As a successful business owner, you know that improving engineer and design productivity can greatly boost your bottom line. However, this can be quite challenging, especially as a company expands. Between live meetings, Zoom calls, getting included on irrelevant emails, and dealing with incomplete service requests, distractions abound for your engineering staff.
Over time, navigating this sea of distractions can reduce employee morale, create burnout, and hinder engineer productivity.
You might have tried to solve this common problem with the usual tactics: more meetings and conference calls. But these practices can further interfere with design productivity. The true solution? Written communication.
How Does Written Communication Enhance Engineer Productivity?
Written communication enhances and streamlines the dissemination of information among your engineering teams. This approach improves engineer and design productivity, which is integral to the long-term success of your business.
Written communication enhances engineer productivity by:
Constant meetings and phone calls interfere with your engineering team’s workflow. According to a University of California, Irvine study, only 20 minutes of interrupted performance increased employee stress, pressure, and frustration.
In the study, researchers found that “different context” interruptions had the biggest effect on both stress and mental workload. Different context interruptions were designated as any events that were totally unrelated to the task at hand, such as a phone call about a service ticket.
The same study found that it took nearly 25 minutes for employees to refocus following a disruption.
Let’s say that your engineering staff is faced with a different context interruption three times per eight-hour shift. This means that they are losing almost 90 minutes of productive work time per day — not to mention the time spent dealing with the interruption itself.
Written communication minimizes these disruptions, thereby improving engineer productivity.
Providing Clear Guidelines for All Staff
Written communication also improves engineer productivity by providing clear guidelines for all staff members.
With this information in written form, non-engineering employees will be able to access company policies and guidelines on completing service requests. This means that engineers will not encounter as many incomplete requests, which will allow them to resolve issues faster.
Giving Engineers Time to Work
Written communication also gives your engineers time to work. They will enjoy more uninterrupted work hours per day, which means that they will have the time to focus on the tasks at hand. Your engineering staff will have the opportunity to put their skills to use and devise unique solutions to complex issues.
Best Practices for Improving Engineer Productivity
As you’re transitioning to a written communication information-sharing model, it is important that you rely on proven best practices.
We have outlined three such practices below.
Create Communication Frameworks
A communication framework or “communication architecture” is a set of rules about how your engineering teams should communicate. This document lays the groundwork for additional policies and practices.
In this document, you should identify how your engineers are expected to communicate and what average response times should be.
For instance, your communication framework should define the hours in which engineers are required to respond to messages. If they choose to reply after those set hours, then they are free to do so.
This framework ensures that your team members are not penalized for ignoring the message until normal business hours, which can help to reduce the likelihood of engineer burnout.
Let Teams Self-Govern
An engineering team that can self-govern will feel empowered, which will also improve morale and productivity.
While no staff member can have complete autonomy, there are several ways that you can delegate power to your engineering employees. For example, you can let them choose the right collaboration framework for their needs. This may be a support portal, video conferencing, or a channel-based app like Slack.
Your engineers understand their needs better than anyone else. As a result, they will be best equipped to choose the right framework.
Minimize Meetings to Enhance Design Productivity
Meetings are one of the most egregious distractions that can impact design productivity. These meet-ups are usually planned for the middle of the day and can eat up an hour or more of productive work time.
To make matters worse, most of the information covered in these meetings can be effectively shared via email or other written communication.
By minimizing your use of meetings, you can give your engineers long hours of uninterrupted work time. This will result in higher quality final products for your end-users and better morale for your staff.
Eliminating all but the most essential meetings is a win for all involved.
Custom Solutions from With Pulp
Implementing an effective communication architecture is vital to your efforts of improving engineer productivity. When this is done properly, it will improve engineer productivity and streamline daily operations.
If you’ve never taken this approach, however, it can feel a little daunting. That is why you should partner with an experienced design team like With Pulp.
Our firm provides clients with custom mobile and web solutions. We can create communication tools based on the priorities that you outline. Once complete, our software will allow your engineers and support staff to communicate with ease, thereby improving design productivity. Contact us today to learn more!