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December 02, 2013

How Can You Advocate For Your Team? Ask Them!

December 02, 2013

As the Production Manager at SmallBox, it’s my job to make sure our team has the time and resources they need to get their work done, all while keeping project budgets and deadlines in check. I consider myself a “Team Advocate,” making sure they have work that they are excited about and ample time to “make every page count.” On a regular basis, I hold our processes under a magnifying glass to see where there are opportunities to become more efficient, which helps us be more productive. I know, I know–my role is clearly not as glamorous as being a “Designer” or “Strategist,” but somebody has to geek out about efficiency and productivity around here.

One thing I started hearing from team members is that a lot of their production/ “head-down-get-work-done” time often gets interrupted by meetings. Although meetings are definitely a necessary part of our collaborative work process, I do understand how frustrating it can be to feel like you only have small pockets of time throughout a day to get things done because you are constantly in and out of meetings. Having a good block of time to stay focused and be productive is an important part of hitting project deadlines.

Earlier this year, Team Grow, our marketing team, decided to implement a “No Meeting Work Day” and have one full day dedicated to production time, meaning no internal or client meetings. For the most part, this day was kept sacred, and team members really appreciated a day without interruptions. In response to today’s Think Kit prompt, I asked team members across the whole company, not just the marketing team, if this “No Meeting Day” policy would be of interest to them, and if so, which day of the week would they prefer to have set aside for that. Anticipating that an entire day every week without meetings might be a little tricky to pull off, I also asked if a half day would still be helpful, i.e. no meetings from Noon-5 PM. Below are some fancy charts to show you the results of my poll.

As you can see, the entire team is definitely in favor of a “No Meeting” work day. Several people were willing to settle for a half day, but most preferred to have a full day without meetings. Most people were flexible about the day of the week to have this work day.

Thinking ahead to 2014 and the ideas I’m rolling around for improving our team’s productivity, I will take this poll into consideration and see how we can go about implementing a “No Meeting” day–and most importantly, sticking to it.

What methods or policies have you implemented and found success with in helping your team stay focused and productive?

This post is part of Think Kit by SmallBox
Today’s prompt: Take a poll and share the results. Is there something you've been curious about? A decision you're struggling with? Ask the crowd, and report back on what the results might mean.

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