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How to Understand that Team is Underloaded?

How to Understand that Team is Underloaded

Some time ago we have highlighted in our blog a problem of the work underload which is very common but lacks proper attention. Studies have shown that underloaded employees suffer from health problems just as much as overloaded people. It is also a stressful work environment which brings uncomfortable feelings and complete work dissatisfaction.


Underload Types: Quantitative and Qualitative underload 

In order to overcome the problem, we need to understand its key principles. There are 2 of them – quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative is very common and can be represented in all positions and companies. The usual situation for such type of underload is when a person receives fewer amount of tasks than she/he is used to take. As a result – the employee is getting bored and starts performing even the easiest tasks very unprofessionally. The worst thing which can happen to our lives is indifference. Because of the improper task distribution, this apathy can negatively impact the workflow.

Qualitative underload is more complex and may even bring emotional disorder. This means, that a person, used to complex solution solving is now buried under a mountain of red tape and repetitive tasks.

Consequences could be very different and the most frequent one is the aforementioned apathy and dissatisfaction. In the worst-case scenario, this apathy may lead to aggressive behavior or depression because a person is always thinking that it’s too easy, it doesn’t fit his/her capability, intelligence, and desire. The situation is getting even worse when the person starts to compare him/herself with other so-called “successful” people and in such a way emotionally destroys him/herself even more.


How to Recognize the Underloaded Team Members?

With the help of ActivityTimeline Managers can solve underload issues without effort.

The Main Dashboard visualizes all of the current and planned activities, as well as issues assigned. It clearly represents the resources’ workload on the Timeline with the help of colorful indicators. 

Workload Indicators in ActivityTimeline

The application provides a cross-project view for shared resources and with a combination of different scopes helps to see a coherent picture of teams’ undertakings.

Timesheets and Reporting sections will help with tracking objectives and they’re very beneficial with the underloaded teams.

ActivityTimeline Team Timesheets


How to Identify an Underloaded Person With the Help of the Reports?  

ActivityTimeline has developed many valuable reports for users, and one of them is a Resource Workload Report. It represents people’s workload both in hours and percentages for a specified time period. This feature is quite useful for constant planning and tracking. 

Summary Resource Workload Report in ActivityTimeline

Take a look at Janny’s and John’s workloads. The report shows that Janny is overloaded, while John doesn’t have enough work and is willing to take more responsibilities. In such a case, you can clearly see the situation and just re-distribute tasks between these 2 people.


1. Report can be created for a different scope – day, month, week, and user can choose the custom period

Reports in ActivityTimeline

2. Filter projects, include placeholders and export the report to an Excel file.

Resource Workload Report creation dialogue in ActivityTimeline


Underload or Misinterpreting? 

Sometimes we have a situation when someone has lots of activities, but they are not Jira issues, just other working tasks like ‘Administration’, ‘Meetings’, ‘Maintenance’, ‘Calls with Customers’ and etc.

Then it may seem that person is not really that loaded, but with the use of ActivityTimeline we may add these activities to the user’s schedule using custom events. Users can create their own events and schedule for different days – calls, meetings, flights, and everything that they want. Such things as administration & maintenance could be spread across the whole month, while meetings & calls can be 1-2 on a day, and with the help of custom events we will show that person is actually quite loaded and in addition with a few Jira tasks person is really 100% loaded, not 20% as it was shown without custom events.

Take a look at the screenshot.

Comparison of workloads in ActivityTimeline

In the first pic, it seems like the person isn’t overloaded, but in the second one, it’s visible what happens when you add what actually the person is doing with the help of custom events.


How to Deal with the Underload Problem?

It doesn’t matter which type of underload exists in your team, the main thing – it exists, and the Manager should pay special attention to such issues, as depressed and unsatisfied people will break the working process, and in the worst-case scenariohurt their own health.

ActivityTimeline will help you to understand whether teams are underloaded or overloaded. The application will definitely help you in tracking the quantitative work under load.

In the case of qualitative underload, it is harder to render qualified assistance, but if you see that someone works effectively and deserves a better position, think about promotion or give more complex tasks. These actions will help people to assert themselves. Do not forget to communicate with your colleagues, it is very important.


To find out more tips about workload management, come here – How to track Workload effectively with new Indicator Mode in ActivityTimeline


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