Flowcharts as a Visual Aid to Work Smarter

by | Feb 9, 2020 | Customer Service | 0 comments

“I don’t believe in luck or in hard work without the so called “work smart”. It’s not all about how you work hard but it’s about how you manage your time, resources, mind to work together for a better output.” – Jayson Zabate

The common use of the word ‘work‘ can variously denote professional duties, a vocation, a trade, the obligations of an apprentice, set routines, a creative professional’s output, the act of learning new skills, the intelligent application of knowledge to surmount a problem, among many others. However, ‘work‘ can also signify new worlds of meaning when we delve into underlying processes that animate different connotations of the word. Some thinkers have equated work with worship, while others have waxed eloquent on the philosophical underpinnings that anchor various expressions of work. In this context, we could state that to work smarter implies “using your thinking skills to minimize tasks and extra steps, so that you use your time wisely and more effectively to get things done quickly.” This definition gains marked relevance in modern times, wherein timelines rule supreme and the demands of work (such as professional duties) shape the flow of human lives more than in any other time in history. That said, humankind could design and deploy flowchart illustrations in pursuit of creating stratagems that promote the idea of work smarter.

Coping with distractions intelligently allows workers and associates to work smarter in modern workspaces. A flowchart, when designed for the purpose, serves as a visual aid to develop similar strategies. A range of interruptions (such as email, instant chat, conversations with co-workers, ringing phones, social media chats on personal devices, incoming video calls, etc.) can feature in the illustration. An exclamation, brightly colored, and appended to each expression of interruption helps condition the minds of workers to focus on assignments. A separate panel can outline potential lapses in performance when workers attend to various interruptions. In addition, the illustration could feature expansive benefits that accrue when associates focus undivided attention on assignments. In essence, the flowchart emerges as a training tool that educates the associate to work smarter and disregard common interruptions. When shared with all workers and associates, these diagrams can help enrich the work culture endorsed and practiced inside any organization.

The smart use of templates can empower knowledge workers to work smarter in pursuit of completing assignments. This technique, when deployed in conjunction with information technology, allows workers to input updated information and original data to output fresh editions of a report or white paper or Power point presentation. Such a technique also helps workers to excise repetitive actions that could consume time and cause delays in submission. However, variations arise when workers choose to effect certain alterations inside a template as part of efforts to create an expanded form of output. Font types and sizes, colors, icons, and other artifacts can be altered in pursuit of the mission to work smarter and gain a competitive edge on peers. Further, the planned incorporation of additional sections in documents bears potential to enhance the value of new creations, thereby amplifying the material impact of the work smarter strategy. Flowcharts can contain, delineate, and elaborate the moving parts of such strategy, thereby allowing designers to frame multiple outcomes.

Self-awareness remains a critical attribute when leaders and groups of project workers synchronize efforts to pursue a common objective. This attribute can empower individuals to work smarter and attain performance milestones that benefit the organization. Certain tools (such as whiteboards and digital dashboards) can power this technique by broadcasting important information to those involved in project work. However, such awareness must extend beyond the self and into the overall pace registered by a project. This stance allows workers to intelligently pool their efforts in a sustainable dynamic, thereby creating momentum and velocity towards avowed objectives. That said, such techniques must include scope for timely interventions and revisions that segue into the overall pace and direction imparted by stewards. Moreover, self-awareness must include a timely acknowledgement of moments when external specialists can drive additional levels of velocity in ongoing projects. Each of these elements, when structured and positioned inside a flowchart, empower the modern organization to imbibe and encourage the work smarter technique.

Human beings thrive on plaudits and acknowledgment, per some experts that have studied human behavior. In line with this, the modern organization must design mechanisms that appraise work and encourage quality outcomes orchestrated by individual workers, or teams thereof. One such mechanism is to encourage associates to create lists of completed tasks. These lists can describe daily/weekly achievements and allow workers to review an entire period of performance, create opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, and help them plan more effectively. This technique generates downstream effects that represent a direct outcome of the workforce’s resolve to work smarter. In addition, instances of past success continue to encourage associates to volunteer for fresh assignments and boost their enthusiasm levels. That said, we note different organizations may adopt a variety of strategies to ensure their staff remain committed to the mission to work smarter.

Research in the domain of organizational dynamics suggests, “The counter-intuitive secret to getting things done is to make them more automatic, so they require less energy.” This implies the application of automated tools and techniques in work routines; such a stance allows the average worker to work smarter and attain exponentially greater outcomes in the course of a work day. For instance, an architectural firm could implement software packages to automate the basic tasks involved in the planning of new work projects. This stance allows human architects to focus on high performance areas and ensure quality outcomes within timelines. Such an approach also promotes efficiency in daily tasks, thereby driving greater coherence in attaining the overarching objectives of a given project. Further, automation allows the development of smooth knowledge transfer mechanisms, thereby insulating the firm from disruption triggered by departing employees. Such strategies to apply automation, when fashioned inside a flowchart, enable organizations to break new ground in the pursuit of smart working strategies.

Regular breaks from professional duties on a frenetic workday can assist human beings to work smarter in modern office environments. This assertion finds repeated validation in research, which indicates 15-minute breaks typically rejuvenate mental faculties and empower employees to register gains in productivity. Therefore, line managers can design a matrix wherein sets of employees can proceed on time-off work schedules on a rotational basis. However, such a stance must be tempered by an organizational culture that encourages employees to complete assigned tasks within specific timelines. Flowcharts emerge as useful instruments that assist in the creation of said matrix; the graded spaces inherent in these illustrations allow managers and supervisors to plan employee breaks and retain control on productivity metrics. That said, urgent assignments might require supervisors to over-ride the above suggestions.

These ideas and suggestions can illuminate new ground when firms seek to encourage the intelligent application of human effort in the modern workspace. Each supervisor can frame specific tactics that seek to amplify the outcomes of such strategy; the use of flowcharts could remain central to such efforts. However, differences in local cultures and local customs must be borne in mind at all times; such awareness can help align different aspects of company strategy with workforces sourced from local populations. Further, the grand stewards of modern organizations must encourage upgrades in company culture; such efforts can coalesce to bear fruit in the long-term horizons of contemporary operators.

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