Economic downturns are not unusual in our world. It is a general recession of economic activity for a lasting period. Only those companies that implement workload management techniques along with the other solutions can become recession winners.
The timeframes of economic downturns are different, but we can witness a tendency to decrease in their duration and frequency of occurrence every year. Between 1960 and 2007, 122 recessions affected 21 advanced economies roughly 10% of the time according to Investopedia. Inflation and economic downturns can be great stress points for businesses and can negatively affect their productivity. The effects of inflation are far-ranging, both in the workplace and in the community.
Team workload management is a problem for most organizations. The effects of inflation and economic recession have put even more pressure on the organization to get things done, run efficiently, and continually improve. In such a scenario, how does one deal with workloads? Let’s dive deeper into the blog and identify the most effective workload management strategies.
Inflation has several definitions. The most popular definition of inflation is “a persistent rise in the general level of prices.” It’s also called as a rise in the price of money, a rise in the price level, an economic contraction, and a decrease in purchasing power.
Since inflation decreases the purchasing power of money, people can afford fewer goods and services than before. It generally has an adverse effect on the economy.
For example, if high inflation persists for long periods, it can eliminate competitiveness by making production unprofitable and investment unattractive, which ultimately leads to higher unemployment and slower economic growth. Here is a simple visualization of the inflation impact:
Image source: Investopedia
The economic downturn and inflation is the evil brother to each other. As inflation in the economy runs rampant, a similar trend follows in organizations across the globe. Suddenly, it’s not just limited to a simple price rise but an increase in the overall workload on employees.
The world becomes overloaded with work and it is to be a matter of time before you’ll feel the change. Humanity always concludes past challenges, but this does not always mean that society is fully prepared for new ones, especially if we talk about the economic trends of 2022.
One of the biggest concerns people have is the workload management problem during inflation and economic downturn. No matter how large or small your business is, it is a matter of concern to all businesses when they see productivity slow down and the cost of living rises. Inflation causes a number of problems that need to be planned for in advance, and workload management issues are among the main tasks of businesses.
The reasons that can lead to inflation can be different, they can be on the micro, and macroeconomic levels, and inflation may vary by geographic component (to be on regional and global levels). No company can be completely protected from its negative manifestations, but regardless of the size of your company and its type of activity, you can always analyze the market and create a plan to minimize the negative consequences of economic recessions, inflation, and workforce reduction.
We cannot ignore the post-pandemic effects, as supply chains have been significantly affected and demand for certain goods and services has increased significantly. It is also necessary to take into account the political situation in the international arena, conflicts, and as a result economic sanctions, restrictions, protectionism, and economic preferences of individual states.
All of these influence businesses all over the world, and may cause related Inflation anxiety, which is defined as stress about rapidly rising prices, usually accompanied by stagnant wage growth, according to Workest. For example, here is one of the latest polls conducted in the US, that reflects people’s concerns about economic recession and inflation:
Image source: Health Populi
As we can see, the level of concern is rising and inflation anxiety for employers adds another layer of complexity. But with proper analysis and planning, there is always a way out.
Crisis management needs an instant involvement in the world’s economic and political processes, analysis of information, and creation of short and long-term plans. Here are some points to focus on:
Monitor everything on the global and regional levels. Pay attention to political processes, alliances, currency markets, and trends. The world is changing, so you need to learn to adapt to changes as quickly as possible to minimize losses.
Analyze your strengths and weaknesses to remain stable and self-sufficient in the event of unforeseen situations.
In order to adapt your strategy to any conditions and to have more benefits despite the complexity of the situation. As Dale Carnegie said: “If You Have A Lemon, Make A Lemonade”.
Establish proper communication early. Human resources is an extremely important capital. Your team is your backbone and they also need feedback from the company. It is important to maintain high employee morale, as it affects productivity and work optimization. With the right approach and planning tools, you can get the job done successfully with less effort. At the same time, you won’t overload employees and avoid workforce reduction.
