort and output, including clear notifications of all deadlines.
  • Proactively make room for more flexibility within work schedules to accommodate current challenges at home.

Managers who are tempted to hover should instead focus on measurables such as:

  • Are deadlines being met?
  • Are there any customer complaints?
  • Are they sensing any angst on the team as a whole?

Then, as specific concerns arise, work with each employee individually.

One effective way to put more focus on measurables is to implement a workplace analytics solution like Sapience Vue. Not only does it provide clear, objective data in near real time, it allows managers to initiate conversations about specific aspects of productivity, which leads back to the earlier concept of empathy and “How can I help?”

“Data absolutely plays a role,” Jannie said. “It’s important to objectively be able to see how your teams are trending.”

But Vue doesn’t just benefit managers; it also supports employees’ desire and ability to self-manage.

Employee Proactivity

Sapience doesn’t just sell workplace analytics tools; their employees use their product as well.

“It was a little intimidating at first,” Jannie said. “But I’ve learned it helps me understand those days when you know you worked all day, you’re drained, and yet you’re wondering, “What did I actually get accomplished today?’ Every morning I get a message from Vue that summarizes my previous day. If it’s ‘Congratulations, you were really in the zone yesterday!’, I can feel good about what I did. Or maybe if my productivity wasn’t quite there, it reminds me to stop and reflect. It’s great for my own self-awareness at work.”

Jannie also uses the results and recommends leaders use it to troubleshoot for their employees: “Vue helps me know when it’s the right time to ask for a check in. For instance, if I see they’ve been in a lot of meetings, I can ask, ‘Do you feel you’re in the right meetings, or is your attendance merely a placeholder?’ Because we can fix that, particularly lately when so many people seem to be in meetings overload.”

Personalizing Management to Your Teams

There is no single way of managing all employees at all businesses, everywhere. Different teams, functional groups, or even geographic regions can have different goals and needs. Your managerial goal – and challenge – is to combine the elements of qualitative, quantitative and proactive data for each group so that they all feel connected and empowered to achieve their best productivity. Only then will you develop a full view of what’s happening with your employees as well as your whole organization.

For more information on how Sapience can help bring all your quantitative workforce data into focus, get in touch with a solutions specialist.