- Jan 06, 2023
- Earl DeMatas
Developing the courage to make your voice heard has worked wonders for your career. After finding your voice, you no longer sit silently admiring those with the confidence to share their opinions. As a leader overseeing a remote or hybrid team, you feel empowered. However, after completing your latest round of one-on-one reviews, you begin to wonder if the team could be more productive. Now, instead of supporting your team, you begin to question their productivity without close supervision. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking undermines productivity and gives paranoia an opportunity to grow.
What is Productivity Paranoia?
It could be described as a mindset where managers believe productivity suffers when employees aren’t constantly supervised. According to the Canadian office worker survey 2021 on PWC.com, 41% of employee respondents say their productivity increased while working remotely during the pandemic. However, some managers may not trust remote workers to be productive, because there isn’t an eye in the sky to monitor them while they work.
Evolving with the Times
Conversely, a report on Statistics Canada mentions that since August 2020, about 60% of Canadian employers expected a portion of their workforce to perform some work remotely after the pandemic. Clearly, a substantial number of employers believe the way businesses operate has fundamentally changed. Before the pandemic, employees went to work, completed their duties, took lunch breaks, and left at the end of the day. Now, organizations across the country and the world, have embraced and adopted remote and hybrid models to keep businesses running. With only a fraction of the staff returning to the office, it’s important for managers to put aside doubts and appreciate that the work environment has evolved with the times.
As a manager, you may be comfortable with the way things used to be. Waking up at a specific time to catch a bus, train or hit the highway before morning rush hour. But in the new world, that mentality, that old way of thinking is going to hinder your success. Today, people can get up early, get dressed, workout, read a chapter, have a healthy breakfast and retreat to their home office for their shift. You’re going to have to adapt to a new working environment where you may have the same responsibilities, but less control over those who report directly to you.
If you trust your team to complete their daily tasks, it will be easier to support them along the way. However, if you’re stuck in the old way of thinking, where you can’t believe someone is working unless you physically see them at a desk from nine to five, it’s going to be a lot harder to work with your team. You can’t quantify productivity by counting the number of keystrokes in an hour. Instead, focus on the quality of the work.
A survey on Statistics Canada found that, 82% of Canadians shopped online in 2020, versus 73% in 2018. If the pandemic can change consumer shopping habits, why can’t it change the way we work? While having people in the office may make things feel like they’re back to normal, what is considered normal in the workplace has changed. A study on Statistics Canada reported that nearly 40% of Canadian jobs could be done remotely. This confirms we no longer live in a world where all work must be completed under the constant watchful eye of a leader. Whether we like it or not, the world and the way we work has changed. We can either adapt and change the way we work, or watch others succeed and get left behind.