Ways to Help Others Have A Better Workday

by Niamh Brady, Productivity Coach

How can you help others have a better workday? I asked the question as part of my research into productivity during COVID-19 and received responses from managers, employees, business owners and consultants working in multiple sectors across the globe. Many commented that this is the first time they had ever thought about how they can help others, and some were surprised at their own response. Consideration, empathy, understanding, patience and kindness came up repeatedly as people thought about those that they worked with. So too did some practical steps that could be taken. Here are the top 5 things you said that you can do to help others have a better workday.

  1. Discover your team’s ‘Hour of Power’

  2. Clarify what is important

  3. Complete your work on time

  4. Share knowledge

  5. Cancel 2 meetings

Discover your team’s “Hour of Power”

Interrupting people less, encouraging similar workday structures and having certain periods for no meetings all came up as ways we can help each other. These can all be wrapped up into your team’s ‘Hour of Power’. Choosing and committing to blocking off a certain time of the day or week where there will be no interruptions or meetings allows everyone on the team to focus on their most important work. Doing it together brings the team motivation that helps the procrastinators among us. If you do not have a team then you could pair up with someone you have a lot of interaction with.

Clarify what is important

If you are going to help others by interrupting them less, it is even better if they know what they should be spending that uninterrupted time on. So next up is clarity on what is important. Directing focus by sharing clear goals and priorities was listed by both managers and employees as ways they could help their team be more productive. This is even more important as we continue to work in distributed teams, with some people working from home and others returning to the office.

Complete your work on time

If others are dependent on your work to do their job, then completing it fully and on time will set them up for success. Communication is key here and if you are going to be late, you owe it to others to let them know. Managers are not exempt from this, with many of them confessing this is an area they could improve on.

Share knowledge

Knowledge sharing, coaching and technical training are all ways you said that you can help others. It is easy to let this area slip when we are all so “busy”, but it’s crucial to the development of the people around you and to allow you to move forward. If you are the person who feels they cannot delegate, then try investing some of your time in training others so you can be more confident when passing over work.

Cancel 2 meetings

Imagine what would happen if everyone looked at their calendar and cancelled 2 meetings which they identified were not really needed. Imagine how much time that would give back to others, and to yourself? If you are wondering which ones to cancel, start with any that you have planned before lunchtime; over 70% of research respondents said they are most productive in the morning.  You know that cancelling a meeting will help someone else have a better workday – so go ahead and do it!

Above all these suggestions lies the one thing each of us can do – ask others how we can help. But to do that we also need to ask ourselves what support do we need? Without admitting and getting comfortable with the fact that we cannot do everything for everyone all the time, we hold both ourselves and others to unrealistic standards. So, when you finish reading this and go ask someone how you can help them have a better day at work, make sure to let them know how they can help you in return.

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