Groove is revolutionising the customer service software industry with a unique offering. Many of the existing products on the market tend to be prohibitively expensive and only suitable for large organisations. Alex Turnbull, CEO and founder of Groove, has decided to take a different approach.
Following careful consideration, he determined that his company would concentrate on providing assistance to other small companies. These firms had already implemented email support, but had no desire to progress to enterprise-level software.
Alex had learned from his previous employment that having an office was not essential. He observed his colleagues in orderly rows, each of them donning headphones as they began their workday. Interaction was kept to a minimum and was not required to complete the job effectively. Therefore, he decided that he would not expect his employees to waste their time and money travelling to a workplace that wasn’t necessary. His business would be solely staffed by freelancers.
A few years after its launch, Groove encountered a problem: it was expanding at an unsustainable rate. The team was unable to keep up with the ever-increasing demands of the business. 12-hour days had become a regular occurrence as the team strove to meet their ambitious objectives.
Alex came to the realisation that the situation was dire. His remote software developers had been unsuccessful one after the other, and Pivotal Tracker had identified a 20% decrease in programming efficiency. Everyone involved was feeling drained, listless, and liable to make mistakes. Alex was no exception to this, and the workload only kept on increasing.
Alex encountered the same difficulty as Chargify experienced: with remote working, employees are less likely to ask for time off. At Groove, staff had the freedom to take as much time away from work as they desired, yet surprisingly, they rarely did so.
Many people were unwilling to take time off work, as they were concerned about having a backlog of tasks to tackle upon their return. Additionally, they felt guilty for taking a break while their colleagues were labouring under such a heavy workload.
Alex noted that, despite offering time off, feelings of exhaustion and tension had not been alleviated. The only way to gauge whether such measures are effective is to implement them, and it is clear that providing time off alone is not sufficient.
Let’s examine the steps he made to alleviate burnout among Groove’s remote workers.
Including a distant coder in the group
When you have a volume of work beyond what you can manage on your own, it might seem like the most obvious solution is to recruit additional assistance. However, this is not always so simple. The process of hiring can be difficult in itself, and it can be even more of a challenge to locate suitable applicants who are able to work remotely.
Having a team of individuals who possess not only a high level of expertise in their field, but also excellent communication skills, is essential for any business. Additionally, the capacity to self-motivate is equally important. Hiring a remote developer may involve a considerable expense, even for a company that is doing well financially.
Alexander had been putting off making the decision for some time, as he was reluctant to take action. Nevertheless, he was sure that his judgement was sound, and, in the end, he decided to take the plunge. Subsequently, he realised that he had made the right call.
If you ever find yourself in a situation like Alex’s, then you can rest assured that we will provide you with the necessary support to identify the most suitable remote developer for your requirements. We will take responsibility for the more arduous tasks, so that you can enjoy the benefits without having to worry, while also saving yourself some money.
Let your true priorities shine through
It’s easy to start seeing everything as critical when your business expands and becomes more successful. There is no insignificant detail.
That’s just being too lazy to make the hard choice of where to put your efforts. In the corporate blog, Alex writes:
In actuality, we were not assigning any more tasks that were of paramount importance. We merely labelled them as being of critical importance since their completion was essential if we wanted to keep up the same rate of output as during the preceding, strenuous and heavily-laden weeks.
Do you place greater value on the team’s success than simply completing tasks? Be honest with yourself. The reward for doing so is not proportionate. Identify the activities that will have the most impact, and the remainder will be accomplished in due course.
Exhibit that rest and relaxation are valued
Alex was forced to acknowledge his own involvement in the situation. He shared the same weariness as everyone else yet he still decided to attend work. He justified his decision to himself by reasoning that it would be a disastrous demonstration of leadership if he were to desert them in their hour of need.
John was compelled to take a more assertive stance, so he decided to take the week following Christmas off work, and he was adamant that everyone else should do the same. He suspended all non-vital operations in the management system, which meant that Groove’s online office was shut down for the whole week. Furthermore, he imposed a comprehensive prohibition on all work.
Following Alex’s Writing style:
As the founder or CEO of the company, it is important to understand that you do not need to exhaust yourself in order to be successful. In fact, setting a positive example and taking a break from work can have a positive effect on your employees, reducing stress levels and improving productivity. Taking a vacation is an excellent way of demonstrating to your team that it is important to take regular breaks and look after your wellbeing.
Profiting from something
The results were clear; after taking a week off, the Groove team’s productivity increased significantly. In a matter of a few months, their remote development team went from being 20% less productive to 38% more productive.
The findings from Groove’s research further solidified the company’s commitment to prioritising employee wellbeing. Although other team members may have suggested sacrificing this for the benefit of the business, this serves as a reminder that our biggest enemies are often ourselves. Additionally, this highlights the immense advantages of rest and how it can be used to increase productivity.
Alex has learned an important lesson from this experience – to ensure that he and his team members do not become overly exhausted, adequate rest and preparation should be in place to avoid burnout.
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Contact us now to launch the next phase of your company’s development.