Workplace productivity is more than just a buzzword. Poor productivity can mean the difference between a business succeeding and failing. In March 2020 entire workforces in the UK were sent home to work, in some instances, for the first time ever. Productivity became a concern for many business owners, not knowing if their employees would still be productive working from a home environment – having to adapt to digital/online collaboration.
Workplace productivity isn’t about trying to complete as many tasks as possible in every spare minute of your day. That’s more likely to cause burnout (that’s a completely different blog we’ll cover in depth). Productivity means each individual brings their expertise, experience and insight to work each and every day and implements those skills to get the best work done during working hours.
It’s clear to see, then, why maintaining or increasing productivity is such a huge focus for many businesses. The fight for productivity can make a huge difference to business success.
Productivity in the Age of Remote Working
Struggling to maintain focus in the workplace is often cited as the main reason for a lack of workplace productivity. Some of the factors that can impact workplace productivity include:
- Endless Birthdays and birthday cakes.
- Visitors to the building, deliveries, supplier visits.
- Equipment outage issues.
So, is remote working improving productivity by removing these distractions? Or does remote working pose its own set of challenges? Looking at home-working figures during the coronavirus lockdown period of 2020 is one of the best ways to assess the figures – as a very large portion of people worked from home. According to figures released by the UK government, 65% of workers who were able to perform their role at home said they were more productive in a home structured office than a normal office.
Also, from this same research, Information and Technology industries were the most likely to continue home-working in the future (49%) – likely as a result of this sector being the most digital and technologically advanced to collaborate and support working from anywhere.
Digital Tools to Improve Productivity
For many sectors, home-working simply is not a viable solution – and often employees are keen to remain within the office with their co-workers. This means it’s important to find other solutions to improve workplace productivity. In the current golden age of technology, seeking out digital tools to improve productivity definitely poses a solution. There’s a huge plethora of software available, some of the best include:
Cloud Technology Tools:
Using cloud technology to store important documents, files or project plans, makes it easier to work collaboratively with your team centrally. These tools are helpful whether you’re in the same room as your team members or not. Cloud technology can improve productivity by taking any of these administrative niggles away – leaving you to concentrate on the task at hand.
The Power of Automation:
Balance business assistance with customer needs by harnessing the power of automation. However, this only works if undertaken wisely. With 85% of online customer interactions now answered by a machine, many customers are still seeking the human touch in their interactions. But automation doesn’t have its place when reviewing productivity. Work with your team to ascertain which processes would benefit from automation. Automating the areas that would free up their time, improving productivity, is a tactic that keeps everyone happy.
Project Management/Collaboration Tools:
Work projects using specific tools designed to keep projects running to maximum productivity. With multiple contributors, measurable milestones, alerts when your input is needed and a single point of view of a project can really increase pace and productivity. Some of the more popular tools include Kissflow, Monday, and Trello. All with varying features and tiered costings for any sized business.
Motivation Tools – Help employees feel both productive and satisfied by introducing mindful motivational tools across your teams. There are many of these on the market, but one of the more popular of these is Beeminder. This is a tool that helps users visualise goals and set measurable targets. The end result is not only increased productivity but employees also feel inspired to reach their goals and targets.
Are Workplace Meetings Being Planned?
Team meetings are important and valuable. However, sometimes, employees are requested to attend meetings that they simply aren’t required for. One body of research has found that meetings can play a big role in reducing workplace productivity. A wider reported study published by Atlassian on employees found that:
- 73% used meetings as an opportunity to multi-task. These people continued working through meetings regardless.
- 50% consider workplace meetings as wasted prime work time.
- 89% complained about “ineffective or poorly organised meetings” within their organisations.
Limiting the number of meetings that employees/management are required to attend, restricting invitees to only those most relevant to their role or meeting objective, creating a structured agenda with a realistic time frame and creating action points from the meeting is a great way to improve the use of people’s time whilst staying productive.
How Can You Improve Business Productivity?
As we mentioned before, there are a huge number of factors that can impact workplace productivity. As a result, finding pinch points within your own teams or organisations and working to remove these is a great place to start. Is your office environment distracting? How can you remove these distractions? What technology could help make life easier for your teams? Are your team meetings as impactful and necessary as they could be? By asking yourself these somewhat uncomfortable questions, you will soon find that you can increase productivity. And with increased productivity comes an increased likelihood of business success!
If you’re interested in hearing about how telecom solutions can improve productivity and business efficiency, get in touch with us and we’ll love to talk you through what is possible.