It’s important to focus on the positive things that you’re doing for your business, such as your ideas, your staff, the progress you’re making and so on. However, though it’s less enjoyable to do so, you’ll also want to take a look at your shortcomings. For example, what about your productivity? It’s only when business owners stop to think about how they’re working (and whether it’s effective) that they realize things aren’t quite as smooth as they realized. Below, we take a look through some of the more common factors affecting a company’s productivity. If you’re guilty of any of the following, then look at making some changes.
The Wrong Office Space
Our surroundings have a huge impact on how well we’re able to work, so it’s something that you’ll want to ensure is watertight, especially since it’s something that is typically within your ability to control. There are a few key traits of productive offices. For example, they’re usually pretty bright, and they’re for sure not cramped. If your office is too dark, then look at changing the lighting, either by letting in more natural light, or by changing your artificial lighting. To handle the cramped issue, you can get rid of the stuff that you no longer need, or you can invest in additional off-site storage. Both of these things will make a subtle but powerful difference to your ability to work well.
It’s usually only when we take a look at how we’re spending our time in the office do we realize that there’s an issue. How much time you spend in the office is of no importance whatsoever; it’s what you’re doing when you’re there that counts. There are some things that’ll take up time — but not get you anywhere — more than others. For example, meetings. They were shown long ago to be an ineffective way to use staff time, yet companies still have them. Find a better, quicker way of transmitting need to know information, and keep your team doing tasks that’ll actually propel your business forward.
You can only work as effectively as your computers. We’re in the digital age now! If all of your machines are too old, then it’s likely that you’re spending too much time simply waiting for things to load and the like. There are things you can do to speed up outdated hardware, but even if you look after your machines impeccably well, there’ll still be an upper limit to how long you’re able to keep them. One good idea is to operate a BYOD — Bring Your Own Device — policy in the office. Employees work better for various reasons on devices they’ve chosen, understand, and know well. You’ll need to put some money towards the cost of the device, of course.
The Wrong Software
You’ll already know that there’s software for just about every task these days, which can help make a once complicated task all the more straightforward. To work effectively, then it’s important that you’re using software! But not just any software: it has to be the one that’s right for your business. Because your needs will be different from those of another company, sometimes a generic piece of software just won’t suffice. Instead, look at working with a custom software development company, and get software that has been tailor-made with your company in mind. It might just be the liberation that your business needs to take productivity to the next level.
There’s a belief that the longer hours an employee is working, the more they’ll achieve. But this isn’t the case. It turns out that humans aren’t like robots; they can’t just work and work and work, to the same high standard, all day. There’s an upper limit of what they can do. And of course, this goes for you, too. As such, it’s likely that insisting on a nine-hour workday does more harm than good, and it’ll cost you more money, too. Instead, look in terms of tasks, rather than hours. An employee might be able to finish a task in five hours, at which point, there’s no point in dragging it out so they can technically be at the office until a predetermined time. In any case, the more hours worked, the steeper the decline in quality will be. It should be about getting things done correctly.
And talking about your employees: you should want to make them happy. Now, you could say you should have this aim because, well, they’re human beings, and deserve to be treated well (they’re not your slaves..), but there’s another reason too: it’ll improve your company. Studies have shown that an unhappy workforce is much less productive than a happy and engaged one. So make an effort to give things a boost. Some good ways to do it is to talk to everyone as an individual, and make sure that they’re feeling happy and motivated. You can also ask their opinion about how they want to work — offering staff the chance to work from home has changed the fortunes of other companies, because employees generally work better there.
There are many things you can do when you’re at the office, but when we talk about productivity, we should really only discuss the jobs that will actively push your business forward. The other ones, such as marketing, accounting, cleaning and so on, need to be done, but they can’t count towards your productivity. If you’re wasting too much time on those non-core duties, then you’re not using your time effectively. Instead, look at outsourcing the tasks to a third-party company.
Lack of Comfort
Finally, make sure everyone’s comfortable! You can’t work for long periods if you’re forever wanting to move around. Look at upgrading your chairs and desks, including a sit-stand desk, so that your employees can work properly. No-one things upgrading these things will make a big difference until they do it and see the improvements for themselves.