Boost Productivity in 2024 (Without Breaching Wage & Hour Laws)

January 3, 2024

Companies and departments we work with are often looking to boost productivity and efficiency. With the new year just days away, we’re sharing some of our learnings about managing a productive distributed workforce.

Boost Productivity in 2024 (Without Breaching Wage & Hour Laws)

We recently saw a LinkedIn highlight about the Wayfair CEO’s note to employees which said: “Working long hours, being responsive, blending work and life, is not anything to shy away from. There is not a lot of history of laziness being rewarded with success.” His comments have been met with criticism for being out of touch, not just with today’s workers – but with the strong job market, where employees have other options.

It’s also a vastly different commentary to what we’re seeing in a lot of other areas – where companies are moving to a 4-day work week, unlimited vacation, or flexible hours and locations. So, what works when it comes to boosting productivity?

Measure productivity in a way that benefits employees, too.

Jabra, in its study on future workplace trends for 2024, noted that companies should be looking to introduce a “new understanding of productivity and achievement” that focuses on tangible investments in employees. The goal, according to Jabra, is to reverse the shrinking trust in corporations by measuring productivity in a manner that benefits the corporation AND the employee. Ideally, the corporation should also celebrate the employee’s individual passions and priorities.

One trend that’s really taking off in this sphere is ‘microlearning’. Microlearning delivers knowledge in small, digestible chunks, typically under 10 minutes. These modules cover specific learning goals and are usually highly engaging, practical, and interactive (and, as a result, memorable).

Artificial Intelligence and Automation.

For most workplaces, AI and automation should ideally reduce the burden of administrative or repetitive work, while also allowing workers to do things they couldn’t previously do. In other words, to unlock the benefits of AI and automation, companies should be looking at it as a tool to augment and extend workers – not replace them.

We really enjoyed this quote from the CSIRO:

“If you drop advanced AI into a dumb organization, it won’t make it smart. It will just help the organization do dumb stuff more efficiently (in other words, quicker). This will hardly lead to a productivity gain.”

We recommend their article: ​“Yes, AI could help us fix the productivity slump… but it won’t fix everything”

Creating a Psychologically Safe Workplace.

A psychologically safe workplace refers to a shared belief that it’s safe to take risks, express ideas and concerns, ask questions, and admit mistakes without fear of negative consequences.

There seems to be a popular misconception that for a workplace to provide psychological safety there can be no repercussions for poor performance. This is not accurate – and may, in fact, harm productivity, according to Wharton’s recent study.

Instead, companies should focus on creating a space that is free from ridicule, harassment, and hostility, and where expectations for performance are clearly communicated. If employees fall short of those (reasonable) expectations, it is fair to deliver a poor performance review.

Encourage your team to walk outside on their breaks.

We heard about the benefits of brain breaks – and they work for us. Brain breaks require you to engage in activities that rejuvenate your brain, such as going for a quick walk outside, meditating, or listening to music, between extended periods of focus and concentration. Activities like scrolling through social media or completing personal to-dos do not count as a brain break.

We encourage our team to schedule regular breaks during work hours and, in particular, between meetings. Meetings are already expensive for companies, and having team members attend meetings where they physically cannot engage doesn’t make sense.

We hope 2024 is productive for you and your team.


The materials available at this website are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Use of and access to this website or any of the e-mail links contained within the site do not create an attorney-client relationship between CGL and the user or browser. The opinions expressed at or through this site are the opinions of the individual author and may not reflect the opinions of the firm or any individual attorney.

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