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Start arrow Agenda arrow 22@Breakfast arrow Past Events arrow Summary of the May 2011 22@Update Breakfast
Summary of the May 2011 22@Update Breakfast
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Time management and overall productivity

Experience and research have shown that prioritizing time management and flexibility has a notable effect on overall productivity in companies. Company policies based on striking a balance between employees’ work and personal lives also ensures retention of talent. Technology and talent, these are the key tools for productivity. A more flexible organization of time benefits both workers and companies.
The May 22@Update Breakfast focused on time management and overall productivity as a tool for a more rational organization of time. Flexible work hours benefit both workers and companies. To demonstrate this fact, two benchmark companies explained their experience: Price WaterHouse Coopers and Indra. This month’s 22@Update Breakfast took place in the Auditorium of the UPF Poblenou Communication Campus.
22@ Managing Director Josep Miquel Piqué opened the event by highlighting the importance of time management in business development. “This topic is fundamental,” he explained, “and has a huge impact,” although it’s not yet part of the permanent debate. Time management is key to global productivity and encourages talent in organizations.
To manage time more effectively, it isn’t always necessary to be physically present in the workplace.

Carlos Bel is the manager of Price Waterhouse Coopers and has extensive experience in implanting new time-management strategies in the workplace and work/life balance policies. Bel explains that time is scarce because there are a limited number of hours in each day and a lot to do in our work hours. The PwC Manager gave an overview of new time-management methods and explained the ten commandments of achieving a good work/life balance.
In order to manage time efficiently, it isn’t necessary for workers to be physically present in the workplace, particularly when they carry out technology tasks. The classic time-management system isn’t always the most productive. Managers today “must lead by example” and must learn to plan work in a more rational way, taking into account their employees’ needs and better managing their own time.
Carlos Bel explained that companies must set achievable goals and allow personnel more freedom. In order to reach goals effectively, they must believe in their workers’ talent and clearly transmit the company’s needs.
Each company must apply their own recipe, remembering that imagination is key to finding alternatives.

Sira Abenoza, senior consultant at Price Waterhouse Cooper, with more than 5 years’ experience in business consultancy and advising, spoke about her experience with projects to implement new time-management methods. The Price Waterhouse Cooper consultancy firm contributed their abilities in a pilot program in two industrial parks in the Vallès area. They worked to diagnose, create an Action Plan and guide 32 companies through the implementation of work/life balance measures.
 “The results were surprising for us,” explained Abenoza.  88% of companies improved their management; 81% increased productivity and reduced absenteeism and stress. At the same time, workers exhibited a high level of satisfaction in the workplace.
Sira Abenoza referred to the document created by the IESE, the index of companies specializing in time-management and work/life balance policies in companies. As can be seen in general work experience, flexible hours became necessary when women joined the workforce. Workers are forced to meet the obligations of their job but must also take care of personal issues, their studies.
Price Waterhouse Cooper Consultant Sira Abenoza, during her intervention, explained the criteria used to provide appropriate advice for the companies she works with. She believes that it is essential to understand that there are differences between small and large companies. A large company applies standard policies depending on the moment and workload and their interest in retaining human resources. Small companies will have more difficulties in providing economic resources but can be more flexible with work hours. In any case, explained Sira Abenoza, each company must apply their own recipe, remembering that imagination is key to finding alternatives.
“We must be more flexible,” says Abenoza, “because strictness doesn’t make much sense, it doesn’t help productivity.” In any case, the measures applied must fit the characteristics of the company. One example Sira Abenoza explained was vacation days. Some companies take their all vacation days in August and close the company for the entire month. These companies would surely benefit from workers taking their vacations throughout the year, depending on their own needs.
Self-time management must fit with each person’s productivity, their ideal way of working to achieve better results. “Some companies are seasonal,” explained the Price Waterhouse Coopers consultant, “and these could adjust their timetables according to production, working more hours when they need to produce more and reducing the workday when there is less to do.”

Improving talent management is key, as this is a company’s main asset.