During an economic downturn and inflationary period, businesses face various challenges such as decreased consumer spending, rising costs, and uncertain market conditions. In such times, it becomes even more crucial for organizations to efficiently manage their resources and effectively handle their team’s workload. Implementing team workload management tools can provide several benefits and help mitigate the impact of these challenging economic circumstances and provide optimal resource allocation, work-life balance, cost optimization, workload balancing, real-time resource visibility, and strategic decision-making.
When stock prices rise, businesses and individuals tend to take on more risk. That’s why trying to manage workload during times of inflation and economic downturn is not easy. As time goes on and new business opportunities arise, companies must deal with increased responsibilities and tasks at work. To put it more precisely, work output is expected to grow despite the economy slowing down. The result?
To optimize workload management effectively during the aforementioned times when people do not have enough resources, it is necessary for business owners, managers, employees, and all the other stakeholders involved in every facet – operational or any other kind – of the organization to work together as a team.
Many organizations have seen their revenues drop as economic factors affect their business and operational needs. The problem we face today is that many organizations are facing a similar scenario.
The workforce is shrinking but work volume and requirements are on the rise. This means there is an overload of workload in the existing teams. Organizations try to manage their resources strategically to improve the overall performance of the organization, which leads them to various workload management techniques.
This is high time for the company to implement an effective workload management strategy in order to prevent work over, or underload and save costs. As was mentioned earlier your employees are a huge power, so you need to set up transparent communication.
Managers with advanced workload management skills are an important intermediate link as they work with separate teams, control the successes of projects and administrative tasks, and know all of the details that help to adhere to short, and long-term planned objectives.
Of course, only human efforts are not enough to conduct successful work, so companies widely use project & resource management platforms for collaboration planning. One of the most popular platforms in recent decades is Jira.
Businesses face many challenges each and every day. These problems range from scheduling and providing effective training, to continually improving the quality of the products they provide. Rather than tackle these challenges alone, businesses often turn to an issue tracker like Jira.
Started by a company named Atlassian, it is an application that helps teams to collaborate most effectively. This software was introduced in the year 2002 and since then it has dominated the management and development tool market.
You can use Jira to track anything — from your company’s product roadmap to the smallest assignments. It allows individuals or teams to manage projects from initiation through development, testing, release, and even maintenance. It’s especially great if you need help with collaboration and communication between team members since it allows you to create projects, and add additional members.
The software provides everything needed, no matter what type or size your company is: project management, task planning, time tracking, and resource management. Dashboards with tasks and projects help to see the great picture of ongoing and planned undertakings.
Users may also find various reports and set up time-tracking fields. Form your teams, assign tasks to users, and run projects smoothly. Jira is suitable for both technical and non-technical teams and is a great instrument for agile teams as provides scrum & kanban boards of your choice.
Jira also provides a great variety of third-party add-ons, that allow broadening Jira functionality. A great example of a reliable resource & workload management plugin is ActivityTimeline for Jira.
ActivityTimeline perfectly suits resource planning needs. It offers users four visualization modules that include a consolidated Planning Dashboard displaying Jira tasks and projects alongside individual and team activities. With the help of a scalable dashboard, you can assign and track tasks instantly.
Create different events, and specific skills and assign positions to your users, all while tracking their work. Manage vacations, sick leaves, and more. The cross-project view for shared resources helps to receive a comprehensive picture of the workflows without effort. Timesheeting, workload, and availability reporting under singlehood.
The data is seamlessly synchronized with Jira bidirectionally, ensuring accurate and up-to-date information.
Everything is visible on the scalable Dashboard, where users can find all of the projects, teams, and project tasks.
The dashboard operates on a straightforward drag-and-drop concept. Users can select the desired task and assign it to their timeline effortlessly.
Workload management is effortless, as each user is equipped with distinctive workload indicators, denoted by different colors, to determine if they are experiencing underload (indicated by yellow), overload (indicated by red), or an optimal workload (indicated by green). By scheduling a task, the workload indicators automatically update, allowing users to resize tasks as needed to adjust the timeline.
