How To Craft A Landscape Of Productivity, Engagement And Well-Being

Ute Franzen-Waschke, owner Business English & Cultureis a coach who helps organizations build culture through conversation.

Knowing the time of day when we are most productive determines the optimal time for work that brings us closer to our goals, goals and achievements. However, this does not indicate that how we spend our productive time best (e.g. alone or together with teammates) or Where to spend it (e.g. in the office, at home or from anywhere).

A research team from Hult EF Corporate Education, led by Dr. Debbie Bayntun-Lees and Andy Cross has published a study that provides leaders with recommendations on how to rethink leadership in hybrid work environments. Aspects examined include what tasks team members prefer to do alone from home versus the office, and what they can do more effectively together remotely versus on-site together.

In an online dialogue with HR managers about this, my colleagues and I collected the following answers:

Alone and on site in the office:

• Preparation of presentations, workshops, to-do lists (33%)

• Tasks that require technology or access to materials only available on site (33%)

• Email (17%)

Together and on site in the office:

• Meetings (36%)

• Brainstorming (27%)

• Feedback talks (18%)

• networks (18%)

Together and remotely:

• Brainstorming (33%)

• Participation in meetings (33%)

• Follow-up meetings (22%)

Alone and secluded:

• Preparation for meetings; Collection of ideas and thoughts (40%)

• Working on new concepts, descriptions, service descriptions and offers (30%)

• Concentrated work (20%)

• Research (10%)

Looking at these percentages, two possibilities become apparent:

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• Be more aware and precise of location and mode

• Be more aware of time and mode

The distinction between remote and on-site work says nothing about whether the work is done alone or together. At both “locations” you can work alone or together. As such, more specificity helps teams and leaders better structure tasks and work orders when they are intended—not just about where the work is happening, but with who and how, synchronously or asynchronously. Executives and teams may want to reconsider typical on-site and remote work tasks. What used to be typical of a room is no longer.

Let’s look at some of the surprises.


Brainstorming, an activity that before the pandemic was usually deemed necessary to be done collectively and in person, is a task that many now do either remotely (33%) or on-site (27%), according to the data above. want to perform. And brainstorming even works alone! See “Gathering of ideas and thoughts (40%)”.

The use of interactive whiteboards that enable fun and engaging remote workspace brainstorming sessions have made a world of difference for some. This also allows the task to run both synchronously and in real-time, and alone and asynchronously when each employee is in the optimal state to brainstorm.

Introverts in particular should appreciate the privacy of their own home office. We’ve heard from our client base how much easier it is to contribute to an asynchronously arranged brainstorming session than a synchronous one – where the pressure to generate ideas is often too great for ideas to flow freely. That’s good news for bosses and teams alike, because everyone The voice in the team can now be heard better. And with that, more ideas can be collected. It’s a win-win perspective for creativity, innovation on the corporate side, and inclusivity for team members, increasing engagement and well-being.

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Preparation and concentrated work

According to the shared data, “preparation and concentrated work” take place optimally alone and remotely for the majority of those surveyed. We believe this sheds light on the importance of telecommuters working more in tune with their circadian rhythms. The result can be more focus and productivity during their best hours.

To be honest, we were surprised by some of these results. It seems contradictory that brainstorming when done remotely is more comprehensive and effective than when done in person. But this new world of work is clearly turning the paradigms on their head.

We also see a reassuring message for employers in the data: when focused work is done alone and remotely, employees are actually productive and doing their best for the company. Some people find it difficult to concentrate on their work due to interruptions. When working from home, employees have more leeway to mitigate these potential distractions. Being aware of this might inspire some bosses to let go of the desire to always see their employees in the office.


It can be helpful to study the data through the lens of your personal experiences and preferences. But for us, it’s validation that in the new work landscape, leaders and team members would do well to look together at their teams’ preferences and consider how meeting structures and work schedules can be adjusted to increase productivity, engagement and well-being. Being. Consider the following steps as a possible template:

1. Where and with whom does your best work happen? In the office, together or alone, or in the home office, together or alone?

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2. What are your team’s preferences?

3. How can you rearrange work items to best meet team members’ needs in three dimensions: for synchronous or asynchronous, together or alone, and on-site or home office options?

4. Experiment with these new arrangements. Then do a retrospective study of how productivity, engagement, and well-being have (or have not) changed. Decide together as a team what you want to keep, throw away or change again.

Making the necessary changes takes courage – we all know how difficult it is to let go of our beloved habits and routines. But pre-Covid-19 workplace hiring is indeed a thing of the past. So the sooner you start thinking about how to optimize work for you and your teams, the sooner you will be productive, engaged and well-being.

In our next article, we’ll show you how to better ensure intentional productivity, no matter when or where.

This article is part of an ongoing series with another member of the Forbes Coaches Council Deborah GoldsteinFounder of DRIVEN Professionals.

Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Am I Qualified?

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