More time at work does not always equal greater productivity. So what can you do to make your office run smoother and more efficiently as a business owner?
It may seem like a self evident truth to say that spending more time at work will allow you to get more work done, but this is not always the case. An overworked employee is an unhappy employee, and therefore an unproductive and unenthused one. Rather than working harder, it is better to work smarter; incorporating new work practises to ensure your employees are able to get the most out of their working week, without taking constant overtime.
Here are a few of the most effective ways to make your office a more productive place to work in, courtesy of Syntax IT Support London.
Match tasks to skill level
Every employee will have different strengths and weaknesses. Some will be creative, gregarious, out of the box thinkers, and therefore better suited to pitching ideas and talking to clients, whereas others will be more diligent, logical analysers, and therefore brilliant at proofreading and constructing reports.
Assigning a task to an employee which is too difficult or too simple will de-motivate them (either by causing them stress or putting them on auto pilot), while giving them a task which does not suit their skill set may make them feel as though you do not appreciate what they have to offer. Next time you are assigning tasks, ask yourself who has the right skills for the job.
Sending a quick email is more efficient that a face to face conversation, right? Well, not always. Checking emails is one of the most time consuming activities for most office employees. It takes time to read it, craft a response, and wait for a reply. A five minute telephone call or face-to-face catch up could save a valuable chunk of the working day.
Keep your goals clear and focussed
Make sure the goals you set for your employees are SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely. Goals which are too vague, or not achievable, will confuse and frustrate your staff. Ensure that the targets you set match each of the SMART criteria, and if they don’t, consider how they can be tweaked for the benefit of your employees.
Don’t be afraid to delegate
Your company is your baby, and you want to make sure that everything goes right. There is nothing wrong with that, but getting involved in every tiny detail of your business’s running will waste everyone’s time. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to qualified employees, so that you can free yourself up for more important jobs, while giving your staff an opportunity to earn your trust and learn new skills that will benefit the company in the long term.
Performance reviews are essential. How do you expect your employees to become more efficient if they don’t know they’re being inefficient in the first place? Keeping them updated on what they are excelling at and what areas they can improve on will make them more self aware and encourage growth. And feedback is not a one-way street. At the end of a review, ask them if there is anything they think you can do to make things easier for them, whether it’s giving them a little more creative freedom or more guidance or refresher training on certain tasks. This will lead to a culture of open dialogue, which can only be good for your business.
Introduce latest tech
If your tech is outdated, then it will impede productivity. This might sound obvious, but it is an area which is often overlooked, or else put off until it’s too late. If your employees are having to work around slow systems and constant crashes, then it doesn’t matter how good they are at their job; they will be less productive. Investing in new technology, like the cloud, or new printers, or replacing an old network, will help to sharpen your business’s competitive edge.