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Smarter change


Miserable teams are not so effective. If you have miserable people in your office, they don’t have to be. This New York Times article outlines research at Microsoft around why teams were miserable, what the data showed and what you can do. Here are some of the cool bits.

people who worked extremely long work weeks were not necessarily more effective than those who put in a more normal 40 to 50 hours. In particular, when managers put in lots of evening and weekend hours, their employees started matching the behavior and became less engaged in their jobs

one of the strongest predictors of success for middle managers was that they held frequent one-on-one meetings with the people who reported directly to them.

People who made lots of contacts across departments tended to have longer, better careers within the company. There was even an element of contagion, in that managers with broad networks passed their habits on to their employees.

And then here’s the kicker: make sure that meetings are effective

The issue was that their managers were clogging their schedules with overcrowded meetings, reducing available hours for tasks that rewarded more focused concentration — thinking deeply about trying to solve a problem… meeting bloat

One of the things which worked was having team members schedule time for thinking in their diaries, to avoid being invited to too many meetings in a week, and therefore having to catch up on thinking on the weekends. Slimming down how many people are in meetings is also effective. Find other posts on effective meetings here.

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