“When people say you’re working from home, it feels sometimes like you’re sleeping at work."
— Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, at the WSJ CEO Council Summit
As a response to remote work, Satya Nadella explained his practice of scheduling breaks between video meetings to replicate the mental and physical transition between in-person meetings. This one behavioral change feels like an intuitive one, but where else should we be making changes to our business habits? In this modern world of data-driven culture, are we equipping ourselves with the data to make rapid and optimal changes to our business habits?
Much as our change to a more sedentary lifestyle caused us to use data to analyze our health, our sudden change to remote work is prompting a data-driven approach to optimizing how we work.
Prior to the pandemic, there was already work underway to analyze the science of meetings. From this research, there are several different metrics for meetings, like steps metrics for health, that can be benchmarked. Examples of basic remote meeting metrics currently under evaluation are:
- Number of meeting participants. Remote meetings are particularly difficult with a large number of participants because of the current technology limitations which limit everyone's ability to contribute to the conversation. On the flip side, the technology also offers the ability to record meetings, enabling non-essential team members to listen at twice the speed at their own convenience.
- Meeting duration. Research suggests that positive pressure by reducing meeting duration helps to stimulate groups to perform more optimally given increased focus and stimulation.
- Starting and ending on-time. Ending meetings late has been shown to be a source of stress for individuals. All meeting participants can contribute to meetings ending on-time by arriving to those meetings on-time.
In addition, more advanced metrics can be investigated, such as the impact of managers sending emails off-hours or multi-tasking during meetings. Research suggests in these cases that managers sending e-mails off-hours prompts their reports to respond to those emails off-hours. Managers multi-tasking during meetings signals to their employees that multi-tasking is also acceptable behavior, leading to cascading effects across the organization. Conversely, better outcomes may actually be achieved by timing email transmission and periodically reminding managers of the impact of their multitasking.
At Punch, we believe that what's measured, improves. With Punch, you can measure and improve your remote work practices. Do you know how your company measures up?