It's all very well to talk about boosting workplace productivity and efficiency. But how do you actually get down to it? Stop procrastinating with these eight tips.
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Let's dig into these in a little more detail...
1. Cut out the noise
Notifications, emails and phone calls that aren't relevant to people's tasks can be a big drain on workplace productivity. But they're also crucial in helping people do their jobs.
Technology can help with the challenge. Organisations can use communication tools that enable employees to focus on what's relevant to them and help them avoid distractions.
Using the News Feed in Workplace, for example, allows machine learning to surface the updates that are important to people. It keeps them in the loop and filters out unnecessary distractions.
2. Ditch the inflexible 9-to-5 routine
Not everyone has the same internal clock. Some people are at their best first thing in the morning, and others feel more productive later in the day.
Use that to your advantage. Build flexible working schedules wherever it's possible and let staff work remotely when they want – even if it's just one day a week. That way, they can blitz through their workload in the hours when their attention is at its strongest.
3. Set deadlines
Giving people a deadline can be a great motivator. Working to a specific day and time to complete a task or project can encourage staff to get things done and focus the mind.
But managers should be mindful that deadlines can cause stress if they're unmanageable. Keep them realistic.
4. Invest in better tech
Studies show that slow technology wastes 40 minutes of an employee's day.1That's the equivalent of four weeks of dead time per employee per year.
People can't be productive if poorly performing tech systems continually hamper their efforts. One of the best ways to boost workplace productivity is to keep up to date with IT resources. Hooking up to a fast Internet connection, computers with sufficient RAM and responsive collaboration tools.
While tech can be expensive to replace, it may be cost-effective in the long run as you'll see a big improvement in workplace efficiency.
5. Encourage people to work in teams
Better teamwork can help increase workplace productivity. Working alone can be demotivating, so finding ways to enable people to share ideas and feedback is important. It's a pretty simple formula: successful teambuilding = happy employees. Happy employees = increased productivity.
Introducing a work-friendly instant messaging platform such as Workplace Chat can boost output. It allows employees to communicate with one another without wasting time chasing up emails.
People can sign off on work using the simple thumbs up or a GIF. And teams can use project groups to bring them together online and find faster answers to their questions.
6. Make the work environment more employee-friendly
People don't want to work in an environment that's dreary, stuffy or uncomfortable. Temperature level, ventilation, light and furniture all have an impact on workplace productivity and efficiency.
New technology and modern workspace design are increasingly combining to nurture new employee behaviours.
But even so – getting the basics right is key. Keep the optimum working temperature at around 20°C. And provide the right equipment, chairs and workspaces to avoid back and neck problems that affect productivity levels.
7. Find the balance between macro and micromanaging
People need guidance from their managers. But they also need to get on with it.
One of the best ways to increase workplace productivity is to allow people to take responsibility for their own time and resources.
That way, they feel more in control, more relaxed and better able to produce their best work. Start trusting your employees to make their own decisions. It's empowering.
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Pro tip: Explore smarter meetings
Meetings can be essential for sharing ideas and updating the team, but they can also be a huge drain on time. Are the ones that you organise really necessary, or have they become a force of habit?
Technology can be a key component of an effective meeting strategy and help teams have more meaningful meetings. Bots and automation can remove the need for the project team morning huddle. And a check-in via a project or open group can often be a much better use of time than a full-on, face-to-face meeting.
All combined, they can be easier and smarter ways to increase workplace productivity and get more things done.
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