Efficiency is the name of the game these days. To get things done is now only half of the equation as companies continue to look for ways to do things better — to do things smarter. But the key to boosting efficiency and overall productivity in the office doesn’t have to come from grand restructuring or big investments. Sometimes, the smallest workplace adjustments in terms of environment or workflow can actually do a world of good for you and your team.
Obviously, there is no-one-size-fits-all solution for things like this. The answers are always specific to your current work environment. However, with these tips, you can at least ensure a general improvement within your workspace.
Check in on your employees
A simple thing you can start with is to check in on your employees. Aside from hearing them out regarding any immediate workplace concerns they may have, it’s good to also ask them what they want to achieve with their career. One of the best things you can do is to figure out your employees’ motivations and aspirations, and guide them in the right direction. Researchers for Harvard Business Review have identified that the motivational power that comes with progress goes a long way in driving productivity in the workplace. Consistently checking on employee progress on smaller tasks can also provide an immediate productivity boost.
Establish a clear chain of command
Nobody can deny that communication is a crucial aspect of any company. One thing you can do to promote this is to have a clear chain of command. Your team should know who to address their concerns to and who their immediate superior is. Doing this helps everyone cut through the red tape, and can identify problems for quicker and more efficient solutions. Inc.’s article on boosting productivity via effective communication goes further into this by zeroing in on face-to-face interactions. Face-to-face interactions with your staff will boost team performance in a way that digital may never be able to do. This is mainly because face-to-face interactions will lead to a stronger working relationship with your team, so interact as much as possible, ask questions, answer questions, and listen to new ideas.
Have the right tools
Technology has continued to shape and change how we work. But more than just investing in technology, it’s important to have the right tools that can help your team keep up with the fast-paced changes of the working world. The Print & Workflow Solutions printers epitomise this philosophy by using an ordinary photocopier as a Digital On-Ramp instead of just a normal print output device. By doing this, it fully integrates the humble photocopier with the various systems and other devices in your workplace. So again, these changes don’t necessarily need to be big, they just need to be done right.
No more meetings
Productivity experts have called for a ban on meetings — that is, at least for a whole day a week. Meetings tend to eat up more time than expected, and can often impact your whole day. What could have been a productive workday is now a precursor to the scramble your employees will participate in to catch up with their work. In a feature by Verizon Connect on business productivity tips, they reinforce this point by saying that clearing at least one day a week helps make sure everyone in the company will have at least one day free from scheduled commitments. But if you were to hold a meeting on the designated “no meeting” day, it would help to establish the agenda of the meeting to align everybody before the meeting even begins, and to stick to it.
Create a better environment
Small changes to the physical space where your employees work can do your team wonders. Practical changes such as spacing workstations out or correcting hot and cold spots can work towards boosting employee productivity. Another thing you can add to your workplace is a little greenery. In a WIRED feature on office plants and productivity, psychologists found that the addition of plants in the workplace improved employee satisfaction and can even increase productivity by up to 15%.
By K. Airy