When you choose to introduce Artificial Intelligence (AI) in your organisation or department there can be a lot of resistance and uncertainty, which is why it is important to start small and win fast. By taking on smaller fail-proof projects, you can build up confidence among your team as they begin to see the value of the projects and stop fearing failure and resisting changes. In this project we discuss how to boost knowledge worker productivity, something employees will be able to track themselves and see the true value of. Building momentum in this way will pave the way for greater successes down the line.
Tools of knowledge
The workforce of today is becoming increasingly loaded with knowledge workers, as opposed to manual labourers, meaning more people working from their computers. Yet the productivity of this growing group of people has taken a dive while that of manual labourers increases thanks to modern tools. While the tools and processes for manual labour usually remain within a company and are constantly improved for efficiency, resulting in lower requirements from manual labourers, the tools for knowledge work remain entirely in the workers head, meaning these tools are taken with them when they leave.
Since knowledge work can’t be fuelled by throwing more money at it, as manual labour can, it seems we have a growing problem to address. How can companies equip knowledge workers with the right tools to get the most out of them?
Managing knowledge productivity worker is a somewhat elusive task, even for the workers themselves who can easily confuse busyness with being productive. The outputs can be difficult to define and hard to track to an individual when they result from a team effort. Between keeping on top of emails and meetings, and sometimes sacrificing quantity for the desired level of quality, it is easy to lose sight of what really counts towards productivity.
The value of this project comes in the form of giving your workers a tool that will allow them to carve out focus time, restore balance to their working day and keep track of true progress. Just as you can’t expect to run a business without looking at the results, once you start managing productivity with this tool, you’ll never look back.
To address productivity at a personal level, the obvious tech choice is Microsoft’s MyAnalytics which is available as an add-on for Office 365 plans. The AI-powered tool draws attention to where the hours in your workweek are really being spent and allows you to set goals for time allocation, even dropping suggestions for how to improve your workflows and boost productivity.
When workers see where their time is really going, it’s easier to address overall productivity and to stop confusing this for busyness. The app also allows you to set aside focus time using the focus plan to ensure that you have time for top priority work. When you schedule focus time, distractions will be removed so you’ll stop receiving notifications and you won’t be able available to be booked for meetings. Time to get things done.
You wouldn’t run a business without looking at the analytics, so why manage your time this way? The weekly reports are an excellent tool for continuous improvement and can be extremely effective as it empowers workers to manage this themselves.
Of course, Microsoft isn’t everyone’s first choice, and MyAnalytics is less effective if you aren’t making use of other apps in the suite where your productivity can be tracked. For users of G-suite, Google’s Work Insights is another good choice for tracking productivity across an organisation, however personal dashboards are not available, which is where we believe you’ll see the most significant impact.
More quick wins
This is just one of the ways we suggest using AI to establish a quick win. If you liked the project, why not check out the others. Download our free 7 Quick Wins Projects guide to find out more about streamlining your business with artificial intelligence.
If you gave it a go, give us a shout on Twitter @nightingalehqai to let us know how it went!