Focus time analytics

Focus time analytics

What is focus time analytics? 
Focus time analytics is the process of analyzing how much time your team has, on average, for their own work. One of the most popular ways of collecting such data is by running surveys or engaging in other active listening activities with your team. Many companies conduct focus time analytics through existing corporate systems, such as Slack, G-Suite, or Office 365. 
The key to effective focus time analytics is to do it ethically. This means conducting an analysis on a team level, where data is anonymized, and you’re not assessing each employee individually. You should look at your team from a bird’s eye view and collect data on work patterns, and not human characteristics.

What is focus time? 
Focus time is the time spent by employees on their work without any interruptions from other team. To calculate your team’s focus time, use the following formula:

Focus time = deep work + multiple context work (context switching)

What is deep work?
Deep work relates to one hour a day of uninterrupted work needed to complete complex tasks (with two hours daily preferred).

What is multiple context work?
Multiple context work relates to switching between tasks, for instance, writing an article and, in the meantime, responding to emails, or chatting on Slack.

Focus time and deep work – key elements

  • Time spent on focus time
    Focus time related to both, time spent on deep work and time spent on multiple context work.
  • Time spent on deep work
    Deep work relates to the time employees dedicate each day to tasks without being interrupted in the process. We believe that companies should aspire to create an environment of at least 10 hours of uninterrupted work per week, per employee (i.e., 2 hours per day).
  • Time spent on multiple context work
    To calculate the multiple context work take into account the time you spend on activities which take under an hour to finalize (on a weekly basis). Check how long each one takes and add them up – don’t ignore even the smallest tasks which take 15 or 30 minutes to do. Subsequently, group similar tasks together, like sending emails – you can decide to respond to emails solely at 4 pm instead of replying to every single one instantly. Such an approach will leave you more time for focus work.
  • Details on focus time (e.g. focus streaks length)
    To calculate it, check how many time slots of uninterrupted work you have in your calendar and how long they last.
  • Team focus time heatmap

How much time should high-performing teams spend on deep work?
Aim at a minimum 10 hours of deep work, per week, per employee. This translates to two hours of deep work (i.e., at least one hour) streaks daily.

How is time for deep work connected to team productivity?
Going deep in work will produce a motivated team and a higher level of quality and strategic thinking in work.

Why should HR and people leaders measure and manage deep work?
According to Rob Cross, up to 85% of employees’ time is consumed on collaboration draining productivity and burning people out.

How can you, as a people leader, support deep work in your team?
Here are a few tips:

  • Consider reshuffling your calendar to make space for proper deep work streaks (e.g., move it to company hours with less intense cross-team collaboration).
  • Set your deep work slots as busy with automatic invite rejection.
  • Discuss with your team an agreement on common getting things done/deep work live chat app.
  • Turn off your notifications (email, chat app, calendar) during deep work hours.
  • Make sure you set clear “away/slow to respond/deep work” status on your business

Read more on our blog: 

How can HR BP open data-informed dialogue with leaders on boosting team well-being? →How to leverage advanced People Analytics with strong ethics upfront? →Focus time metric – How deep work streak length influences productivity →Focus time metrics – How to measure your employees’ deep work & multiple context work →

Read more from other resources: 

Beyond Collaboration Overload: How to Work Smarter, Get Ahead, and Restore Your Well-Being →

Start working in a data-informed smart way

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