For most businesses, productivity is synonymous with return on investment (ROI). For example, the cost of an employee versus the value that they generate for the business (a difficult number to calculate in any circumstance). But what happens when the business is thriving, with new clients and new projects coming in, but the hiring budget hasn’t caught up with the workflow? Small businesses and startups face this challenge often, as the work required for growth often outstrips the personnel on hand to handle it.
Handing over additional responsibilities to already busy and productive employees is a great way to find yourself with even fewer employees than you started with, as overwork is one of the most common causes of turnover. It leads to employees feeling undervalued, disrupts work-life balance, and is just generally terrible for employee morale. So, how can businesses improve productivity without hiring more employees – or overworking the ones they have?
Minimize Meetings and Emails
Meetings and emails have the same end goal: communicate important information to multiple people as efficiently as possible. So why aren’t they more efficient? And why do we dread them so? It’s true that your business can’t do without them entirely, but there are ways to run better meetings and have fewer of them.
Reducing the number of emails you grapple with daily may seem trickier, but it’s not impossible.
- Start from the top down. Research has shown that when leadership sends fewer emails, their employees are likely to do the same. Encourage your staff to use email efficiently (succinct, to the point copy, clear requests or assignations), and to minimize unnecessary replies.
- Streamline collaboration. Storing information on a shared system can reduce the need to send emails about things like project updates, problems and contingencies, or documents and files related to a project/client. Consider storing files in a central repository, like the Cloud, and enabling collaboration tools to reduce the need for individual emails.
Get More From Your Space
Factors as simple as your office layout can have a significant impact on productivity, collaboration, and even employee satisfaction. It’s an element most business owners rarely consider because the question of how to use the space is usually of little concern when compared with factors like the cost and location.
Making the switch from paper processes to digital – even for just a portion of your business processes – can help you do everything from saving money and time to improve collaboration and data security. Digitization benefits every industry and is rapidly becoming the new way to work for businesses of every size.
Skip a Few Steps
You may be surprised to learn that it is possible to do more with less effort. It’s also surprisingly simple. In fact, you’ll probably wonder why you aren’t working this way already. The easiest way to accomplish it is by transforming your office using the same technology that has transformed your life: the App. App technology in the workplace is helping businesses do everything from print on the go to translate documents. They can connect you to your team, help you send confidential documents securely, and so much more.
Rest and Recharge
In an age where technology has made us constantly connected, around the clock and across the world, breaks can be hard to come by, but they’re definitely worth the effort. Far from reducing productivity, taking regular vacations can actually improve your business’s productivity. Encouraging employees to take the rest they need can also improve their health, and help you minimize turnover, which is a huge productivity drain.
If you’re still not sure where to begin, or you need to make significant changes to the way you do business, consider investing in a Managed Print Service. Smarter document management can have far-reaching benefits for your business, from increased productivity to reduced costs and improved security. By outsourcing your document management to a pro, you can reduce the strain on your core staff, and accomplish more without adding new team members.