As someone who used to work in a large agency setting, the idea of tracking my time for each client used to make my skin crawl. To me, it always seemed to decrease my energy. Though, to be fair, it’s much harder to keep tabs on employee productivity and the big “s” word — scope — in a company with over 100 employees.
And then, in August, Proof started tracking “time”. But a different kind of time — one that’s about self-awareness, streamlining process, and bettering (not restricting) the workday.
As a team, we enjoy the freedom of managing, to an extent, our own schedules. Everyone works differently, and with leadership from our project manager, bi-weekly check-ins, and our internal communication platform, Slack, we’re able to keep an eye on priorities and stay in synch.
But this summer, we found ourselves covered up with deadlines, unable to confidently say how much time it took to complete a task, lagging in internal communication, and, to put it bluntly, stressed.
That’s where WorkingOn came into play.
We redefined our workflow.
Our Project Manager tinkered with WorkingOn for a few months and found that she was able to identify gaps and areas of improvement for workflow quickly by reviewing daily reports. So, in an effort to refresh and maximize productivity and boost a culture of awareness, the whole team got on board.
I’ll admit that, at first, I was not excited. But there’s something really freeing about typing in what you’re “working on” task by task. Not only does it focus your attention (which every client deserves), it gives all of us a better perception of how long something actually takes. We’re are able to analyze and refine our creative process, say with confidence when something can be done, and hold each other accountable, in an encouraging way, to do our jobs and do them well.
We asked tough questions.
You know that feeling when you look at a picture of yourself that’s just not the best? That’s how I felt the first time I reviewed my daily “WorkingOn” report. I knew I was working hard, but I wasn’t working smart. I saw my weaknesses — too much jumping between projects and not recognizing when something could wait — and my strengths — solid writing during head-down periods. WorkingOn taught me to take a breath between tasks, look ahead to confirm priorities, and better communicate with my teammates so our efforts were complementary and supportive.
We became a better team.
Overall, tracking “time’ has provided our team with piece of mind, more respect for one another (less interruptions — I’m still working on that), and an even stronger work ethic. That last one is something that’s always been true of Proof, but, as we’ve learned, work ethic includes redefining efficiency in order to produce not always the fastest, but the highest quality end results.
If you’re wondering how “smart” your working, or hesitant to track productivity because it might cause a shock to your company culture, think again. Increase your value as a team, and pump up client expectations by analyzing, revising, and championing your workflow. Finding the right rhythm means a happier crew and, ultimately, happier clients.