60 percent of working time goes to waste – here’s what you can do to work more competent as a community manager

The annual Anonomy of Work report compiled by Asana, measures the work environment across four key areas: time spent at work, employee engagement, the productivity of the workplace, and employee satisfaction.
The latest report confirms that “work for work” occurs daily across all types of companies. This is regardless of their size and often includes the following “tasks”:
  • internal communication about work processes
  • research and knowledge reactivation
  • switching back and forth between applications
  • dealing with changing priorities
  • finding out the status of jobs.

The major part of our working time is not productive

The study showed that employees spend around 60 % of their time coordinating work. This working time simply seeps away in poorly set-up processes without people being aware of this in their day-to-day work.

How does this affect community managers?

Community managers often (especially in the coworking business) are involved in internal and external management tasks. They seek effective ways to build a thriving community. Let’s focus on the tasks and projects that will drive the greatest return on investment, leading to enhanced effectiveness and reduced workloads. 

work as a community manager

1. Rule: Learn to delegate

Studies discovered that in many societies, a small number of people control a large number of resources, which is not effective at all. 

2. Rule:  Apply the Pareto principle and work smarter with the 80/20 Rule

In the year 1896, a famous Italian economist named Vilfredo Pareto published a paper that stated 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the people. Pareto, who had examined other countries, found that the 80/20 distribution of wealth was very similar to that in the United States. It’s 1941, and the World War has been raging for two years. A management consultant named Joseph Juran discovered the research of the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto. He applied it to quality issues and discovered that 80% of the quality issues are caused by 20% of the issues.

The 80/20 rule states that 80% of your results in any activity will come from just 20% of your effort. Essentially, there are specific actions you do (your 20%) that account for most of your success and happiness (your 80%). While the numbers aren’t always precisely 80/20, what’s important to understand is the lopsided ratio of effort to results.

So how do we apply this to community management?

Look at your work and see if you can identify an 80/20 distribution of results to effort. For example, on a given day, 80% of your work is probably completed in just 20% of the time. Or 80% of your member experience optimization is spent on just 20% inside the community.

Here are some other suggestions for applying the 80/20 rule in coworking:

  • If 80% of your coworking success comes from 20% of your members, cultivate those relationships.
  • If 80% of RFIs come from 20% of the community, then focus your documentation on those areas.
  • If 80% of your marketing efforts are taken in 20% inside the community, apply more design effort to community areas.

The trick with the 80/20 rule is identifying the 20% that matters and focusing on those areas because they are the ones that drive your results. In my case, it was my project manager who helped me identify the two design issues out of the ten on my list that would bring the most impact to the project.

3. Don’t lose the big picture

Especially when organizing coworking events, it is easy to get distracted by the minutia of our tasks and lose sight of the bigger picture. You could also add all your tasks on your to-do list as equally important. Successfully implementing a community-led growth strategy takes careful planning. You can’t just create space and expect customers to join in. Instead, you need to consider how your community will benefit its stakeholders and optimize around these needs.

Activities to practice smart work:

  • Ask why people would join your community; can they see your purpose?
  • Offer support and try to answer your members’ questions
  • Provide exclusive benefits that make people feel special
  • Organize community discussions or “town halls”
  • Plan activities around particular interests your members have in common

If you still don’t know how to organize your management, what to implement or how to evaluate what your community really want, ask for help.