When one person is overloaded with tasks and needs the help of another team member, you can easily split tasks between multiple users:
Also, it’s easy to set estimates, create new tasks, and log work from the personal dashboard, which will be reflected in ActivityTimeline timesheets:
Holiday management is included as well. Team members can create various events, like sick leaves, days off, holidays, etc., to update the workload indicators and show their availability. Holidays are also counted while creating timesheets and reports:
The app allows managing both human and non-human resources with the help of meaningful individual/team timelines.
In this interface, there is a distinct field designated for the entire team. This functionality proves valuable for teams utilizing Jira, enabling them to visually segregate individual tasks and foster a comprehensive understanding of project collaboration (including epics, stories, and program increments). Additionally, it serves as a practical tool for coordinating workflow planning across multiple teams concurrently.
Teams also have the workload indicator with different workload indicator types.
The plugin includes a unique personal workspace feature for every employee for advanced time and workload management. Within this workspace, users have the ability to review their individual schedules, tasks, and projects. It provides an individual planning timeline where individuals can create and oversee their own issues, establish deadlines, track progress, and prioritize tasks according to their needs.
The implementation of this workload organization system enhances productivity and assists individuals in effectively managing their responsibilities. This workspace enables users to gain a comprehensive overview of their pending tasks and obligations. Moreover, it offers visual representations of workload and availability within specific timeframes, allowing users to log hours worked (both billable and non-billable) directly from their personal workspace.
Additionally, you can generate timesheets and reports based on your ActivityTimeline data for advanced workload management. ActivityTimeline offers timesheet timelines that enable precise tracking of time. Users can utilize the timesheet features to monitor and document the duration allocated to particular tasks and projects. These timesheets consider non-working days, encompassing sick leaves, days off, and holidays, ensuring comprehensive and accurate reporting. Moreover, the option to export timesheets as Excel files enhances convenience and compatibility.
ActivityTimeline boasts a user-friendly interface, making it intuitive for users to generate timeline timesheet reports effortlessly. The system’s customizable parameters allow users to define their preferred settings and effortlessly generate comprehensive reports.
The Report Module of the application presents a powerful reporting system that empowers users to generate extensive reports concerning resource utilization, project advancement, and task completion. Through the analysis of this data, teams can make informed adjustments and optimize workload management and resource allocation to enhance project efficiency and productivity.
These reports offer valuable insights into resource allocation, facilitating the identification of areas where resources may be either overutilized or underutilized.
ActivityTimeline has plenty of useful features aimed at advanced resource and workload management. The app helps teams to stay on the same page and be productive even if the economic situation is unstable, as it shows a comprehensive picture of the ongoing work, and allows to distribute workload between users properly.
Workload management involves the efficient allocation of tasks, prioritization of work, and maintaining a balanced workload for individuals or teams. Its goal is to enhance productivity and ensure a harmonious balance by effectively distributing responsibilities and tasks.
Organizations can experience several advantages through the implementation of effective workload management techniques. These include optimizing productivity by efficiently assigning and prioritizing tasks, mitigating employee burnout through workload balancing, and fostering improved work-life balance and overall employee satisfaction.
The best workload management practices include effective task prioritization, clear communication, and regular evaluation. Prioritizing tasks based on importance and deadlines ensures efficient use of time and resources.
Intelligent workload management is a strategic methodology that utilizes advanced technologies and data-driven insights to effectively allocate tasks and utilize resources within an organization. By leveraging intelligent algorithms and real-time information, businesses can make informed decisions, and adapt to changing workloads.
When faced with a heavy workload, it is helpful to prioritize tasks by their urgency and significance and explore opportunities for delegation or collaboration with colleagues to distribute the workload.
To enhance workload management, it is beneficial to adopt efficient methods for task prioritization, utilize tools for tracking and planning workloads, and encourage transparent communication among team members.