Unified Communications Featured Article

Get More Done with Productivity Cube Model

December 07, 2015

Right now my cell phone is on airplane mode, my door is shut, my unified communications presence status is set to “do not disturb,” and I’m working from home. That’s because I’m writing, and I need focus or this article will eat up too much of my work day.

At the same time, if I keep my phone on airplane mode too long and avoid checking my email in the next half hour, I’ll start to lose contact with my coworkers and maybe even start down the road to being fired.

Productivity is a tricky balance, and I think most of us are groping for the right mix of get-it-done with the other important parts of our work life, namely communications and collaboration.

One model for bringing balance to our work life comes by way of the Productivity Cube, a behavior model developed by researcher, Louise Harder Fischer.

The Productivity Cube, which you can see graphically in a recent Jabra blog post by Holger Reisinger, has three sides that must be addressed: technology, behavior and workplace culture.

The idea behind the cube is organizing work for better productivity and making conscious choices and better decisions about the culture and technology we surround ourselves with at work, as Reisinger noted in his blog post. Technology is the tools we use for work, culture is the norms woven into the fabric of the organization, and behavior is how we connect to people and information.

The side of the cube we most directly control is behavior, although we also can influence the technology side by having the right tools in place.

In the behavior side of the cube, the four primary behaviors are concentration, conversation, collaboration and communication. Concentration is us focused on work, conversation is the interactions we have with colleagues, collaboration is working together with colleagues on new solutions, and communication are the asynchronous interactions we tread through every day when we check our email and listen to voicemail.

What this cube can tell us is that we need to make sure we have the right technology and work culture to support each of the four primary work behaviors. Unified communications presence indicators help support concentration, for instance, while chat and cloud services such as Slack can support the collaborative aspect of work.

In planning our work days, and making the adjustments as we go along, we need to make sure that all three sides of the cube are in balance.

There’s no easy solution to the question of how to be productive yet still accessible. But models such as the productivity cube can help. Check out Reisinger’s blog post on this model for a fuller explanation. Just don’t do it when you’re in concentration mode.

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