Measuring personnel productivity beyond email activity

In light of Manchester United Football Club’s office staff being summoned back to the workplace five days a week, Raconteur published an interesting opinion piece debunking the club’s new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s rationale – using email traffic as the metric for productivity. 

Aside from the fact Ratcliffe works remotely from Monaco, Raconteur focuses frustration on the failure of simplistic evaluations to measure personnel productivity: 

In his message to staff, Ratcliffe cited a 20% drop in email traffic at one of his other businesses when it experimented with working at home on Fridays. His comments highlight the fact that too many businesses focus on the inputs, rather than the outputs of desk-based workers. An employee’s value can’t be determined by the number of emails they fire off. In fact, having to constantly respond to messages often gets in the way of people being able to perform the more important parts of their job.

Sam Forsdick, Raconteur

Quoting research from Stanford University, the available data actually points to an increase in productivity when companies implement hybrid working, albeit a very slight one. Either way, a preoccupation with emails does not fully reflect where the work of today and tomorrow will be effectively performed. 

Technology, AI and augmented analytics are also rapidly influencing how we work. For example, we have implemented tools in our insights platforms, such as Retail Advantage, to support collaborative work, no matter where your teams are based. One new feature is “in-context chat”, which runs alongside interactive visualisations of multiple datasets. This collaborative tool not only boosts efficiency but also encourages idea generation, user experience and contribution.

Whether you manage a Premier League football club or a portfolio of Retail Destinations, measuring productivity effectively to improve performance is key. Read the Raconteur article here, and get in touch to see tools like Retail Advantage in action. 

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