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workplace speed

Workplace Speed, Advantage or Disadvantage?

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Are there consequences to workplace speed?

Hurry to finish that project. Skip lunch and work late, it must be finished by tomorrow morning. Don’t read the directions, it is a waste of time.

It seems that everyone knows time is money. Additionally, most would quickly suggest that productivity and efficiency are key indicators for success.

Is speed always an advantage?

It probably always boils down to one question, “What are you giving up?”

Workplace Speed

Most pros have a con, most cons a pro. Speed may not always be the most valuable factor in your workplace contribution.

Here are five examples:

1. Finish the project in the final hours.

Pro: Less waste if the project becomes unnecessary. Allows changes up to the final minute.

Con: Procrastination may lead to inferior work. Not enough time was allocated. Mistakes made by being hurried.

2. No talking, just work.

Pro: Assumed productivity increases. Working means movement, movement means results.

Con: Failed or ineffective communication creates rejected work or rework.

3. Email is a waste of time; a quick scan will suffice.

Pro: The box is checked. Email is read and return email actions are up-to-date. Time saved by scanning.

Con: Scanning creates miscommunication. Critical or vital information is missed or assumptions are made.

4. Don’t ask any questions just get started.

Pro: No time wasted reviewing details that may not be relevant for the work at hand.

Con: Misunderstandings create a bad customer experience. Incomplete or inaccurate work creates additional waste.

5. Faster workers finish slower workers assignments.

Pro: It is teamwork. This is a team. Everyone contributes what they can.

Con: Demotivating to those who put in more effort. Slower workers use this as a crutch for everyday behavior.

Have you recognized the advantages and disadvantages of workplace speed?

Perhaps patience should be a core team value.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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