How to improve business efficiency this year

Every company wants to grow each year, and usually, this growth falls on the employees. It is therefore, of great importance to put a plan in place to increase workplace efficiency.

Training your team is just as important as recruiting new talent or introducing new technologies. But how do you build a more efficient team without pushing your employees too far or creating a stressful workplace environment?

Here are some tips to help you increase productivity whilst keeping you employees happy and healthy:

Implement project management tools

Whether your employees work in offices or in an open space, project management tools can save them valuable time. In most cases, team members have to work with one another directly solving problems and tasks on the office floor.

When you transfer these work conversations to a platform like Slack, you save your team a huge amount of time, whilst also providing one central communication platform for all team members. Asana and Basecamp are two other tools that enable workers to track and efficiently complete projects that have been distributed among them.

Use gamification

Gamification is a highly effective strategy that increases productivity and efficiency. It started as a trend, but its popularity has increased, now helping the productivity of many businesses. Even big corporations such as Microsoft use gamification to increase efficiency, within their call centres for instance.

The concept of gamification is simple: gaming techniques and video game principles are used to motivate teams and employees. You will support and appreciate the hard work of your employees by setting up a pay-as-you-go system. While gamification is a fairly new-buzz word in the business sphere, the concept has been around for several years.

There are different strategies. Some companies prominently post a photo of the ‘employee of the month’ to encourage friendly competition. Other incentives, such as paid holidays, motivate employees to work more. And, of course, a classic and well-known strategy – work hard and get promoted in return.

Working remotely

Many start-ups and online companies have foregone the office environment. Their teams work remotely. Whether it’s Buffer, Edgar, Zapier or Groove; companies whose employees do not have to go to the office are on the increase. It’s more than just a trend.

According to reports, remote work increases employee productivity by up to 13%. For example, Americans spend 29.6 billion hours on commuting. When you make the switch to remote mode, you save your employees time, as well as allowing them to choose a comfortable environment in which they work best.

Cut-out unnecessary meetings

It is important to be in touch with your workforce, with a solid overview of their projects. But you don’t have to start everyday with meetings.

Studies show that staff spend 37% of their time at meetings. At the macro-level, companies in the United States spend more than $35 billion annually on meetings. Excessive meetings are not only a drain on finances and resources, but also on team morale.

When you start using the project management tools mentioned previously, you avoid the negative effects of frequent and unnecessary meetings. Ideally, you should be able to supervise any project from the comfort of your home. Face-to-face time is always important, but try to keep a limit on it, using videoconferencing platforms to free-up time.

Ensure better time management

You should keep an overview of your employees’ working hours. However, your employees starting work on time is just part of the equation. Motivation and productivity is key, helping them overcome the costly habit of procrastination.

This isn’t a simple task – seeing an employee at their desk doesn’t mean to say they are working hard. Fortunately, there are applications to help you – even across time zones, you can keep track of employee work ethics.

Employees should be encouraged to take regular breaks that relieve stress and reenergise them, preparing them to get back and focus on their work.

Accept automation

Multitasking is a vice that can result in procrastination and unfinished projects. When employees have to switch between tasks, they lose up to 40% of their productivity.

Do not exert pressure on your employees to perform multiple tasks all at once. Instead, use online tools and applications that automatically perform the smaller and less important tasks:

  • Managing campaigns on social networks
  • Investing in online-marketing improvements
  • Maximising process automation

And finally

Embrace these proven strategies for increased productivity and efficiency. But don’t be afraid to experiment with new ways to improve both your business as well as employee growth. For example, you can develop their abilities by giving them free access to on-line learning platforms, or attending specific seminars and conferences.

Increasing productivity means more than just installing applications that focus on productivity and the implementation of new methods. It is a continuous process that requires constant optimisation.

Míša Benešovská

I’m a freelance journalist and copywriter, mainly covering IT industry. I’ve been fascinated by it for nearly a quarter of a century (or since I dismantled my first computer). I worked for, Unicorn Systems or Mafra publisher. In my spare time, I love game consoles and keep perfecting a recipe for the best pumpkin risotto in the world.

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