#TimeBackChallenge Winners Announced

International challenge winners shed light on workplace productivity in local government.

Some interesting themes emerged during the #TimeBackChallenge. Participants shared workplace productivity strategies they use to help get time back in the workday, with the hope that they might also serve as inspiration for those in the broader GFOA community looking to do the same.

Dan Olivieri with the City of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, was our grand prize winner. He’s been booking all his team meetings in 25-minute increments, which not only keeps them short, but also gives participants time to finish up notes and still get to their next meeting on time. Dan asks that agendas and objectives are clearly laid out before each meeting, and that afterwards, meeting minutes are shared with the team so everyone has a record of what happened and can keep track of any follow-up items. Listen to our podcast discussion with Dan to learn more about some of his strategies.

Productivity improvements achieved through remote work and video meetings also emerged as a top theme, and likely one that wouldn't have been as prominent before the pandemic. Some entrants said they block out specific times of day to respond to email, and/or stack meetings back-to-back so there are larger blocks of time to get other work done. Others come into the office early or stay late so they can have quiet time to work when there are fewer colleagues around. Tactics like closing the office door and/or silencing device notifications to encourage focus during work blocks were also popular among participants, as was prioritization and delegation of items by importance.

In addition to our grand prize winner, nine other Challenge winners will receive a copy of Adam Grant’s latest book Think Again, generously donated by the author himself. Those other winners are Janet Dutcher of Mono County, California; Julia Henze with the Town of Brunswick, Maine; Reid Lanham with the City of Lynchburg, Virginia; Laura Reece with the City of Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Tori Roberts of San Bernardino County, California; Jonathan Settle with the Town of Apple Valley, California; Kathy Streissguth of Clark-Cowlitz Fire Rescue in Ridgefield, Washington; Rose Vanderschaegen with the City of Madras, Oregon; Jamie Wright with the Village of Claycomo, Missouri.

The #TimeBackChallenge campaign generated over 50,000 social media engagements and more than doubled downloads of the related research reports.