Multitasking is becoming more and more fashionable. Especially in small and medium enterprises, SMEs and startups and is that, not having bulky budgets for hiring, propitiates this situation. It is a two-way situation as companies look for multitasking employees and these, each time, are offered more as such to fill vacancies. It may seem like a great opportunity for both of us but behind this attitude are hiding many details that maybe we are missing or not contemplating.
The role of the company versus multitasking employees
The company seeks to have its personnel “adapt to all types of environments within their company “, that can “take” different professional areas and thus carry out more work. Or at least it seems on paper because we keep in mind that a working day is the one that is and the hours have 60 minutes. That still has not changed and no matter how much someone is multitasking, it will do what it can do in the time dedicated.
In this situation, the company considers that it is “getting rid” of having more personnel since if it has a person who does what 3, then better than better. What they do not think sometimes is that the more areas you touch, the less specialization there is the less attention because you will have the head in a thousand places … (although we will see more clearly in the drawbacks).
What is understandable is that this is happening in SMEs today because above all, help reduce costs not only for staff, but also assets such as material, computers, space, etc. Business management is not easy and in the end you really have to juggle.
For its part, the future employee or candidate who is already offered with this “holder” provides the possible ability to do different tasks from different fields. He is considered a person capable of assuming successfully different roles and in fact, his studies will have been directed to it. Expanding its training with multidisciplinary courses is the way to be able to respond to the demand of this type of new professionals.
It is very clear, for example, in professions such as marketing or communication in which it is requested and offered to cover several positions that in principle should be separated by the workload involved. A social media manager is not a community manager or the other way around but if he covers both roles, the better for the company. As if the same person also has graphic design, much better because they are 3 in 1. And so, add and follow.
So now, instead of doing a course of more specialization about your area or even learning a language, what they do or do is study what can “complement” what I do while opening another line of professional possibilities.
The good and bad of multitasking employees
But, at this point in which we work hard on how to increase productivity, how to do tasks not only in time and form but also the result is of great quality, we ask ourselves if it is really beneficial or not for an SME an employee multitask.
Benefits or advantages of a multitasking employee for your SME
Like everything in life, this situation also has advantages, although at first glance they seem to us and we see them better than they really are. In fact, if this were not the case, we would not continue talking about multitasking employees, neither the companies hiring them nor the candidates offering it.
- Cost savings: It is the first benefit that is identified and bet on. Having a person who can cover at the same time and for the same salary several vacancies or roles, directly supposes to save those other salaries. Especially also because a person who only does a task usually has a high salary when dealing with a specialist.
- Flexibility in the company: If you have people in your SME who can do various tasks, you will make everything more flexible in certain aspects.
- A chief – employee communication channel. This also counts and may be the second most important reason to keep in mind. In an SME, time is pressing and if the CEO or director reduces the number of people to transmit the information to
- Implement a job, then better: If a single employee assumes several roles, only he will have to receive certain instructions and save several meetings, mails, etc.
- There are not many more advantages: it is so. Although it is a more widespread attitude in SMEs and startups, the reality is that having multitasking employees is not a great option if you want to professionalize your company to the maximum. Unfortunately, cost savings prevails and the need to adjust budgets mandates. Why do not we see it so positive? We follow.
Disadvantages of multitasking employees
If you want to have a professional company , with an upward growth and rhythm, in which you can also enjoy a motivated team and above all, focused, it is better that each one devotes himself to what he really knows how to do. We always say that “we have to use our work time in the tasks that contribute value to the company” because we do other things that we can do but are not the ones we do like nobody else, we waste time and money. That’s why multitasking employees are fine in certain circumstances but the more you specialize in your business and workflow, the better.
The expert disappears. Yes, because it is impossible for a person to be expert in several things at the same time and to do them all equally well. To be skilled at something you have to work hard on it but above all, study it a lot. And not only to study in the university or in a school but in the day to day. Thanks to the Internet prolife rates the updated information that exists on any subject? Everything changes very fast so you have to be constantly reading and recycling.
- Mental breakdown: The multitasking employees are in a thousand things at a time and when this happens at the end, you are not in any good. As the saying goes “one thing at a time”.
- Productivity seriously damaged: Because in the end the person has so much to do, so much to attend and especially, what influences change “chip” every two to three, that productivity will be seriously affected. You will have to put aside the healthier habits to be able to exercise this productivity.
- Indispensable person – dependency: When a person does several things and they are usually of great value, he has a lot of responsibility and he is assuming more and more roles that can make him indispensable. This situation, in any company but more in an SME is not at all positive.
- Do not exploit the possibilities of your area: If you have to be a thousand things, you will not have the time, the energy, the energy to “discover” improvements for your area that will affect and much to the evolution of the company.
- Possibility of escape: We all have something that we like very much and what we tend to tend. Those multitasking employees, although they can do many things, will have some that is their favorite and if there is another company that offers to be able to grow in that area, in the end, they will leave. Because it will also be your chance to ascend. A multitask employee is interested in keeping him where he is because he covers many needs and can be alleviated his choice of evolution.
- Planning: Although they want to, it is complicated because they have to attend to unforeseen events of several different areas. As much as they want to include in their routines helps to get the day planned as the Kanban method , it will be very difficult because there will always be something more urgent to do.
Conclusion: Whether or not to multitasking employees in SMEs.
After evaluating the situation carefully we personally see more disadvantages than advantages although we understand perfectly that saving costs and having a small structure is an imperative need in certain moments of SMEs and startups. What we will always advise is that, as far as possible, this situation tends to change into a more specialized team focused on what it does best.
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