People are demanding your attention all day long. You’re tied up in meetings or emails all day long. The bigger the firm, the harder it is to communicate. That’s why Jan Řežáb and Cyril Höschl have come up with a tool that measures internal communication flows and helps to uncover defects in teams’ communication and improve their time management.
Time is Limited, as this new startup is aptly named, is based on a cloud system that analyses available internal employee data and finds various interconnections within it. “Time is limited, and it’s been a long time since anyone’s really measured it. It’s terribly neglected as a topic,” states Jan Řežáb, the CEO of Time is Ltd., in his interview for #MORETHANOFFICE. (You may also know Řežáb as a co-founder of the social media marketers Socialbakers.)
“Overall I advocate increasing productivity. In a small team, you know what its dynamics are. In a bigger group, you start to lose track. When I saw the behaviors of certain truly large corporations, I realized that data measurement is the foundation,” Řežáb said.
Jan Řežáb, CEO and co-founder of Time is Limited
How exactly does your system work? How do you try to increase efficiency or measure productivity?
Productivity is really complicated to measure, but we know that teams leave traces behind in calendars, emails etc. and spend so much time at meetings and in communication that if anything, it’s unproductive not to measure it.
So at Time is Ltd. we’ve built our own platform that looks at productivity through the lens of data that’s classified as “internally public.” This includes for example transparent calendars and email headers (not contents) – but also e.g. sales CRM and video conferences.
Additionally, we aggregate this data at the team level (the minimum team here is 4–5 people). This is first because of the need to protect individuals, but also, aggregation helps to keep you from getting lost in the details.
What’s your ultimate goal – for people to work more in their defined working hours?
For people to value their time. For communication to improve among people and teams. For companies to have processes with transparent setups that let them change things fast. Some people call this being agile, some call it otherwise – but most companies don’t work this way today.
Can your clients compare the resulting data with other companies? Has some sort of benchmark been set here?
No, unfortunately that won’t work at present. But I think that it’s by far enough for a company to compare this data with their past data.
You’ve declared that you want to make meetings shorter and more effective. In your opinion, is it right to provide less space for meetings? How would you set a good meeting length with a view to different topics?
Yes, going shorter and more effective is a major topic. The sheer volume of meetings at companies today is awful. Many companies are suffering from “meetingitis”: they’re “over-meetinged.” And meanwhile I’m surprised to this day at how long it takes in companies before a meeting even begins.
You’re only analyzing virtual data sources. What importance do you give to personal communication?
Naturally face-to-face interactions are always more valuable, but if you have a company with operations worldwide, things simply won’t work that way sometimes. The company then has to give employees the best possible access to digital communication channels.
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Does your system also take into account employees who work from home or who are sick or in another time zone and thus might be inactive in communication – and yet they’re working?
We aggregate data on the team level, and so the data for specific individuals in the situations you describe is lost here.
What kinds of companies does your system serve best?
The general rule is that the bigger the firm, the the more the Time is Ltd. tools come in handy, because in a bigger company, our system can monitor more complexities.
What are your future plans for the Time is Ltd. project?
We want to build the world’s biggest company for productivity analysis.