What You Don’t Know Can’t Help You

​In our last blog​ , we looked at what makes back office productivity so hard to judge – the problem of knowing what is being done, measuring efficiency, and linking it all with the bottom line and customer satisfaction. 

The most basic of these challenges is tracking back office activity. 

But evaluating employee activity in the back office is complex, primarily because it involves various kinds of tasks – very few of which involve interactions that translate easily into standard KPIs. 

So, how can back office productivity be measured? 

With the right information, for starters. Desktop analytics solutions track, record and measure everything happening on a specific computer screen. They can tell us which applications an employee opens, for how long, and how long it takes them to complete a given task. 

That’s the first piece of the puzzle in opening the back office black box – transparency. Just have a look at the screen shot below.
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It's clear that James (yellow bar) is having a productivity issue – he is spending way too long with “non-work related” applications. Daniel (pink bar), on the other hand, might have an efficiency issue. He is spending most of his time using work-related applications, but too much of it is non-productive (maybe scheduling his next holiday?). 

This kind of visibility into desktop activity – an​d the ability to measure it – opens the way for in-depth productivity questions, such as: How much of a back office employee’s screen time is useful knowledge management? How much of what they do could probably be automated to save time? Which applications are they using every day and which can’t they stand because they are too frustrating? 

And then we can decide what to do about it. But more on this in our next blog. 

In the meantime, do you have a productivity ‘war story’ (or just a funny one) from your back office?​
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