Mari Carmen Moneva, head of HR Development at Indra, also spoke about time management and productivity. Moneva’s long career at Indra as well as in positions of weight at companies like IBM and Santillana have allowed her to see that time management is key for both companies and workers.  The Indra Head of HR Development explained the company’s general directives. INDRA is a global technology, innovation and talent company. They are on the cutting edge of high value-added solutions and services in the transport, energy and industry, public administration and healthcare, financial services, safety and defense, and telecom and media sectors. Indra operates in 106 countries and works with more than 30,000 professionals. They have the highest R&D investment of any European company in their sector.
Mari Carmen Moneva explained that all her work is focused on serving talent and innovation. She said that Indra is a technology company with a global challenge. “Our production range is complex,” she explained, “and it is necessary to segment the different sectors in order to improve talent management, which is a company’s key asset.”
For Moneva, globalization and innovation is survival. Most of their actions are focused on talent management, flexibility and respect for workers’ personalities in management. Indra is interested in female development but doesn’t apply positive discrimination criteria. They consider themselves a family-oriented, dynamic company that isn’t afraid of constant changes, depending on the particularities of each of their business sectors. The Indra Head of HR Development explained that they foster flexibility “because our daily lives are complex.”
Mari Carmen Moneva believes that we must take advantage of technology to foster flexibility and offsite working. Teleworking forces us to work in a different way and to be more disciplined, communicating effectively as a team. As personnel may work in different cities, and even in different countries, they must learn to use remote technology and create virtual workspaces.
Mari Carmen Moneva explained that 65 percent of all professionals in their company work in the client’s offices and teleworking is one of the most innovative ways to do this and is compatible with most of the organizational process. Women make up 50% of the workers that choose this system and the other 50% are men. Many of them are team leaders and must manage people located thousands of kilometers from them. Indra’s main headquarters is in Madrid and has employees in Seville, Barcelona, Bilbao and Latin America. This makes teleworking key. Moneva affirms that this work method has improved productivity and their professionals are more satisfied because they have achieved a balance between their professional and personal lives, giving them more freedom. Moneva believes that they must lead by example and know how to create a flexible office policy, with a high degree of mobility, creating shared spaces that complement teleworking.
Barcelona was the first city in Spain to install a quick recharging station for electric vehicles.

To close the session, 22@ Managing Director Josep Miquel Piqué explained the news in the district. He reminded participants of Barcelona’s commitment to electric vehicles and the inauguration last April of the first recharging station in 22@. Barcelona was the first city in Spain to install a quick recharging station for electric vehicles. Piqué also spoke about two new pilot programs in the 22@Urban Lab On 30 March, 22@ and the Barcelona City Council Department of the Environment signed collaboration agreements with Zolertia and Urbiotica, which will test their sonar-mapping and loading-sensor projects.

Furthermore, the Managing Director announced that a summit on innovation services in cities will be held in Stockholm on 12 May. Barcelona will participate in the Living Labs Global Award 2011 In June, Barcelona will hold the BDigital Congress, at CaixaForum, and bizBarcelona 2011 at the Barcelona Fairgrounds. Also noteworthy is the upcoming visit of Google Earth creator John Hanke.

Key ideas

The day only has 24 hours and we must apply an overall strategy to manage both our professional and personal time. More flexible hours and teleworking increase productivity.

We must be more flexible. Stricness doesn't make much sense, it doesn't benefit productivity. In any case, the measures applied must fit the characteristics of the company.

We must lead by example. Managers Must know how to create a flexible office policy, with a high degree of mobility. This must be compatible with creating shared spaces in the offcie for personnel and  managers to complement teleworking.

Improved productivity is based on goals, not being present in the workplace. True implication on behalf of the worker fosters joint responsibility with the company. This is the philosophy of large companies around the world.

Attendees speak

Teleworking helps workers strike a balance between their home and work lives. You don't have to waste tiem going into the office everyday, especially if you have a long commute. But you should'nt always work alone. One or two meetings per week are necessary so you don't lose contact with your colleagues.

Flexible hours are necessary and have great advantages for both workers and companies. However we must require workers to be mor responsible. At the same time they hace more freedom, they must also meet their goals.

Now we need to think about how to solve the problem of workplace health and safety. We also have to consider how to organize collective labor agreements and union relationships.

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