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8 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Efficiency

8 Ways to Improve Your Company’s Efficiency

It’s safe to say that every company out there wants to run their offices as efficiently as possible. That is, the idea is to offer the most and best products and services at the lowest cost. One mistake commonly made by administrators is to confuse quality with quantity.

Whether you’ve been faced with the task of improving a company’s overall efficiency, or if you just want to see where you can improve, the following tips will surely help. Here are several ways to streamline any company’s efficiency while improving quality.

1. Promote a Culture of Open Communication

Promote a Culture of Open Communication

    If your company has implemented an “open door policy,” you’re already pointed in the right direction. This is a great start, but think about taking it a step further. Too often, “open door policies” end up being hollow, rarely-used entries in employee handbooks. These are typically skimmed at best on the first day on the job. Create a culture of true open communication, and productivity will improve as a result of a more positive office morale.

    Encourage communication, collaboration, and feedback between departments, as well as between management and staff. This will liven up the stream of ideas, resulting in a more productive team overall.

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    2. Implement Smart Mobile Devices

    Implement Smart Mobile Devices

      Smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices are an exceptionally effective step toward enhancing productivity. Provide sales staff with smartphones to help them keep in touch with the office via phone and emails while out on sales calls. Tablets give them the ability to create and modify presentations on the go, and there are countless apps available on both these devices that are designed to improve productivity by helping to combine and prioritize tasks.

      When you implement a smart mobile device management system, you will put your company on the fast track toward more effective procedures. This will (in turn) bring a better-quality experience for clients and employees alike, resulting in a stronger bottom line.

      3. Embrace Feedback

      Your employees have opinions. Encourage the entire company to embrace feedback, both positive and negative by creating an outlet for it. It’s a good idea to designate a general hub in the building for staff to communicate and make suggestions about the company. Many choose to do this through a specific website centered around human resource issues, serving as a one-stop-shop for work-related issues and updates.

      For startup companies and small businesses, a more personal — and affordable — approach to this is to hold weekly or monthly meetings to share ideas. You could also use a bulletin board in a central part of the office as a place to share ideas.

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      4. Get a Technology Update

      Get a Technology Update

        Take a look around your main office space. Are your employees typing on 10-year-old monitors connected to antiquated computers? It will undoubtedly seem like a major cost at first glance, but updating employee computers and software periodically is an absolute must. Considering the most basic factor of productivity is speed, equipping office computers with the most efficiently run software and hardware should be the first thing you improve.

        You may be able to get by with a simple hard drive upgrade or RAM boost, but those computers will need regular maintenance, and some in-depth attention every few years. If it has been more than six, it’s time to upgrade the system entirely.

        5. Consult Ergonomic Standards

        Consult Ergonomic Standards

          Have you analyzed employee workspaces for ergonomic standards? It will certainly be in your best interests to brush up on ergonomic standards, and to educate staff on the basics. Bring in a professional and hold a seminar to fill them in on standards. If that’s not in the budget, educate yourself on the key points, and make sure the lifeblood of your company are taken care of in this aspect.

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          Supply staff with office equipment that comply with these standards, such as chairs, foot rests, and keyboards. Don’t look at this as an expense; rather, it’s an investment that will likely yield profitable returns through enhanced employee productivity and lowered worker’s compensation claims.

          6. Streamline Social Media Marketing Efforts

          pic5

            Social media is proving to be one of the most viable marketing tools available these days. It’s most certainly a hot topic, and one that isn’t to be ignored. Utilizing these platforms to promote your business is extremely important, but really shouldn’t be a major time concern. A few hours spread out each week ought to be enough to adequately keep up social media accounts for the average company.

            Do yourself a favor and urge your social media coordinator to utilize streamlining apps like HootSuite, Sprout Social and MarketMeSuite. These programs combine social network accounts onto one convenient dashboard, making it easier to control and post to each in a timely manner.

            7. Analyze Employee Processes

            Take a poll of your current employees to gauge their overall efficiency. Have direct supervisors spend an hour or so with each department to determine how each team handles individual tasks. Then meet with these supervisors to compare notes, and discuss whether there is a faster, more efficient way of doing things.

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            This activity will be greatly enhanced by the increased communication practices mentioned earlier. When everyone collaborates like this, more work gets done. As an added bonus, there is a bigger sense of ownership when employees are able to take part in modifying procedures.

            8. Set Achievable Goals

            Once all of these tweaks and changes are made, it’s time to set some realistic goals. Set over-arching, broad goals for the entire company, and then work with department heads to decide which goals to set for each department, and finally, for each employee.

            Setting realistic, tangible goals this way will provide much-needed motivation. To bring this whole process full circle, once these goals are met, plan a company-wide activity such as a potluck, where everyone can relax and enjoy each other’s company, while celebrating their success.

            The task of improving a company’s efficiency can certainly be a daunting one. Don’t be intimidated by the enormity of the situation. Rather, consider this a chance to make your company one that anyone would want to work for, and make it more efficient at the same time.

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            Last Updated on January 21, 2020

            How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

            How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

            We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

            So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

            While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

            Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

            What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

            How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

            But what does being productive actually entail?

            Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

            Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

            It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

            Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

            9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

            1. Avoid Multitasking

            Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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            Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

            If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

            2. Turn off Notifications

            According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

            Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

            The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

            Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

            3. Manage Interruptions

            There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

            Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

            If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

            By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

            4. Eat the Frog

            Mark Twain once famously said that:

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            “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

            What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

            We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

            Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

            5. Cut Down on Meetings

            Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

            You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

            The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

            But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

            If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

            6. Utilize Tools

            Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

            If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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            And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

            Some examples of tools that could be used:

            Communication
            • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
            • Samepage for video conference software.
            • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
            Task Management
            • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
            • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
            • Wekan for an open source option.
            Database Management
            Time Tracking
            • Clockify for a free tracker.
            • TMetric for workspace integrations.
            • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

            You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

            7. Declutter and Organize

            Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

            Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

            Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

            Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

            8. Take Breaks

            Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

            As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

            Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

            Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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            9. Drink Water

            Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

            Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

            Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

            A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

            If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

            You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

            The Bottom Line

            The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

            After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

            In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

            A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

            Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

            More About Boosting Productivity

            Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

            Reference

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