Do Time Management Apps Disrupt Work Culture or Take It to the Next Level? Mike Kulakov, February 24, 2019 Most people are annoyed when something habitual for them has to change. It concerns many areas of life, including corporate culture. Whether it’s a new brand or coffee, new dress code or new approach to work, it is likely that you will face some rejection. But you know that some changes are inevitable, and some are just good for your business. This is very true when it comes to time management apps. Knowing the reasons why your employees might be annoyed and ways to avoid this annoyance might be of great help. Being able to prevent disruption can help you reach goals connected with productivity analysis and optimization. Why time management apps might disrupt work culture The most obvious reason might be that workers see it as a lack of trust. Yesterday they could feel free to research movies and vacation spots, today their activities are being tracked and followed. Even if it’s a task tracker with no access to screen, perception is king here. It is one of the most popular arguments against any time tracking apps. Another concern is that tracking is often seen as extra workload. Now you can’t just do your work and go home. You need to report what exactly has been done, how much time it has taken and other details as requested by the software at hand. Normally, it takes next to no time at all, but in the beginning some workers complain a lot. Publicly or privately, complain they do. Also, workers might see it as a pointless innovation just because the management has nothing more useful to do. Especially, if they’ve been with the company for a while, and their work was always accepted well. They might have a question – what happened to the company that now it requires extra tools? There is a stereotype that business start implementing innovations at the edge of falling apart when typical approaches decline and stop being fruitful enough. How to avoid the disruption No matter how hard you try to avoid it completely, there are no 100% receipts to do it. As we mentioned in the beginning, anything new provokes some disturbance of the habitual processes. Throughout the history of humankind, there were always those who were against innovations. It’s fine, and there is no need to worry about it too much. What you need to worry about is making sure that minor disruption doesn’t form long-term negative attitude towards the innovations you implement. Controlling and adjusting the flow of public opinion is easier at the earliest stages. This way you can use slight disruption for your own benefit. Though by no means do any steps secretly, like installing tracking software on the computers. Even if you just want to sneak a peek at what workers do when they think nobody’s watching. If there is such a temptation, evaluate the trust level you have towards your employees. Having a need of spying might mean that it’s time to have a serious conversation with human resources department. Steps helping you decrease disruption and take work culture to the next level As we discussed above, let the disruption of work culture happen. It might freshen up the atmosphere and increase the level of involvement. Use it to motivate and inspire, but do it as a series of controlled steps towards taking work culture to the new level. 1. Arrange a meeting with everybody Manager has to find time to gather everybody and share the plan way in advance of its actual implementation. It should better be “we are considering” instead of “we have decided”. Let the employees voice their concerns should anybody be willing to speak publicly. However, don’t expect many of them to actually speak up. 2. Prepare good explanation of reasons For most people, it’s essential to see the reasoning behind any innovation. If things work fine just as they are, why bother changing them? There should be a solid reason for introducing a time management app into the life of the company. Good thing is that there are many good reasons described already. You just need to build your case and make it persuasive enough for the employees to be impressed by potential benefits. 3. Be consistent in what you say and do If you said that the data obtained from the tracking time by tasks will be used for analysis and optimization of work, stick to it. Bring it up on meetings, perform show examples of the data analysis followed by advices on optimization. Nothing works better than seeing great results. In a short run, you can even introduce bonuses for the effective usage of new software. Summing up, time management apps might disrupt the work culture, but at the same time they are likely to take it to the next level. Meaning that upon understanding the benefits of such software, your employees are likely to put it to good use. Your task as a manager is to perform the right introduction and make it flow. Mike Kulakov IT entrepreneur, executive and a former engineer. Responsible for company growth as well as the team’s motivation. Big fan of playing tennis, snowboarding, traveling, reading books, and (of course) I live and breathe our product.