In its simplest format, you could represent productivity as the following equation.
----- = Productivity
Measuring productivity is useful in careers where you bill per hour or portions thereof, like lawyers or accountants. However, productivity measures have a place in every office. With productivity software, you may see exactly where the time is input and how much work is produced.
You may take it further and look into productivity performance, patterns and trends in performance over time that you may easily recognize. When you identify time-stealing tasks, you may want to optimize the task, cross train workers, or split the task into component parts for a team to complete.
This software is not spy ware. It does not track keystrokes or generate logs of data to be used to embarrass your workers. It is a tool to be used to increase productivity. Like all tools, you must first learn to use it. Think of the groups of which you are a member when you work. Perhaps you are in charge of website maintenance, producing reports on Internet sales, and tracking abandoned shopping carts.
- In the first position, or group, you may use FrontPage or other web authoring software.
- The software knows you are doing web work when, for example, you open FrontPage, use the FTP client or access the CPanel.
- For the sales reports, you use a spreadsheet and you may want to know how long it took to set up the report and how long it took to produce the graphical representations for your report.
- Excel may be the cue that you are doing a sales report. You may have to add a keyword so the program recognizes that you are doing graphics and not crunching numbers.
- The last task may entail analyzing web logs with the shopping cart software.
- Use of the web logs or shopping cart software would signify you are now working the abandoned shopping cart portion of your job.
From the reports the software generates, you may see where you are spending your time and how productivity increases or decreases over time. You may develop a productivity standard for these tasks that will let you plan your work more effectively. If you see that working with logs is a problem as they are being accessed, you would schedule this task for Friday afternoon. If you do your best critical thinking in the morning, you would examine the logs then.
You can identify training needs and necessary software or capital acquisitions using this software. If it takes one hour to setup the report and two hours to generate the graphs, you may need better software, more training or a reference manual.
Eventually, you should be able to state what the productivity standard is for each task, whether performed by you or someone else. On the other hand, your employee may use the software to show that tasks assigned consume more time than in their work week.