Measuring productivity during the MCO

Andrew Lau, founder and CEO of Think Codex Sdn Bhd. Photo by The Edge

Andrew Lau, founder and CEO of Think Codex Sdn Bhd. Photo by The Edge

-A +A

Company leaders do not need more tips on how to work from home but rather, the ability to measure and gauge what is happening on the ground during the Movement Control Order (MCO), so that steps can be taken to make the needed corrections. So says Andrew Lau, founder and CEO of Think Codex Sdn Bhd, whose company specialises in coming up with games to promote desired traits in employees.

He says a few possible scenarios are happening with staff right now, either the transition has been relatively smooth, a bit disruptive or extremely difficult, each with increasing levels of impact to the employees’ capacity to work. “While some organisations may say they only experience the first scenario, they do not realise that the MCO may be in place for an even longer period – six weeks according to the advice of epidemiologists.”

And if the time frames are prolonged, there will certainly be degradation in three key areas, he points out. First, in terms of productivity. “Are your employees really productive or is it based on what they say? How big is the productivity gap in your organisation in this new setting?”

Second, there will be degradation in terms of engagement. “How engaged are the employees in their new ‘silo-ed’ work environments? Can this be sustained for a number of weeks?”

Finally, in terms of team collaboration. “Are managers able to manage a fully remote team for prolonged periods? Is the company losing out on better ideas and solutions through remote working arrangements?”

What companies need now are tools to measure current baselines, make improvements and then measure the improved state, says Lau. “In this volatile environment, we need tools that are agile, that are broken down to speed, flexibility and depth.”

In terms of speed, the tools must be so simple that people can implement these by themselves remotely. These should also be intuitive to use and not frustrate the users, he says.

In addition, the tools must provide multiple execution, duration and pricing options. “This gives organisations the ability to evolve their choices and decisions rapidly,” says Lau.

As for depth, the tools must go beyond doing surveys or quizzes, and actively help employees to improve themselves on a day-to-day basis. “If we want to make the best out of the new working arrangements, there is no doubt that organisations will need to intentionally monitor, as well as take action in, the areas of productivity, engagement and team collaboration,” he says.