What Can a Business Do to Improve Its Productivity?
How productive is your business?
If your business strategy doesn’t result in maximum productivity, your profits are suffering. Research shows that every great company values productivity over efficiency. In case you didn’t know, those terms aren’t interchangeable.
To be productive is to make the most of your resources, while business efficiency translates to cutting costs (and labor) across the board. Read on to find your answer to the question: “What can a business do to increase its productivity?”
Increase Your Own Productivity
What makes a great business leader?
Someone who leads by example is the best kind of leader any company can aspire to. Therefore, increase your own productivity first.
1. Be Passionate About Your Business
What is your business based on?
Did it spring from your passion for your niche, or did you build it just to make money? Earning a comfortable living is essential, but if anger doesn’t drive your cause, you won’t have the energy to work hard enough.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a Hungarian psychologist, explains that loving what you do helps you create a natural flow for your work. If your passion is moving and storage solutions, you’ll do your job with positivity and motivation, provided you stick to your services.
If you ignore your passion for a more lucrative business, your productivity will suffer. The founder of Big Steel Box likely wouldn’t make a very productive accountant, for example.
2. Make Good Use Of Spare Time
How do you spend your commute to work?
The obvious answer is probably “in a car.” But whether you drive or rideshare, those minutes in the car are precious time wasted.
As a passenger, you can start your morning before you’re at your desk.
- Plan out your day.
- Shoot off some quick emails.
- Pitch a client.
- Do some brainstorming.
If you’re the driver, you can still be productive while focusing on the road. Swap your favourite playlist for a self-development audiobook, for instance. Use your voice assistant to catch up on the day’s news. Send an email via dictation. The longer your commute, the more time you’re wasting if you don’t use it to your advantage. If you don’t have time to read, you can see how book reviews like Blinkist can help you.
3. Minimize Interruptions
How often do you stop your creative flow to check your texts?
Do you let employees float into your office at will?
If so, stop right now. Change your policy to “no interruptions.”
Of course, you want to stay accessible to your employees and customers, but designate time for that outside of your work cycles. Researchers and scientists agree that people should ideally work in intervals no longer than 90 minutes. Our brains are most productive when a 90-minute timeframe is followed by a short break.
Talk to your employees and answer those emails during your breaks if you have to. During your work cycle, stay laser-focused on the more critical tasks at hand.
4. Beautify Your Office Space
Look around your office: Does your space inspire you?
If you’re looking at four drab walls all day, it’s no surprise that your productivity at work is zilch. Add a utilitarian desk with the aesthetics of a wooden block into the mix, and prepare to be uninspired. It’s time to spruce up your surroundings.
Beauty is inspiring. Surround yourself with objects that make you smile. Whether it’s a plant on your window sill, your kids’ picture on your wall, or even your favourite Star Wars action figure, reminders of happiness will keep you going each day.
5. Plan Your Productivity
Are you spontaneous?
Although flying by the seat of your pants can be fun, it’s not going to increase productivity at work. Plan out each day around the amount of time you want to dedicate to your business. If you only have 6 hours to work with, don’t plan an involved project that takes 10 hours.
Use your Google Calendar as your daily planner. Learn to schedule your entire day on there instead of just jotting down meetings and events. Since a digital calendar syncs across all of your devices, it’s easy to keep track of on the fly.
What Can A Business Do To Improve Its Productivity?
Now that you’ve mastered personal productivity, your employees need to be steered toward more productive habits as well. Here’s how you can change the work environment to help your business soar in all areas.
1. Put An End To Conventional Meetings
Did you schedule a meeting for this morning?
If so, cancel it. Go ahead and take a walk instead. Better yet, invite your employees to walk with you.
While walking, bring up your meeting points casually. Do your brainstorming outdoors. You’ll be surprised how productive the walk was compared to your countless traditional meetings.
If you must have your meeting, opt for a standing session. Eliminate the comfy conference chairs and stand with your staff in an open room. Studies show that standing during meetings makes people more eager to contribute and get creative. Another bonus is that standing meetings don’t drag on forever.
2. Allow For Flexibility
Can your employees ever work from home?
If you’re a boss who embraces the same rigid schedule for everyone, try adopting a more flexible attitude. The days of the one-size-fits-all 9-5 workday are over.
Allow your employees flexibility during work:
- Let some staff work from home at least part-time.
- Embrace remote communication technology like Slack to create a virtual office environment.
- Opt for shorter workdays.
A Stanford study shows that workers who telecommute are 13 percent more productive than those who work in office cubicles.
3. Create A Positive Social Culture
Do your employees love their jobs?
Is your business the staff’s second home?
If not, strive to improve your business’s work culture. Make your workplace a welcoming, pleasant, and inclusive environment.
Research shows that a strong work culture boosts millennial employee engagement. People want their workplace to be part of their lifestyle. Office perks, social gatherings, and adventures with fellow employees all contribute to a close-knit team. Think of some positive attributes you’d like your business culture to reflect, and then work toward these goals with your employees.
4. Help Your Employees Focus
How much work gets done in a day at your place of business?
Do your employees spend a chunk of their time looking at silly cat videos on YouTube, or do they stay productive?
It’s ok to decompress after a work interval, but small breaks shouldn’t be cutting into work time. Instead of yelling at your employees to stay focused, help them do so by filtering Internet access. Unless they need access to social media for work, block all unnecessary time-wasters in your network settings.
Also, install focus apps like Cold Turkey on each computer. Apps like this one keep track of how much time is being spent on work.
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