9 Tips to Fight a Productivity Recession

With the holiday season fast approaching, productivity may start to decrease if you don’t put a plan in place now- think prevention, not solution. Here, we’ve taken the best ideas and tips from business blogs to give you our 9 favourite ideas for boosting productivity in the workplace.

  1. Count Your Steps

Consider your business layout… Are your employees given the tools to do their job in close range to their work station? Little things like walking across the room to collect items for a job adds to the time it takes to complete an activity and the risk of your employees becoming distracting or losing ‘the zone’ they are in when getting their work done.

  1. Make Technology Work for You

Look at where you can streamline your business by moving to digital. Cutting out the need to transfer information from hard copy to digital will free up hours of your administrators’ time. Implement a scanning system, or a barcode system to keep documents on track, without the need to create entirely new digital copies.

Technology = Productivity. On top of the time spent duplicating records, your business may be suffering from Old Technology Syndrome where your older, bottom-of-the-line hardware and software are absorbing all of your time. For example, if your business frequently needs to print and your printer, although cost-effective initially, requires a lot of love to run and print when required, then you are ultimately spending more money paying your team to wait around for their documents and using time to fix challenges with technology that should be allocated to their role.

  1. Have Visual Performance Tracking

You should employ ways of visually tracking what work has been done to ensure nothing is overlooked and to keep an eye on under and overloads. For example, in-trays are a great way for each employee to track what is left to do, as well as weekly task sheets so they can tick off tasks as they go. Whatever process is used will depend on the nature of the business. For team players who are mostly off site, having electronic checklists may be the way to go- a system where you can also log in and check on progress from a separate location will give you peace of mind that work is on track.

  1. Make Your Team Feel at Home

Creating an environment where your team feels at ease will have a positive impact on productivity. Workspaces with personal items such as photos, plants, etc. will allow for a lighter atmosphere and these items are generally more of a comfort than a distraction. Happy workers are productive workers.

  1. …Or actually send them there!

It is a common need for employees to leave early on the odd occasion for whatever reason and this may mean getting all the physical work completed, but leaving behind the supporting paperwork until they are next on site. If your business has the ability to set up networks and allow employees to login to their computers from home, with whatever device they choose, this gives the flexibility to ensure work is still done if an unusual circumstance arises. With the technology available for business today, you can track and check up on your off-site employees as easily as if they were in the next room. Be sure to receive regular reporting when this is the case so you know the work is being done.

  1. Manage Jobs with KPIs

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Ensure your job descriptions are realistic, relevant and have clear, reasonable and achievable key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs give your team a goal to strive towards and, on or off-site, they are the one factor that will keep you updated on your team’s performance.

  1. Keep an Up-To-Date Database

Your database of clients, suppliers and partners is the most important tool for your business and your productivity. This is about how much time is wasted trying to track down the contact details of someone you met or a company you have used in the past. As your client base grows, it becomes too difficult to just store their business cards alphabetically to rifle through each time. Instead, keep a clean, accurate and up-to-date database, accessible and editable by your whole team. Use different levels of access to ensure only senior-level employees can delete records or make significant changes.

  1. Outsource

Outsource all your non-core activities. Get rid of what you aren’t great at, what you don’t like doing or what just slows you down. By acknowledging your business strengths and recognising the weaknesses, you maximise your results without increasing your headcount. If you concentrate on what you love, you’ll save a lot of time and enjoy yourself, rather than doing a half-baked job on something you loathe doing.

  1. Have Some Fun

Staff morale is important to productivity; anxious, stressed workers are too busy worrying about their futures to do much work. Fun isn’t expensive. Think about what your team would enjoy, for example Friday night drinks is popular in many businesses to finish off the week. Some businesses buy a round of coffees on the office tab from time to time or supply a free lunch on the odd occasion. If you are a small team, celebrate birthdays with cards and cake, or buy your team small inexpensive presents such as a $20 iTunes or movie voucher. It is often the thought that counts and your team will appreciate it and you.

For more information on creating a productive workplace and improving team results in your business, contact PROTRADE United today.

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