Remote workers outperform office workers for this single reason

Thursday 7 March 2019 | workflow management, remote workers

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Less distractions, more work

There’s one simple reason remote workers outperform office workers.

Meetings, noisy environments, co-workers, visitors, impromptu meetings, and travel time are everyday occurrences in every office. 

A recent financial sector survey revealed that more than half said that noise from co-workers was the biggest distraction.  Nearly all said they prefer to work alone and feel they are more productive when they do so. And just under half of them use email, IM and phones to avoid face-to-face interaction. 

In short, remote workers have less distractions.

But open plan was meant to foster collaboration, right? Well, it doesn’t. It should also improve knowledge and help nurture a strong culture but there’s little evidence to say it does this either.

During PIQNIC’s two year development cycle, we set a goal to make teams super productive, not only for ourselves but also for our customers.

(Download our latest eBook to get down to the nitty-gritty of the future ways of working.)

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We found there was a consistent pattern to the way people worked. Realising ideas come from individuals, not teams, people need time alone to focus on work and generating ideas.

These ideas can then come together when the team reconnects and all the ideas are shared. Then teams can part again to the next phase and turn the best ideas into tangible forms.

So we adopted our work culture and platform to align with this pattern and it worked.

But we also found a major obstacle to building productive teams: Business is replacing office distractions with app distractions. Single purpose apps created by social media juggernauts have built empires on the simple premise of knowing how to distract users.

They have designed apps that crave attention. Each and every team member and partner uses different messaging, video, communication, project and tasks apps. As does each customer, so you will have to set up all of those too.

Welcome to digital chaos

We know it well. We tried a lot of them while the PIQNIC platform was under construction and the initial coolness quickly rubbed off as we were left with information all over the place and had no single source of what was the truth. From the moment work entered the collaboration stage, we were no better off. That’s when the need for meetings began to increase.

Not very smart.

When using multiple, single purpose apps, finding vital information was difficult and frustrating. If documents etc weren’t lost forever, it sure felt like they were. Were they in email, a message, video chat, task wall, cloud storage or communications apps? Key information and decisions were lost deep in message threads. Tracking progress on tasks and projects was difficult and left managers in the dark.

There wasn’t a single source of the truth, even when using a project tool. Parts were missing. Who had access to information, where is it and was it secure? Sometimes, our documents were even found on suppliers’ systems. There were also far too many notification distractions. Most were not that important but turning them off would mean missing vital updates.

How can PIQNIC help you?

PIQNIC is all about helping you build super productive teams, no matter where the work is and we think it is the smartest thing anyone has done to greatly improve the way we work, in a very long time. 

So work is not just a place everyone goes, it can also be a thing they do. And the right business tools should help you do it your own way, finding the balance between working solo and having human contact. If people can minimise unproductive distractions and remain focused, their work life will improve greatly. 

Leaders should embrace change because the competition will. Managers who trust their teams should provide them with the right tools. Remote workers should prove them right and improve the quality of their personal life at the same time. 

If you're keen to get down to the nitty-gritty of the future ways of working, feel free to download our latest eBook. It's free.

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