Time Management: A Definitive Guide to Increasing Your Business Productivity

person, officeIf you’re tired of your business wasting both time and money, you may need to focus on improving internal efficiency. Slow processes, poor software, procrastination, and distractions can all slow your business down, which could drastically damage your bottom line.

To make sure you don’t waste another minute in 2018, you need to manage your time and improve your resources effectively, but how can you do so? Simply, read the following advice on how to increase business productivity.

Track Your Employees’ Time

Tracking your employees’ time doesn’t mean monitoring their every move. Your goal should be to gauge how much time they are spending on each task, which means you can then estimate a project completion date accurately. Also, by monitoring their time, you can identify if there are any inefficiencies which could slow your business down, such as too many meetings or manual tasks.

Encourage Your Team to Take Regular Breaks

While it might sound counterproductive, you should encourage your team to take regular breaks. It is believed the most productive employees work for 52 minutes at a time before enjoying a 17-minute break. The same research found the most productive employees also worked for less than eight hours per day.

Make Sure Your Staff Use Their Vacation Days

According to a recent study, an incredible 52% of Americans failed to use all their vacation days in 2017. However, time away from the office will allow your employees to reboot their mind and body so that they will return to work with less stress and a clearer mindset.

If your employees are failing to take time off, they might not be delivering their best work, which can slow down your brand’s growth and profitability. It is for this reason why you must advise your staff to take their vacation days. You’ll also be a caring employer, which could help you to decrease your company turnover.

Stop Micromanaging

Unless you want to drain your productivity and bottom line, you must stop micromanaging, if you are guilty of doing so! While temporary micromanagement is beneficial for new employees or underperforming staff, permanent dictation can lead to low employee morale and lackluster performances. What’s more, you’ll create a culture of employees waiting to be told what to do, rather than encouraging people to use their own initiative.

Utilize the Best Productivity Tools

Your business is only as strong as its employees and tools. Slow, manual processes will lead to inefficiencies, which will allow your forward-thinking competitors to gain an advantage. That’s why you must introduce the best tools for your workplace. For example, automation can simplify sending emails and publish social media posts.

Train Your Team

You can guarantee your employees will love to learn new things every day in their job, which is why you should provide them with opportunities to increase their knowledge and skillset. Not only will their new skills improve their job satisfaction, but it will help your business to grow and thrive throughout the years.

There are numerous training opportunities you can provide, such as first aid to improve health and safety, or effective Microsoft Azure training to help your employees get to grips with the cloud platform.

Minimize Staff Stress

Unfortunately, stress-related health conditions are causing employees to miss work days, which is reportedly costing US employers $300 billion each year. Thankfully, there are ways a business can reduce their employees’ stress levels. In addition to reviewing their workload to eliminate unnecessary tasks, you should take the time to sit down with your employees to listen to their concerns. Allowing them to talk about their problems at home or at work could help them to clear their mind.

While there might not be an immediate solution to their problem, the fact you’re listening alone might be enough to make them feel valued and cared for by the business, which could decrease their stress levels.

Close Your Office Door

If you’re lucky enough to have your own office, you can remove distractions by simply closing your office door. If a colleague comes in to talk to you about a task, politely inform them you’ll talk to them later so you can finish a project.

Keepsakes Can Lift a Person’s Mood

Everyone experiences a day when their task list is expanding, and their stress levels are rising, which can impact their performance. Allow your team to add keepsakes onto their desk, such as a photograph of their family or stress-relieving toys. It can lift their mood, and they’ll be more productive as a result.

Listen to Music to Increase Concentration

Unfortunately, there are some businesses which have a no music rule, as they might view songs as distracting. However, research has found that music can increase a person’s concentration. So, allow your employees to put on a pair of headphones, turn up the music, and get to work.

Improve Employee Communication

A lack of communication could be a productivity barrier. If staff or departments fail to connect with each other, it could lead to conflict, missed deadlines, or slow processes. In addition to encouraging your team to talk to each other, you should also provide team bonding activities to help your staff get to know each other better on both a personal and professional level.

Stock Up on Meeting Refreshments

If you want to maximize your meetings, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of refreshments for your team. Boost your employees’ focus by providing plenty of fresh water, as dehydration will decrease their concentration and positively impact the brain’s cognitive function.

You could even provide tea, coffee, cookies or sandwiches to stop them from thinking about their rumbling stomach. It will also give your team a reason to look forward to a meeting, meaning they’ll be more likely to participate.

Incorporate Indoor Plants into Your Office

Indoor plants will not only add a splash of color that can brighten up the workplace, but studies have found they will increase productivity and employee morale. There are numerous plants to choose from, such as beautiful lilies to tall dracaenas.

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