On this morning’s WJR Business Beat, Jeff kicks the week off on a positive note, discussing how efficiency and productivity for many businesses has actually gone up during the period of the COVID-19 crisis.
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“Some of these changes are here to stay, and we’re glad they are. And you know what, while this crisis has been tough for all of us and even worse for some of us, many of the changes that this crisis has brought can only be seen as changes that are positive.”
– Jeff Sloan
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Good morning, Paul.
You know that on the Business Beat, we from time to time take a look at the positives, the silver lining, if you can believe it, in this crisis and in this most incredible year we’ve had, now nearly three quarters over. And what an incredible year it’s been. No one of us would have believed if you told us at the end of 2019, about the year ahead, we just wouldn’t have believed it. Who could believe that this year has been what it’s been? But there are some positives worth noting.
And to get things rolling this week, let’s take a look at just that. For me, one of the positives is seeing how efficiency and productivity for many businesses has actually gone up during the period of the COVID crisis.
Are you kidding? You let the workforce work from home and your productivity goes up? Who would have thought? Over 70 percent of businesses are reporting just that. To be more specific, let’s take a look at some of the ways.
Well first, how about travel? Now, I attended a meeting at the end of 2019 in which I flew to LA on a Tuesday, late in the day, stayed overnight, took my meeting the next day on a Wednesday, stayed overnight that night because the only option for a flight back home was the red eye flight. Opting not for that, I flew back the next morning, leaving at 8:30, didn’t get back til 4:30. Three days of travel. Two nights of hotel. One hour meeting and albeit while a very important meeting, there’s not a lot of efficiency in that. And today, as a result of breaking down this paradigm thinking and legacy ways of doing business, efficiency goes up. That leads to better productivity, no more travel like that in my future, that’s for sure. And that’s not to say business travel isn’t important and that some meetings are best served in person. They are. Business travel will still be part of our future, but not like it’s been in the past.
How about trusting your workforce? Like never before now we need to trust our workforce. We need to count on them to do their jobs. We can’t look over their shoulders. They’re working from home. As we said, productivity has gone up. That builds trust and confidence.
Three: judging performance. How about judging performance the way we have to today, as I just mentioned, you can’t look over an employee’s shoulder. So you judge performance by performance. Is the job getting done? Is the employee doing what he or she should be doing? And is the work product what you expect and hope that it would be? Instead of judging someone’s performance by putting in the time, as we tend to say, now we’re judging it by, is the job getting done? Doesn’t that just make more sense?
And lastly, how about no more rush hour traffic spending countless hours over a given year sitting in traffic, fighting traffic, the anxiety, the stress, missing our families, the other things we could be doing with our time. Well, now we are, people are spending their time on trying out new hobbies. They’re spending their time with their families or friends and you know what? It’s created a better quality of life for all of us.
So, we could go on and on, but those are a few ways that this crisis has changed business and indeed our lifestyles forever. Some of these changes are here to stay and we’re glad they are. And you know what, while this crisis has been tough for all of us and even worse for some of us, many of the changes that this crisis has brought can only be seen as changes that are positive.
Now go out there and make it a great week, everyone.
I’m Jeff Sloan, founder and CEO of StartupNation.com, and that’s today’s Business Beat on the Great Voice of the Great Lakes, WJR.