New Year’s resolutions to re-energise your business

Joe Svetlik

Wednesday 8 February 2017

Shaking up work practices could breathe new life into your business, and now is the perfect time to start.

At utorahis time of year, it’s natural to reassess where you are and what you could do better. And while that usually applies to your health and fitness, it should also apply to your work practices.

What workplace habits would you like to change, both for yourself and your team? It might be an over-reliance on mobile devices – data from Ofcom and the Office for National Statistics reveals the average British worker spends one hour every working day using their smartphone, resulting in an annual loss to UK businesses of around €115 billion (£100 billion). We asked some leading tech innovators how they plan to make 2017 their most productive year yet.

Learn to switch off

One of the downsides of constant connectivity is that you never escape work. This leaves workers drained and unable to perform at their best. But it doesn’t have to be this way. France must now guarantee certain workers the right to disconnect and not have to check their emails outside work hours. It’s hoped this will result in better rested and more productive staff.

One UK company is doing the same. “We are implementing the right to disconnect, meaning staff won’t be bothered by work emails during evenings or weekends,” says Julia Mitchell, managing director of Toast PR. That way, they leave work at the office.

Forget about roles

“We’ve decided to split our company into objectives, rather than roles in the New Year,” says Varun Bhanot, head of business development at Hubble, an online marketplace for finding and renting office space. “Now we have a customer acquisition team and a customer revenue team, and all marketing, tech, engineering, product and customer roles are split into these two objectives.

“Each of these teams works in two-week springs, with reviews and goal-setting at the start of each two-week period. It should help our teams be more focused and work smarter.”

Delegate, delegate, delegate

“My New Year’s resolution is to give our staff more responsibility and empower them to achieve,” says Scott Woodley, co-founder of online tuition service Tutora. “Regular catch-ups with each staff member lets me give them responsibility for new projects and space for them to work independently. We’ll have regularly scheduled follow-ups, and of course they can ask for support or resources during the intervening periods.

“By giving the team time to demonstrate the value they can add, I will have more time to do my own work. It should improve morale too, as everyone will feel they’re achieving their own thing while coming together to achieve our shared goals as a business.”

The New Year is the perfect time to shake up your working practices. It could mean that – much like your body during an exercise regimen – your business becomes leaner, more agile and in better shape for the challenges ahead.


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