While 100% productivity is more of a fantasy than a reality, it is important that business owners are able to tackle low levels of productivity if they want to succeed in the new year. However, given that “the average employee is only productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes per day,” this can sometimes seem far easier said than done!
We’ve compiled some top tips from productivity experts that you can use to give workplace productivity a much-needed boost in 2024!
Identify the roadblocks standing in your way
Sometimes, it’s easy to identify the root of poor productivity rates. For example, we may be distracted by things that are happening around us. However, being able to get to the root of the issue will allow you to put the proper strategies in place to prevent it from occurring again moving forward.
For example, sometimes, it may be taking your team longer than expected to complete a certain task due to poor training or a lack of understanding as to what the task actually requires them to do. Alternatively, productivity rates could be dropping due to burnout.
Use the right tools
If you’re looking to improve your productivity rates, it’s important that you’re using the appropriate tools and technology to facilitate this. For example, if you’re developing a digital product, such as a mobile app for your company, you can speed up the process using tools such as Optimize.
Optimize can be used to assess the current state of the project and determine the next best step. It also provides you with access to the data you need to assess your performance and determine when the product is ready to launch. Having access to this tool can boost productivity by making it easier for your team to make decisions or alterations to your digital products, which means they’re more likely to meet deadlines.
Write to-do lists
Writing to-do lists can also help you improve efficiency in your business because it adds structure to your day. It also allows you to prioritize urgent or time-sensitive tasks, helping you stay on track towards your goals.
Daily to-do lists are often more effective than weekly ones, as they are more specific. For example, saying that you have to complete a certain task before lunchtime is better than saying it must be completed by the end of the week. It often means that you’re more focused as a result of the time crunch it places on you.
Encourage your employees to take a break
When productivity rates drop within the workplace, it creates a sense of urgency among employees that leaves them feeling as though they have to work consistently – and often through their breaks – in order to make up for lost time. While this may seem like a good idea, it could actually cause productivity rates to plummet even further.
This is because failing to take a break often results in burnout or high levels of stress and anxiety, all of which impact an employee’s ability to work effectively. As a result of this, a task that should only take 15-20 minutes of their time could take upwards of an hour.
For that reason, you should encourage your team to take regular breaks, especially if they are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Sometimes, spending some time away from their desk could actually be beneficial in that they feel more refreshed and focused upon their return.
On a similar thread, you should ensure that they do not eat their lunch at their desk. After all, this requires them to multi-task, which often takes their focus away from the task at hand, meaning they’re more likely to make mistakes.
Working collaboratively is one of the easiest ways to improve productivity within the workplace. After all, when working on a complicated task alone, we’re more likely to encounter challenges that slow down the process to completion. However, working with others means that challenges are approached from a few different vantage points, and employees are able to use differing perspectives and skills to work toward the same goal.
As such, you should encourage your team to work collaboratively as much as possible or at least ask for help when they feel as though they are stuck.
Automate time-consuming tasks
Sometimes, low productivity is the product of overworking your team. For example, they may spend the bulk of their day completing routine administration tasks, such as responding to emails or social media messages, when they really need to focus on other tasks.
This can be remedied by using automation tools and software which takes some of these tasks off your hands. This way, your employees can focus on the role you actually hired them for.
Outsourcing when hiring is not possible
Smaller teams often encounter issues with productivity when the demand for their services continues to grow – but the team does not. While there are many reasons why you may not be willing to expand your team just yet, such as lack of finances, it’s important that you’re able to keep up with this demand.
In these cases, you may want to consider outsourcing specific roles and duties when hiring a full-time employee is not an option. For example, if you were looking to improve your marketing strategy or online presence, you could benefit from outsourcing a social media manager who can help you kickstart this process.
Alternatively, if you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to managing your finances, tax planning or bookkeeping, you can outsource accounting services to ensure your financial records are up to date.
However, if your finances allow you to hire new employees, you should do this as soon as possible. After all, this means that you can keep up with growing consumer demands while also protecting your current employees from burnout. In short, it provides you with an easy way to grow your business from strength to strength.