It’s all very well to talk about boosting workplace efficiency and productivity. But how do you actually get down to it? Stop procrastinating with these 8 hacks…
Spending a lot of time at work doesn’t necessarily translate into productivity gains. So what’s the answer to the productivity puzzle? Here are a few suggestions for getting more done.
1. Cut out the noise
Notifications, emails and phone calls that aren’t relevant to people’s tasks can be a big drain on productivity. But they’re also crucial in helping people do their jobs.
Technology can help with the challenge. Organizations can use communication tools that enable employees to focus on what’s relevant to them and help them avoid distractions.
Using the News Feed in Workplace, for example, allows machine learning to surface the updates that are important to people. It keeps them in the loop and filters out unnecessary distractions.
2. Ditch the inflexible 9-to-5 routine
Not everyone has the same internal clock. Some people are at their best first thing in a morning and others feel more productive later in the day.
Build flexible working schedules wherever it’s possible
Use that to your advantage. Build flexible working schedules wherever it’s possible and let staff work remotely when they want – even if it’s just one day a week. That way they can blitz through their workload in the hours when their attention is at its strongest.
3. Set deadlines
Giving people a deadline can be a great motivator. Working to a specific day and time to complete a task or project can encourage staff to get things done and focus the mind.
But managers should be mindful that deadlines can cause stress if they’re unmanageable. Keep them realistic.
4. Invest in better tech
Studies show that slow technology wastes 40 minutes of an employee’s day.  That’s the equivalent of four weeks of dead time per employee per year.
Slow technology wastes 40 minutes of an employee’s day
People can’t be productive if poorly performing tech systems continually hamper their efforts. One of the best ways to boost productivity is to keep up to date with IT resources. Hooking up to a fast internet connection, computers with sufficient RAM and responsive collaboration tools.
While tech can be expensive to replace, it may be cost-effective in the long run as you’ll see a big improvement in workplace efficiency.
5. Encourage people to work in teams
Better teamwork can help increase productivity. Working alone can be demotivating so finding ways to enable people to share ideas and feedback is important. It’s a pretty simple formula: successful teambuilding = happy employees. Happy employees = increased productivity.
Introducing a work-friendly instant messaging platform like Workplace Chat can boost output. It allows employees to communicate with one another without wasting time chasing up emails.
People can sign off on work using the simple thumbs up or a GiF. And teams can use project groups to bring them together online and find faster answers to their questions.
6. Make the work environment more employee-friendly
People don’t want to work in an environment that’s dreary, stuffy or uncomfortable. Temperature level, ventilation, light and furniture all have an impact on workplace efficiency.
New modern workspace design is nurturing new employee behaviors
New technology and modern workspace design are increasingly combining to nurture new employee behaviors.
But even so – getting the basics tight is key. Keep the optimum working temperature to around 20 degrees C. And provide the right equipment, chairs, and workspaces to avoid back and neck problems that affect productivity levels.
7. Find the balance between macro and micromanaging
People need guidance from their managers. But they also need to get on with it.
Allow people to take responsibility for their own time
One of the best ways to increase productivity is to allow people to take responsibility for their own time and resources.
That way, they feel more in control, more relaxed and better able to produce their best work. Start trusting your employees to make their own decisions. It’s empowering.
8. Explore smarter meetings
Meetings can be essential for sharing ideas and updating the team, but they can also be a huge drain on time. Are the ones you organize really necessary or have they become a force of habit?
Bots and automation can replace unnecessary meetings
Technology can help teams have better and more productive meetings. Bots and automation can remove the need for the project team morning huddle. And a check-in via a project or open group can often be a much better use of time than a full-on, face-to-face meeting.
All combined, they can be easier and smarter ways to increase productivity and get more things done.
 The Biggest Time Suck at the Office Might Be Your Computer. Bloomberg, 2017