Advatera Digital Leadership Forum 2019 (13) - Jane Piper

How to re-engage and refocus teams of knowledge workers to improved productivity?

It’s easy nowadays to get distracted and lose momentum while at work. Even though there are several applications, tools, or devices within reach, most organisations have not used them to their advantage. People work longer and yet produce less output. The lines between work and private time are blurred. These signs are telling! Technology has become a source of distraction. As a result, teams feel overwhelmed, overworked, and unproductive. Today we are introducing you to Jane, a provider who helps teams and organisation “focus in the age of distraction”.

The overwhelming impact of Technology

Time spent at work is 80% unproductive between emails, meetings, and bureaucracy. Jane, our provider and also the best-selling author of “Focus in the Age of Distraction”, acknowledges the impact of digital technology on our well-being and ways of working.


Having spent 20 years in a variety of HR roles, one of the areas she loved the most was developing and facilitating training and workshops for teams. However, as she moved into more strategic senior roles, she had fewer opportunities to facilitate workshops. So when she decided to establish her own company, she made sure it is a core part of the business. Seeing how people or teams have improved in the ways they work gave her a real buzz. 

Jane encourages teams to look at the impact technology is having in their work and non-work lives, well-being, and happiness. She helps them by reviewing the ways they are working, so they are using their time and attention more effectively by eliminating bureaucracy, over-communication, and time-wasting.  By doing so,  people get more productive, get more done and enjoy life.

Fighting off Digital Distraction

How to re-engage and refocus teams of knowledge workers to improved productivity?

“Digital addiction and distraction are a reality. However, the impact of digital technology on employees is often overlooked. Our workplaces have become distracting and stressful. Re-focusing and re-engaging teams is vital to keep ahead in a rapidly changing world. When teams can work in ways that allow them to be focused and creative then they can perform at their best, delivering value to their customers and business.” Jane brings this known but often ignored the challenge to her clients.

When asked for three words that sum up what she does, Jane responded: Attention management, Well-being, and Team building. The structure of the workshops and feedback from the participants guarantee this. 

Expect that the workshops are high-energy, thought-provoking, and experiential. The facilitators spend no more than 15 minutes talking. There are lots of activities, self-reflection, and discussion which go on in the entire session. 

To make sure that participants are getting the message, conversations revolve around the actions they will implement after the workshop. By invoking them to act on the opportunities and follow up with coaching, they get a return on their investment by seeing a change in their team’s behaviour while at work.

Aside from encouraging the leaders to measure productivity as a way of gauging effectiveness, the facilitators conduct a pre and post-survey as well. To assess improvement, they look at the time spent in meetings, emails, and stressors before and after the sessions. Smart and practical!

Challenging the system

How to re-engage and refocus teams of knowledge workers to improved productivity?
Jane is active in driving change in organisations. In addition to doing workshops, she gives speeches, lunch and learn events to provoke and challenge the way teams work. She will also customize the activities in the workshops depending on the organisation’s needs!

The entire workshop encourages people to closely examine how they are currently leading their lives, persuade them to change, and take action. If your goal is to improve productivity and challenge the norm, book a workshop now and notice the change reflect into your organisation as well.