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null

Managing 2 analysts - noticed their teams status is routinely away for 2-3 hours at a time. Responsive within 5-10 mins of ping and always get their work done albeit sometimes late at night. Is this a problem?

likefunnyhelpful
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So I appreciate flexibility beyond measure. If I need to run a quick errand in the morning and make the time back in the evening, I really don't believe I am doing anything wrong

Also, if you are maybe watching a training or research video it puts you on away, plus, this doesn't account for thinking time.

Say I'm working on research, a storyline, a customer journey... It's likely I will put down my laptop and pick up my sticky notes, plan it out, take things down, rearrange... I'll be working that whole time but it will say I'm away

If I were in an office working with the team and one person was typing, it'll show me as away

If I join a meeting from my phone because my network is bad, again, away

If I like to eat at 11 and that is my schedule...

So many possible reasons! If they are meeting their objectives, asking for clarification where required and letting you know if they are under or over tasked, let it be

Haven't read all of the messages, but here's my 2p.
If the deliverables are due by 5.30pm and they deliver around 9pm that can be a legitimate business concern. Otherwise, so long the delivery is on time, that should not be a concern. People have to juggle a lot and may be parenting duty, maybe caring duty, so a clock does not always tell the full picture. Not to mention the flimsy MS Teams status.

I notice some comments on bandwidth. So let's assume the task in a regular setup on a regular day would take 6 hours. But your analysts are some form of super performer, so they finish in 2hours. Now if you give them more work, then that's a penalty for being efficient. Those sort of management drives people away.

In my early days, i worked with managers who would consider me as an idle tool when I was delivering quality work in shorter duration. But I was penalised, by giving more tasks. While in a team we should be happy to share collective burdens, at times it become a trend and own burden. That drove me from company and a lot of knowledge for the project.

Now, where business demand permits, I practice "Result Only Work Environment". Deliver on time, with quality, I don't care if you take a 2hr nap in the middle of the day. We are not machines , everyone has different way of power charging their brains.

likeupliftingsmart
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I’m not an analyst but I do that very often if I have tasks set for me that don’t require other’s inputs. I find it very hard to concentrate during working hours. And late night or early morning I get so much work done!

likesmart

Is it about effort (time of day or hours online) or results? I manage for results….

like

I don’t think that is a problem. The work is getting done and they are responsive. That’s all that matters.

like

Shldnt be- don’t be one of those micromanaging managers. Results shld be more focused on.

likesmarthelpful

Sorry, let’s go backwards. My concern is if they’re routinely 2-3 hours idle, they’re not in front of their laptop during work hours and respond to pings through mobile instead. Am I micromanaging? The work always ends up done, but usually deliverables come through late at night, indicating they may be swapping morning work hours for night ones.

likefunnyhelpful

yes you are micromanaging

like

This is so 15-20 years back work culture..grow up kid 😀

likefunnyhelpful

What is the possible problem here @OP?

Your analysts are responsive and get their work done on time.

What has you concerned?

likesmart

At Deloitte, if Teams is minimized, your status immediately goes to away, so mine will be away for most of the day while I’m still online. Of course, Skype is still our primary application for pinging and status, and I’m not sure how Accenture manages their Teams settings.

likesmarthelpful

Not at Deloitte, but similarly I find that I often show as away even if I'm online. Sometimes Teams is slow to update my activity or sometimes I'm in a zoom call for a while and Teams doesn't register that I'm actively in a non-Teams meeting.

like

Micromanager with no good reason to be a micromanager.

like

Regarding the teams status I’ve noticed that say you’re on excel or whatever else and not physically clicking or on teams it can set itself it idle/away so that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not doing work just not directly interacting with teams

likehelpful

Yeah I am often heads down on work busy working my ass off just to find that Teams has been showing me as away this whole time. 🤦‍♀️

like

Soooo…you want them just sitting at their computers all day even when they don’t need to be? Wfh is tough and everyone has their best ways of working, as long as they’re responsive and get their work done, I HOPE my analysts and consultants are able to live their best lives in the moment. It was a really nice day and there was very little to do one day this summer so I straight up told my team “I’m going to go enjoy the day and so should you. We’ve worked hard to get ourselves to a good spot on the project and we should have some ‘us’ time now”

likefunny

Everyone, repeat after me.

An "away" status =/= work is not getting done.

As someone who advised clients on the future of work, statuses are a powerful tool if used correctly and appropriately. I've advised client teams to:
- Change their status to reflect their needs (eg not just away or busy, but add context such as "out for lunch, or picking up kids, or heads-down for the next X hours)

In a remote distributed workforce, we need asynchronous ways to communicate more seamlessly and this is one of them.

Shame on whomever taught @OP at Cap that anything other than" available" = bad. Sincerely hope said persons are not advising clients on future workplace strategy 🤦‍♂️

likesmart

Moral of the story - if you are a “status” watcher you’re always in the wrong

like

I prefer going to the gym when I feel like it. If my afternoon is clear, I have no qualms dipping out from 3-5 and finishing my day from 7-9. Finally get truly in control of my life during covid while wfh - not at the mercy of traffic and end of day requests.

like

Those analysts are noobs. I have an auto clicker set up so I’m always available. But seriously, as long as work is delivered on time and quality is sufficient, why does it matter when the work is done? Don’t micromanage. That’s like one of the most common reasons employees start looking for jobs elsewhere.

likefunny

Congrats, your analysists outsourced your work offshore!

likefunny

One point I haven't seen raised is whether their delivery timing has any impact on you? If you have to work late or start early to review their deliverables, then this isn't ok. You shouldn't have to sacrifice your WLB so they can optimise theirs. Maybe this next point will sound old-fashioned, but "getting the work done" isn't the only criteria for being a good employee and setting yourself up for success at a firm, and I would never advise an analyst to just do whatever they want as long as they get the work done.

likesmart

Whilst I agree with the point that it is inconsiderate to always send stuff late all the time (or early for that matter), I feel like I have to mention that communication is key. In my experience as long as everyone knows and aligns on each other’s working hours (i.e. when each member of the team is most productive) these sorts of issues don’t arise

like

Easy hack for people: open up a word document, place a book/heavy item on your space bar, and call it a day. Your teams status with be set as available. You’re welcome.

likehelpfulfunny

I do this too. Between long and boring meetings, housework, gym, and maybe even a nap, I find myself pretty unproductive during the day with anything that doesn't require meetings/workshops. But when I get back from the gym, shower and eat dinner, I suddenly can grind out solo work very efficiently. Something about the stillness and quiet of night, and the lack of email/Skype notifications. I do my absolute best work at this time, and it's how I accomplish most of my individual deliverables.

likeuplifting

As long as deliverables are met, I say leave them alone! Stop micro managing them. They are adults not children. Monitoring there whereabouts I believe is not your job description.

likefunny

Damn D9 thats taking it a bit too far isnt it? OP is not micromanaging just asking whether they should action this or leave it be.

like

I give my teams a deadline usually over days. How it gets done is up to them but the quality needs to be there. I know they are busy and also dealing with the broader team and client asks so remember your work tends to not be their only work.

like

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