Productivity in the workplace has decreased by almost 2% in the last two years. Now that may not seem like a large sum to you, but it should definitely be enough to raise your pulse for one simple reason: productivity should be increasing not decreasing. Improving your business operations and ensuring your company is becoming more streamlined are two responsibilities that fall within the bell curve of you being the business leader.
The good news is, you only have two options when it comes to ramping up the rate of productivity:
- Extend office hours or,
- Get people to work smarter.
The second option is definitely the more attractive. The big question is, how do you do this? Well, being as awesome as we are, we have come up with a few suggestions that are well worth trialling and testing within your business because they are all known to increase productivity.
RescueTime is a tool that is specifically designed to help people track how much time they are spending on certain tasks. It could be social media, emailing, word processing or whatever. By using this and having your employees see how much time they are putting where they can then better allocate their every minute.
A new rule that you should definitely introduce to your business — effective immediately — is this the two-minute rule. It’s simple and it works. If your employees come across a task that can be done in two-minutes then they should do it without hesitation. Striking while the iron is hot is so much more effective than coming back to it later, especially with small tasks like this.
From now on all of your internal meetings should be conducted on your feet. That’s right. There are so many reasons for this but the most important ones are to do with group performance improving and time being used in a much more effective way. We all know how guilty internal meetings are for using up resources, so anything that can improve this is worth doing.
Outsourcing has long been hailed as one of the most effective approaches of boosting a company’s productivity. It could be outsourcing your IT support services, your bookkeeping needs, your graphic design department or anything else that would be better off being done on a task by task basis or by a professional outfit that can dedicate all their time to this need. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of squeezing more tasks out of each employee in order to make them better value but, more often than not, you will end up hurting their productivity by doing this.
Now, this may sound like the most counterproductive thing anyone could have said to you, but we can ensure you that it works. That’s because taking a break is known to boost your concentration, which is a good thing. To put it another way, non-stop working will force your employee’s productivity to steadily decline. So, yeah, encourage breaks and, better yet, encourage exercise breaks to get their blood flowing again.