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Productivity Versus Proactivity

Productivity Versus Proactivity

The current realities and the state of uncertainty in connection with the prolonged quarantine make both managers and employees of companies seriously think about what will happen next and what forecasts can be done for the next months. Unfortunately, the dynamics of COVID-19 is unpredictable, and such a situation greatly influences people in personal and professional aspects of life. 

Here there are two choices for us: to sit and wait with hope for better times or to make an effort and grow both personally and professionally. Our own productivity, initiative, and the establishment of competent communication with management, customers, and colleagues are the things that can be controlled by ourselves. 

What is productivity?

The ability to have high productivity is not an innate feature, but rather the acquired skill of a successful person, which he has developed through certain efforts and means. This skill can be developed and improved, not only at work but also in ordinary everyday affairs. That is, productivity is the ability of a person to be effective in everything, to achieve the desired high results, to work fruitfully and effectively.

High productivity brings desired results and satisfaction that cannot be bought for money. Indeed, at the end of the day, we are happy and satisfied with ourselves, when we have a high pace of work and see results from it. Consequently, a person needs productivity in order to be self-fulfilling, happy, and confident. 

What is proactivity?

Proactivity is an action and a way of life when a person does not respond to external influences but is himself the author of the influences and his actions, forming the necessary reactions from others. Being a proactive person means that a person has realized his deepest values and goals and acts in accordance with his life principles, not at the direction of conditions and circumstances, but by forming these conditions and circumstances.

Proactivity is a person’s ability to choose between an active or passive lifestyle. Choosing our reaction to circumstances, we change these circumstances. Going with the flow is much easier than fighting, but only in the struggle, a person can achieve what he wants and turn dreams into reality. 

Combining productivity and proactivity

Being a productive worker for a company is a must. However, the performance of their productivity at work is strongly influenced by the surrounding atmosphere. In a threatening or unstable environment, they can make mistakes or are not able to achieve the result which is expected from them, while in a favorable environment they are capable of enthusiastic and productive work.

Although, if an employee has both productive and proactive skills, he literally becomes a great value and a much more worthy worker for the company. A combination of both skills in an employee means not only well-done work in a certain period of time but the initiative of the employee and his ability to respond positively to various tasks. Suck employee is able to make decisions independently and take responsibility.

Today, in a pandemic situation, of course, everything is individual and very much dependent on the specifics of a person’s work and company, but it will not be out of place to prove own productivity and proactivity. Showing personal indifference to the situation, thinking about how the employee can be useful in addition to the company’s tasks, and how he can help its business are few steps from the worker but are so much valuable towards the company. 

When talking about combining two skills, personal values and goals towards yourself are worth mentioning. Again, at work, being a productive professional can be pretty much enough for the company itself. However, if a person has more self-driven aims, then he should take into account individual goals in terms of proactivity. Good examples of proactive workers are freelancers with independent lifestyles and businesses. 

Is it possible to develop proactivity in yourself?

Proactivity can significantly improve the quality of a person’s life. This skill allows individuality to relate to life’s difficulties not as an endless series of problems, but rather as interesting challenges. This doesn’t necessarily mean that circumstances do not play a significant role in people’s lives. But, at a time when a proactive person will see a chance and take advantage of it, a reactive person can continue to wait for success and good results to fall on him.

Develop proactivity in yourself
Develop proactivity in yourself

The good news is that a person can develop proactivity. If a person is determined to change the paradigm from reactive to proactive, then he will have to learn to take responsibility, to control his life and learn to influence circumstances.

There are several main steps towards developing proactive skills.

  • Shift the focus of attention from external events to yourself

Here it is essential to ask yourself the right questions. Instead: “Why is this happening to me?”, a person should ask: “What can I do to correct the situation and prevent this from happening in the future?” In order not to be discouraged, it is a good thing to look for positive examples and surround yourself with examples of those who have succeeded, instead of endlessly thinking how difficult it all is.

  • Analyze everything that happens to you

At first, this may require a lot of moral outlay, but, over time, the skill of analysis will become almost automatic. Trying to assess the situation from all sides, predicting the development of events, and seeing what can be done at the moment and with current resources is helpful in the way to proactivity.

  • Be mindful of decisions

A modern person, having not yet reached the office in the morning, already makes many small decisions, such as planning the day schedule, choosing transport, food to eat, and so on. These seemingly ridiculous tasks teach people to do many things automatically. Therefore, it is so important to turn on in time and react to the situation consciously, in order to avoid impulsive decisions.

Combining productivity and proactivity
Combining productivity and proactivity
  • Take action

Despite the importance of a conscious approach, it is equally important to take action as soon as you make a decision or approve a plan. It is actions that distinguish a proactive person from a reactive one.

  • Do not be afraid to make mistakes

Mistakes are inevitable, and are often a rewarding experience. It is important not to panic, but to analyze and try to avoid such mistakes in the future.

How to create a proactive team?

The pandemic initiated unprecedented changes in the people’s lifestyle, including digital and organizational transformation in connection with the transition of billions of people to remote work. In such a situation, the question of productivity and proactivity of the team is important like never before as human capital is the main asset of the business.

Management of a remote team has a number of basic principles, and at the same time imposes new requirements on the ways of interaction, communication, decision-making, work execution, organization of workspace, and working time. In the management of small and large working groups, many aspects are important, among which are:

  • communication and feedback;
  • transparency and trust;
  • support and mutual assistance;
  • clear goals;
  • measurable results;
  • balance of work and personal life;
  • leadership and responsibility at the level of each team and each employee.
Create a proactive team
Create a proactive team

It is unlikely that the senior manager can quickly and radically change the mood of the entire team, but in fact, he influences it. The manager can track the proactivity of the team at the very initial stages.

When we talk about proactive, self-governing employees, it is important to understand that an absolute control by the leader can harm rather than bring value. It is important to give proactive employees freedom of action. Otherwise, the leader either turns proactive employees into reactive ones, or they simply leave. Both outcomes are not in the best interest of the company.

We can conclude that a proactive team needs a flexible leader who can listen to the company’s employees, trust them, and give the opportunity to speak on issues and concerns. To stimulate the proactivity of the team, the leader should be open, ask colleagues for opinions on various issues, conduct regular brainstorming sessions, and motivate employees to be active.


The world is changing very fast, different specialties will appear and disappear, and approaches to work will change. The current situation with Covid-19 proves the necessity for a person to develop both personal skills and professionalism. 

Today it is essential to be productive and proactive, grow physically and mentally, take the initiative, offer something new at work, etc. In fact proactivity is an important skill of a modern person living in the conditions of continuous decision-making. This is the ability to understand and control one’s goals and the current problem and to respond according to their own principles and interests.

Having made a number of efforts, a person can develop this important skill, both in the context of an individual person and within the whole team. The most important principle of a proactive personality today is to be aware of his deepest values and act accordingly.

As for the team, in order to maintain productivity and proactivity, it is necessary to give employees freedom of choice and the manifestation of their own initiative. In such a  team, it is important to build an open and trusting relationship between employees and the leader. This will help to maintain a healthy working climate and achieve great success together.

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