Are your employees productive?

    The productivity of the same person may differ depending on the time of day, mood, team, moon phase, and sometimes on the political situation in Honduras. It is clear that you can’t influence some factors, but to make the life of a programmer easier, and as a result more productive, you can do it. So what is needed for this?

    Do not set frames

    It seems that this topic has been discussed many times, but, nevertheless, many companies force programmers to come at 9 in the morning, forgetting that the work of the developer is a creative process (ask your employees how often the solution to a pressing problem comes during a walk, on the subway, during sex time), which is difficult to combine with a standard office schedule. And if we take into account that most of the projects come from both Americas (time shift to -8: 00), then the mandatory arrival at 9:00 all the more looks like a strange decision.

    Who doesn’t agree that the work of the programmer is creative?

    Many developers are owls, and for such people, the range of morning hours from 09:00 to 11:00 is actually a lost time, both for the developer and for the company.

    Fixed time for project / product managers is generally nonsense. After all, you need to remember that managers are valuable for decisions made, and not for the time worked.

    But, on the other hand, if everyone will come whenever they want, then you can put an end to the work process. The solution is very simple: establish a “corridor” of time within which employees can arrive without administrative consequences, for example, no later than 11:00, and the task of the team leader in this situation is to choose the optimal time for meetings, demos and reports for all team members.

    To work like a holiday

    Sounds funny? Not at all. If the workplace will be equipped no worse than the home workplace (and believe me, for the developer it is the second most important place in the house after the toilet), then be sure that the developer will be happy to go to work.

    Yes, 4 people per 6 square meters is not enough, a budget laptop for development is also not good, and 8 out of 10 employees sitting next to in headphones are a clear sign that you need to do something with the jobs. A whole chapter in the book of Peopleware by Tom Demarco is devoted to the problem of arranging the workplace.

    The second, no less important issue is software. It should be modern and adequate to the tasks performed. Two things need to be understood here: the increase in savings on licenses is directly proportional to the decrease in developer productivity. No money for ReSharper? Be prepared for the fact that you will spend 20% more time refactoring and fixing bugs. No profiler? Prepare two additional servers. Well, if in 2012 you yourself develop controls - I can only keep silent meaningfully.


    Internet does not work? Does it take more than 4 hours to complete a new person? You have five hundred employees, but no document management system? Does the most experienced add-on in the department configure SQL Server for everyone and administer the server? I will tell you that you have big infrastructure problems.

    The IT department needs to make sure that your developers code compiles quickly.

    Many companies forget that the IT department at the company should help, not interfere. Unfortunately, in many companies there is a cold war between developers and administrators. And everyone in this war is losing - from developers to owners. After all, the time spent could be spent on more useful things.

    Education and development

    Almost all modern companies say that they are engaged in the training and development of employees. In fact, this is far from the case. In 90% of cases, training ends with English language courses for little-needed books (and this is at best). But when there are sites open on the screen like a habr, stories begin about wasting time and money of the company (by the way, the last Ukrainian Forbes has a good article on the growth of demand for software for tracking the work of employees, but I think the use of such software in IT companies unacceptable).

    The learning process should be understandable and necessary for both parties.

    Invite the developer to choose the preferred method and direction of training himself and plan the costs accordingly.


    Unfortunately, the terrible word “bureaucracy” does not bypass the seemingly most progressive business sector - IT. Scrum rallies, daily reports, weekly reports, time tracking systems ... is that familiar? But the correct configuration of the version control system + workflow system (SharePoint + TFS, for example) can work wonders in which writing moronic reports that no one needs will disappear by itself. And if managers do not know how to use anything but email, skype and Excel - welcome to the ranks of bureaucrats! It is clear that a greater annoyance of developers can be achieved unless the lack of salary for the last three months.

    Especially deliver those companies that are forced to conduct their own accounting. It is strange why an accountant is not taken to the position of .NET developer if these works are interchangeable?

    Companies should understand that working with developers as private entrepreneurs is primarily beneficial to companies, and then to developers. Therefore, the next time the developer spends two days communicating with the tax, do not be surprised at unsatisfactory indicators.


    First of all, I want to recommend reading Peopleware as a great collection of tips for companies who want to have productive employees on their staff.

    Secondly, try to understand the motives and goals of your employees - this will help you become a company where employees will go like on a holiday!

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