If you work on an assembly line in a manufacturing plant, how much you can produce per hour seems like a relevant metric to measure.
Knowing this metric can help you figure out how to improve the process to increase the output per hour.
If you’re processing mail or shipping containers, trying to speed the process to fit in more per hour makes sense.
But if your work involves service to other humans, increasing output per hour rarely improves quality and can actually do damage.
On a macro level, if you’re operating a call center, you might have an interest in maximizing how many callers can be served in an hour. Because you don’t want to make them wait on hold for so long.
But you’d be best accomplishing that through adding more customer service reps to handle calls. As much as no customer likes to wait on hold, they also don’t want to be cut off once they reach a live operator.
In the doctors office, patients who feel rushed don’t fully share their symptoms, making it harder to get proper treatment.
In any service based business where you are coming face to face with clients, too much focus on efficiency can detract from effectiveness.
For real estate brokers, coaches, therapists, doctors, tutors, teachers, clergy, healers, accountants, designers, even sales people in a department store — what you’re building is a relationship of trust. There’s no optimization formula for that.
It requires time and space.
It requires presence.
In a service based world, presence is the new productivity.
when in service to others
is about presence