Boost your small business office productivity with these ideas to for more efficient employees and an improved work environment at your company
Every seasoned manager knows that in every office, most of the work gets done by a few individuals, while the rest of the company does a relatively small fraction of it. Still, firing these unproductive individuals and hiring some new employees is not an efficient way to handle this problem. Namely, there is no guarantee that the people you decide to bring in are going to be more productive than those you just fired. They might, but then again, without a guarantee, this method can’t be deemed as efficient or even reliable.
On the other hand, here are six techniques that are proven to work.
1. Better time management
A lot of people have a hard time focusing on the job at hand for a prolonged period of time. With some, this problem is so severe that they often fail to acknowledge that they spend the majority of their time in the office doing nothing or next to nothing.
In order to efficiently handle this issue, you need to invest in better time management. One of the things you can try out is the Pomodoro technique. Set a timer in the office (somewhere where everyone can see it) and set it to 20 minutes of work and 10 minutes of break. In this way, you stand a much better chance at making two-thirds of your entire workday as productive as possible.
2. Mandatory breaks
Unless you are already using Pomodoro, you will notice one curious phenomenon. Some people never seem to take breaks. These people are either on a tight schedule or so far behind that they believe that these 5 minutes are actually going to change something.
In reality, skipping a break can set them even further behind by making them less focused, sleepier and more prone to making mistakes. Because of this, a leader who really wants to push their office forward needs to understand the importance of mandatory breaks.
3. Tracking employee activities
Trusting your employees is a great luxury, yet, it is not something that is always possible. As a manager, you have to know what takes place in your office, which is why it is smart to track the activities of the people in your employ. Unfortunately, showing your employees that you’re genuinely interested in what’s on the screens of their computers is definitely a bad practice due to the fact that it displays your lack of trust in them.
Luckily, there is a way to have your cake and eat it too. With a platform for monitoring computer activities, you can achieve this task in a much subtler way.
Sometimes your employees just don’t feel like coming to work, and by forcing them to do so you might get them, but at a sacrifice of their performance.
In order to avoid this problem, as well as avoid them unnecessarily taking a day off (sometimes even a sick day), you could allow them a certain number of telecommuting days every month. In this way, they get to work on their own terms. Nevertheless, in order for things to actually get done (productivity at home still isn’t close to the one in an actual office), you need to set some strict deadlines and cling to them as much as you can.
5. Fewer meetings, shorter meetings
While it is impossible to imagine an office without meetings, most entrepreneurs, executives and managers fail to realize just how big of a problem they can be. An average office worker spends 31 hours in meetings each month, which is a serious productivity problem.
It’s not just the fact that your employees lose time they could spend working, it’s also the fact that you might be summoning them while they’re at the peak of their performance. Needless to say, while it is impossible for your company to eliminate all meetings, you could at least try to hold fewer of them or to make them somewhat shorter.
6. Inspiring surroundings
Finally, different colors affect productivity and mood in different ways, and this is something you should definitely learn how to turn to your advantage. Aside from this, enhancing the air circulation in the office, playing some nice ambient music and enriching your workspace with some strategically placed houseplants might do the trick. All in all, you want to find a compromise between office ergonomics, functionality and Feng Shui, which is not nearly as complex or intimidating as it sounds.
As you can see, the above-listed six methods can be enforced with little to no investment of either effort or resources. In other words, aside from a productivity boost, you also get an outstanding ROI to brag about. A clear win-win scenario from any point of view.
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