6 Ways to Create a More Productive Office Space
When you’re running an office, you’ve got limited time and limited money to make sure that your team gets their work done. In order to make sure you are meeting—and surpassing—your clients’ expectations, it’s important to eliminate waste and make sure the time you spend in the office is as productive as possible. That doesn’t mean that every employee needs to spend every second hunched over their desks working at a backbreaking pace. That is, to paraphrase the old saying, “working harder rather than smarter.” There are a lot of ways to structure your office space and your team’s workflow to improve productivity at work.
Encourage your workers to set a plan each day. Dedicate the first 10 or 15 minutes of each day to lay out exactly what they need to accomplish that day. Take the three most important tasks on that list and make sure they come first. You can still intersperse smaller, less important tasks throughout the day to break up the monotony of working on the same tasks all day, but make sure you plot out enough time to get the most important tasks done.
One of the best ways to streamline your and your team’s workflows is to keep things organized, both on your desk and in your programs. Lay out plans for how tasks should be passed from one stage to the next so that there are no miscommunications. Where possible, this shouldn’t interfere with your employees’ individual workflows that work best for them; the most important result is for employees to get their work done more easily, not organization for organization’s sake.
It’s important for workers to have the appropriate tools to accomplish their tasks. There are dozens of software tools available to streamflow almost every aspect of your business, so keep a constant watch for options to improve your productivity. Once you find a good tool, though, try to stick with it to avoid adding the complication of learning new software and rearranging your workflow every few months. You can find workflow suites that will automate projects, passing tasks to the proper team member as soon as the prerequisite tasks are complete, eliminating wasted time. There are accounting services that will allow you to outsource those tasks to both software automation or human workers. And don’t limit yourself to the first tool you hear about—look for the tools that will work best for you. You can find alternatives to Quickbooks and Quicken that may work better for your specific business. Just because a software is the most popular, doesn’t mean it will be your best option.
There have been dozens of studies performed that show just how important it is for employees to take breaks. If you are hovering over your employees and tracking all the time they are spending on non-work tasks, your workers will feel trapped. It shouldn’t need to be said, but workers hate being micromanaged.
When employees are pushing themselves for eight hours each day, it can weigh on them, and they will begin to make mistakes. If you have to constantly go back and make corrections, you’re not actually being productive. It’s much better to get the job done properly the first time, so give your employees plenty of chances to step away from their desks and reenergize. This will boost productivity, reduce stress, and even prevent physical problems that come from sitting still for hours on end.
If you want your employees to be able to get their work done efficiently, it’s a good idea to invest a little bit of money into the workspace they will using. Comfortable chairs, desks that can be adjusted to a comfortable height, and adjustable computer monitors can all remove frustrating distractions and allow workers to concentrate more easily. Pay attention to what your team needs to get their work done and do everything in your power to make it happen.
For some reason, whenever a team takes on a project, leaders will rush to schedule a meeting. Often, these meetings are unnecessary, and sometimes, they can even be detrimental. It’s not necessary to take everyone away from their desks for an hour or more when the same information could be conveyed in a quick email. Yes, sometimes it’s necessary to meet in person, but often, you don’t need to bring the entire team in. According to one study, 73 percent of people who attend meetings aren’t even paying attention, working on tasks that are completely unrelated to the meeting. If they don’t need to be there, why bring them into a space where they are forced to work in less than ideal conditions? Instead, consider tools for collaboration like Slack, Trello, or Google Keep.
These are only a few ideas on how to boost productivity in your office. Do some research, both on other tools that are available, and within your team to determine what they are lacking to streamline their work. It’s possible to improve your team’s activity without turning your office into a strictly regimented, oppressive place. By paying attention to your workforce, you can build an efficient business where your employees are happy to work each day.
Kevin Bugielski is the Marketing Manager for Victory Lap, a purpose-driven startup changing the sales game. Avid Snapchatter, SoulCycle lover, newfound runner, but ultimately, a foodie.