“A course that
provides an increased
feeling of control.”
Greater control and reduced stress in day-to-day life
Using working hours in the smartest possible way can make a big difference, both to productivity and to the employees’ own well-being. This is something that the staff at the University of Gävle have experienced. The University was having problems with inefficiency and stress among the staff, but a course at Effektiv Nu has revolutionised the way they work. “You were really able to analyse our organisation and understand our needs. It has made an enormous difference,” says Academy Director Annika Strömberg.
The feeling of stress and inefficiency is a common problem in modern working life, and this stress often stems from a lack of control over how we use our time. The employees at the University of Gävle have had considerable difficulties with this,” says Annika Strömberg.
“But then I was given a tip by an employee who had taken this course at Effektiv Nu, and who felt that it had really made a practical difference in their day-to-day life. It was exactly what we needed – a course that provides an increased feeling of control. So we ordered the course in the form of a workshop for 110 employees,” she explains.
Annika Strömberg is senior lecturer in business administration and, since 2016, has been the Director of the Academy of Health and Occupational Studies. She has a strong interest in organisational and working environment issues, and realised that Effektiv Nu was able to offer exactly what the employees needed.
“We needed help in understanding how we can use our time in a smarter and better thought-out way, which is exactly what the course was about. Our fundamental problem was that many employees were experiencing stress and having difficulty getting all their work done within the framework of their regular working hours. Above all, this was related to the way people book time for meetings – there was an enormous amount of e-mailing back and forth, and many also felt stressed by always having to be connected.
“But then Effektiv Nu came in, and they were really able to analyse our organisation and understand our needs. They then tailored the course on this basis,” says Annika Strömberg.
“Extremely professional training”
The training was in the form of a workshop, divided into three meetings – a half-day, a whole day and a half-day. Much of the work was based on meetings in small groups, under the guidance of a qualified and experienced course leader.
“I was very impressed with the course leaders’ ability to meet each individual based on that person’s own specific needs. Among us participants, our level of prior knowledge varied greatly, and yet each of us was addressed at our own level. Effektiv Nu was also accessible to the participants free of charge after the course, which was a big plus.
“We also noticed that the course leaders had their own experiences and were rooted in this experience. They were able talk in such a way that we recognised ourselves. There is considerable value in the fact that they have their own experiences of creating control. The combination of objective skills and personal experience means that Effektiv Nu is good when it comes to seeing which measures and insights are needed in an organisation,” says Annika Strömberg.
“I found the entire structure of the course to be very professional. We were given access to solid material, and the course leaders were also very knowledgeable when it came to the technical aspect,” she says. The technology played a crucial role in the solution that the University of Gävle required in order to achieve an increased sense of control.
“Effektiv Nu helped us to realise that it would be smarter for everyone to be using the same system for e-mails, booking meetings and similar tasks. As a result, they suggested that we should get all employees to use Outlook and OneNote in the smartest possible way. And this change has made an enormous difference. We now have a more even level of knowledge among the staff regarding how to use these tools. We know how to book meetings and we know where the documents are located,” says Annika Strömberg. “But this wasn’t the only solution – it was also a matter of changing the mindset regarding how people should relate to technical aids,” she explains.
“We received help creating a policy setting out clear guidelines on how to behave towards each other in digital communications. This has provided us with greater insight into how we affect each other with our behaviour.”
97 per cent satisfied!
The aim of the course was for the employees at the University of Gävle to learn to work smarter and thereby reduce stress. Annika Strömberg says that she is extremely pleased with the results, and that the training has revolutionised the way employees work and communicate at the university.
“It has made an enormous difference! The evaluation shows that we are working smarter and more efficiently now, and that we are using technical aids to a much greater extent and with greater awareness than before. We now have a common platform and a common way of working,” explains Annika Strömberg.
The evaluation has shown that 97 per cent of all the participants on the course felt that it had been of great or very great value, and that it has fundamentally changed the way they work.
“This course has already attracted the attention of other departments at the university. The best ambassador for course is the college – they consider that their life has been made so much easier!”
The next step for the University of Gävle will be to stage a catch-up round for all those who were unable to attend the course, as it is important for everyone to learn this new knowledge. After that, they are considering investing in some form of in-depth training.
“Of course, we will also need to evaluate and develop the guidelines and policies that we have drawn up regarding how to handle e-mails and digital tools and how to work in a smarter way,” says Annika Strömberg.