It’s very easy to get trapped in busywork. To increase output, you'll have to put in more hours, or work smarter. To work smart is to reduce time spent on unnecessary tasks to get more quality work done instead. While this is easier said than done, it is achievable.
Here are eight effective strategies for increasing your productivity at work.
#1. Equip your employees with fast, reliable internet connection and computers
Providing employees with the right tools and equipment is a great first step to increase productivity. Doing so will allow them to do their jobs efficiently and on time. There’s nothing more counterproductive than staring at your frozen computer because it can’t handle your software requirements. And in today’s competitive marketplace, having high-speed, reliable internet is paramount to a company’s internal productivity. In fact, IT downtime costs a company $5,600 per minute on average.
So make sure your IT solutions are aligned with your business goals and requirements. It will save you time and effort and make a massive difference to your company’s productivity.
#2. Delegate effectively
Though it’s tempting to do everything yourself to ensure output quality, that greatly limits you from spending time on more strategic tasks. So even if delegating tasks may make you feel uneasy, it is extremely crucial to increase your company’s productivity. The key is to delegate the right tasks to the right people and to monitor their progress.
Project management tools like Trello or Asana enable you to easily assign projects to your staff, track their progress until completion, set priority deadlines, manage calendars, and share documents. If you don’t have the right staff to delegate certain tasks to, consider outsourcing. For example, if you do not have in-house staff with IT expertise, it might be best to partner with a managed IT services provider (MSP) like Red Key Solutions.
Once you’ve mastered the trick of delegating, you’ll be astonished by how much faster your company can accomplish things.
#3. Provide sharing and collaboration tools
A Stanford University study found that employees are more productive, have more motivation, and are more determined to persevere with challenges when they felt they were working with others on a task. Not only that, another study showed that companies that promoted collaboration were five times as likely to be high-performing.
Collaborative work enables businesses to fast-track important projects and efficiently meet deadlines. With several people working on a project, the work can be divided equally and efficiently between those with the right expertise. You will heighten your overall productivity even more by 20–30% by equipping your employees with sharing and collaboration tools.
These tools ensure that there’s a consistent flow of information at all times. Group chat apps like Slack and Google Hangouts eliminate back-and-forth email chains. Employees can ask questions and receive answers instantly, leaving no room for the classic “missed your email” excuse. They can also use it hold virtual meetings. And since these group messaging apps can be accessed from both desktop and mobile devices, employees can use them wherever they are.
Cloud-based sharing solutions like Dropbox and Google Drive enable employees to easily access up-to-date company files even while they’re on the go with any internet-connected device. Office 365, G-Suite, and other collaboration suites also allow several people to work on the same file at the same time.
#4. Automate tedious, redundant tasks
Use technology to automate mundane tasks so you can free up some of your time to work on other more important tasks. For example, use chatbots to answer frequently asked questions, intelligently provide tech support, make reservations, and more.
You can also automate your marketing activities by programming a set of actions once a certain condition is met. For instance, when a contact fills out certain forms, they will immediately receive a follow-up email without the need of any human intervention.
The more business processes you automate, the more your productivity will increase. Computers or machines work lightning fast and are incredibly consistent, allowing your company to accomplish more tasks in less time.
#5. Embrace flexible work arrangements
A Stanford study reveals that working from home is a productivity boost. Turns out that work-from-home employees found it less distracting and easier to concentrate at home. They also worked 9.5% longer and were 13% more productive than office workers.
Flexible working arrangements also allow employees to still be productive at home instead of skipping work altogether when they have to accommodate events such as caring for a sick family member or having their refrigerator fixed.
Thanks to mobile devices, the internet, cloud-based solutions, and other technologies, employers can easily keep in touch with remote workers wherever they are.
#6. Utilize a centralized knowledge repository
If your staff don’t have the right information to help them perform their roles, then accomplishing their tasks will take a longer time and there will be more room for error.
Knowledge storage and sharing systems allow you to pool important resources and make them available to all staff. They streamline knowledge management, and this could have a dramatic effect on the organization’s productivity. Also, they enable employees to leverage the company’s collective knowledge and avoid the time-consuming process of having to reinvent the wheel every time a problem arises. They also make training and upskilling much easier in the future.
#7. Train and develop employees
Forcing employees to simply learn on the job can be extremely inefficient. Instead of letting them haphazardly try to accomplish a task with zero guidance, take time to teach them the necessary skills to do their jobs. Not only will it help them accomplish their tasks faster, there will also be less time spent on answering simple questions or correcting errors.
Beyond their initial training, encourage your employees to expand their skill sets. Aside from making employees feel like they’re a valued asset to your business, their additional skills will also improve their efficiency and productivity.
You can support employee development in a number of ways, such as individual coaching, workshops, online courses, seminars, mentoring, and many more.
8. Provide rewards and incentives
Praising and rewarding staff has a positive effect on productivity. A Globoforce survey found that 78% of employees would work harder if they were better recognized. So make sure to provide them immediate rewards for a job well done. Even a simple company-wide email acknowledging a worker’s accomplishment goes a long way.
Become even more proactive by utilizing incentives to get more out of your staff. For example, you can offer a $50 gift card to the person who finishes before the deadline. This will most likely make everyone more productive.
Find a reliable IT partner to implement the eight tips
These eight productivity boosters rely on implementing the right IT solutions, so make sure to partner with IT experts like Red Key Solutions. When you work with us, your employees will have all the IT tools they need so your company can grow fearlessly and outpace your competition. Start your journey toward increasing your productivity today.