6 Ways To Improve Workplace Efficiency In 2020
Ask any CEO, manager, or small business owner if they want to improve their company’s efficiency and productivity, and you’ll almost always get a resounding “yes”.
Yet many business leaders fail to take it any further and often the opportunities to make vast improvements within many areas of business operations are sitting right under their noses.
In this business blog post, we’re going to look at six “quick wins” that could up your company’s efficiency to improve the bottom line.
1. Online Appointment Booking Portal
Moving to an online appointment booking portal provides 24/7 uptime for locking in those valuable client meetings. From your website you can redirect your visitors to an appointment scheduling website rather than coordinate the booking manually with your workforce. The efficiencies of using an online app which could even be a free service are obvious.
You’re respecting your client’s time and freeing up your workforce so they can work on higher-value tasks. Plus if your clients schedule the appointments, they have more ‘buy-in’ and as a business, you know they are serious about their relationship with your company. There is also no embarrassment when they need to reschedule as they can manage their booking online without needing to communicate directly with your business.
There is a lot of choice in booking apps, so do your research. In essence, free is not always the best choice especially when a SAAS option like vcita has your business connected quickly and securely, and it’s their responsibility to manage and develop the software, with more feature-rich functionality.
2. Automate Routine Tasks
Most businesses underestimate how many routine menial tasks they can automate. A typical small company, for example, will usually be able to automate dozens of jobs, from inputting accounts to sending reminders to clients about upcoming appointments.
Most modern apps and software include some automation features, so the first step is to explore what’s available within your current software and create ‘set and forget’ procedures saving your staff time.
While we have called it ‘set and forget’ there really is no such thing as all automation requires human input. When the conditions change, the automation process needs to be manually revised to meet the new requirements.
3. Leverage AI & Machine Learning
Big Data challenges companies of all sizes. How to efficiently capture, store, analyze and search large volumes of data is keeping everyone but data scientists awake at night. Automation and AI are not the same as explained earlier, automation requires human intervention whereas AI is designed to mimic human intelligence and function independently. One area of big data is data visualisation where raw data is presented in graphs, maps, charts etc.
Take one step at a time to move ahead with systems that can replace human input, especially for data capture and more mundane processes many of those associated with marketing and customer support, i.e. chatbots.
4. Use Project Management Software Fit For Purpose
Most businesses need a project management app. however, many companies end up with a system that’s not a great fit for their requirements. Using an enterprise-level solution, for example, is appropriate for projects that have many users and management can keep track of their projects and progress.
Clearly, this software is overkill for micro-businesses with one or two workers. There are more fitting software solutions for activities such as remote working so do some research on what’s available that meets the needs of your business rather than choosing a system that’s not fit for purpose.
As a side note, where possible, choose software that integrates with multiple third-party apps, like accounting software, contract management systems, analytics, and so on. A fully integrated tech stack removes the need to transfer data manually between platforms and can save hours every week.
5. Encourage Employees To Remove Distractions
Modern-day distractions are anathema to workplace productivity. Mobile notifications, news websites, social media platforms – employees aren’t meant to check them during working hours, but anybody who has worked in an office knows how hard it is to kick the habit.
Making the office an interruption-free zone can be incredibly beneficial from a productivity standpoint. But many business owners and managers don’t want to appear dictatorial. Confiscating your employees’ mobile phones will likely lead to resentment rather than a desire to work.
Instead, create a transparent and optional program in which employees can choose to mute notifications, block distracting websites, log out of social media websites, and silence any other pesky distractions.
6. Prioritize Employee Wellbeing
Research shows that employees’ wellbeing directly impacts their productivity levels; therefore, it’s in your interest to prioritize your workers’ health and job satisfaction.
Start workplace activities like yoga and meditation classes, and provide break-out spaces that bring nature indoors with plants and if possible, running water. If space is had to get set aside a ‘quiet’ room where devices and talking are prohibited.
Boosting workplace efficiency isn’t about the quick fixes with grand, complex and expensive solutions. Instead, it’s a work in progress insofar as companies focus on incremental gains throughout their business to improve the bottom line.