I don’t actually know.
I am a knowledge worker, I am employed for my knowledge and for the way that I help things to change and move forward. I am employed for the way that I resolve problems and find paths through tricky situations.
It’s important to me that I am productive, it’s also important to my employer.
I have the opportunity to work in a number of different locations, one of my favourites is to work from home. But there are parts of working from home that worry me.
In order to understand how working from home impacts my productivity I need to understand how I measure my productivity. So what do I produce – well knowledge of course. But clearly that knowledge in my head is useless. I need to be sharing that knowledge in ways that make a difference to others.
So can I just measure my output in number of email, pages of documents, etc.?
Well actually – no I can’t. Because measure the quantity of what I produce is the wrong measure. What people actually want from me is quality, not quantity. They don’t employ me to be a chef at MacDonald they employ me to be a chef at that nice little Italian restaurant around the corner where they always have something new and interesting. I still have to produce something, but it’s not the quantity that is important.
So can I define a measure that measures the number of quality outcomes?
I think I can tell when my input has resulted in a change. I think I can also tell the occasions when I am not adding any value at all. The times when I am not adding value tend to be characterised by a complete lack of interest on my behalf, that’s quite an easy measure. But I struggle to tell the size of the impact when I am adding value.
So can I just tell by how many times people come back to me?
People will not normally return to a shop if they have received bad service, the same is true for all of us knowledge workers. If we don’t come up with the goods they won’t bother coming back. It’s, therefore, true to say that if I get a high level of return business then I am probably doing a good job. The problem with this measure is that if the return business drops off it’s too late.
I, therefore, decided that a single measure approach was the wrong way to go and have decided to go for a range of measures approach, qualitative and quantitative in order to measure my impact.
Productivity – Range of Measures
The table below shows the areas that I am measuring and the results from yesterday:
|Measure||Weight||Home Working||Office Working|
|Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Total||Day 1||Day 2||Day 3||Total|
|Emails – replied to/initiated||1||7||7||0|
|Emails – return business||3||3||9||0|
|Knowledge expansion activities||2||2||4||0|
|Meetings – adding value||2||2||4||0|
|Meetings – participation||1||2||2||0|
|Meetings – return business||3||0||0||0|
|Out of work activities||2||5||10||0|
|Phone calls – adding value||2||3||6||0|
|Phone calls – received||1||6||6||0|
|Phone calls – return business||3||1||3||0|
I’m still not sure I’ve captured everything but it seems like a sensible list of things to include, and I’m not beyond adjusting the weighting as I go along.
The one thing I haven’t included is the creation of any documentation, and there is a reason for this. Generally documentation that I produce is the result of knowledge sharing and development that has already occurred; I’m just documenting it so that there is a permanent record.
I’ve also added in a measure for ‘out of work activities’ because the impact that my working environment has on this will be very interesting. Writing a blog entry is included in this list.
I’ll also be measuring similar days in order to avoid spikes from Mondays and Fridays.
Meetings aren’t always face-to-face either, if it’s a teleconference it’s included in the meetings list rather than in the phone call list.