When scheduling goes hand in hand with efficiency, workplace well-being and profitability
The question of workload comes back time and time again in discussions between colleagues. The to and fro between surges and lulls in work can harm the company as well impact short- and long-term visibility. Essentially, it can harm a company’s strategy by leading to a drop in cost-efficiency and a rise in staff turnover.
What’s the solution? Working on employee working conditions. Good organisation, individually and as a team, means a project can be completed calmly, comfortably and with a true quality-oriented approach. It represents a significant motivational factor for everyone.
How can workload be defined? Workload, then, is the time an employee really spends on a project and therefore the percentage of time actually available to complete it.
Why should it be calculated?
- For the Managing Director, it means assessing the feasibility of a new contract and its potential profitability.
- For the Project Manager, it means understanding the resources and time needed, both generally and for each individual project.
- For the HR Director, it means being able to schedule future hires.
When workloads are not managed, it is virtually impossible to complete projects as best as possible. What’s more, good organisation will allow a project to progress in the way it was defined and with control over its quality. This is also important for motivation, both for the individual employee and for the team.
To organise workloads, you will need to do the following:
- Set aside the time necessary for scheduling
Don’t fall into the trap of believing you’ll save time by disregarding questions of organisation. Stress pushes us to act straight away, which doesn’t save us time. On the contrary, you lose time because the lack of organisation means you’ll be less efficient, with additional physical and psychological consequences such as anxiety, panic and feelings of demotivation.
- Be clear about your immediate and long-term goals
The clearer the goal, the clearer the resultant organisation and planning will be. Prioritising your goals will also help you to optimise scheduling. In case of unforeseen issues or disruptions, you will know which goals needed to be dealt with first and which ones to hold off until later.
- Keep a long-term overview to hand
Good planning must allow you to have:
- An overview of the project (without detailing the tasks)
- A detailed view of each stage or process
This means you can foresee any potential problems and take any decisions necessary.
- Have detailed foresight in the short and long-term
Good planning starts with splitting the project into smaller blocks of steps and processes. Describe the stages and tasks as precisely and as detailed as possible. Repeat this to estimate as accurately as possible the time that will be allocated to each stage and each task. These time blocks, when estimated realistically, mean that you can carefully phase their completion according to the scheduled deliverables and workloads.
- Predict the unpredictable, be flexible and proactive
Unforeseen issues are the main cause of disruption to schedules and delays in delivery dates. Some tasks are difficult to estimate beforehand and some issues completely independent of the company might arise (bad weather, strikes, family occasions, etc.) It’s a good idea to leave yourself some wriggle room and to be as realistic as possible when estimating work times and capacity.
- Update your calendar as often as necessary
A calendar will change on a daily basis and should evolve with the project. The idea is to simply lay down a framework for the development of the project. Communicate this to your teams. It’s not a matter of controlling them, but of allocating to each project and each person the time needed to complete their work successfully.
You no longer need to see scheduling as a constraint, but rather a tool to improve working conditions. Planning at the company should be agile, adaptable to any circumstance and a source of motivation for teams by improving the visibility of their workload. The more accurate the schedule, the more accurate your expenses and production costs will be, which will allow you to have a better idea of your profitability in real time.