Right now I’m winding down a week long vacation on Cape Cod. The thing that’s nagging at me as I contemplate going back to the office is productivity. What has surprised me a little is the level of interaction that’s required with my team to ensure things run smoothly. It’s comfortingly low. Here are some of the reasons that make it possible for me (or any one of our team members) to take time off and still have the business run effectively:
- Small, A+ Team: Even though we complete over 100 projects each year we still have less than 10 full time staff. Small teams communicate more effectively than larger teams and less falls through the cracks. If you have A+ players you get twice, if not more, done than if you have only B players on the team.
- Process and Operations: Our entire business process and management system (project management, financial management, etc.) is entirely online. I can log into any one of our systems and get instant access to financial data or project progress without having to be in the office. This might seem obvious to some but ask yourself if you can view every check deposited or every contract signed in the last year from the beach before assuming you are completely organized.
- Generalists and Overlapping Responsibilities: Part of having a small team means we can get to know everybody’s project status very quickly and thus provide redundancy and support when it’s needed. Just because you are a designer doesn’t mean you don’t know what sales and marketing are doing. Overlapping knowledge gives you and edge over the over specialized teams that crash when their lead designer goes on vacation or leaves the company.
Right now we have team members in seven cities on two continents. It still feels like we are in the same room together.
If you’re also trying to figure out how to make your day a little more productive then check out this list of 50 of the best productivity blogs.