Productivity around the holidays is a concern for many small businesses. Employees have numerous demands on their time, time off work and projects to wrap-up before the end of the year. While productivity is important to all businesses, it is of particular interest to small businesses, which tend to be lean and require everyone working efficiently in order to succeed. By implementing these four items you can help make your workplace as productive as possible.
- Practice accountability
Everyone, including the boss, has to be accountable for their time spent at work. Give clear daily, weekly and monthly goals and set expectations around the amount of work to be done and the timeline for completion. If your employees are expected to clock in and out or use time tracking software then use the data and analyze it. Having those kinds of tools doesn’t do any good if the data isn’t being evaluated. Take a look and see if you have people underperforming on certain tasks but over-performing on others, this may give you an opportunity to divide up assignments in such a way that everyone is able to focus on what they exceed at.
- Eliminate time wasted
Do you really need notifications on your phone or browser from websites or every social media app? Probably not. See where you can turn off notifications, either entirely or at least during the work hours. If you don’t want to eliminate any notifications turn your phone on silent when you need to focus and get work done. If you’re curious how much time you might have wasted, go into “Settings” on the Facebook app and select “Your Time on Facebook” to see how much time you spent in the app each day. You can also, within the same area of the app, set a daily time reminder to receive a notice once you’ve used the amount of time you choose for the day to help limit your time in the app.
- Work smarter
Automate processes wherever possible. Look at your week and see where you’re spending the most time, and then see whether any of those larger time items can be automated. If they cannot be automated, develop a process to help streamline the activity and cut down the amount of time spent.
- Require agendas for meetings
If a meeting doesn’t have an agenda, it doesn’t happen. Even if the agenda is a small and informal list, it will help keep the discussion focused and on track. I am sure that we have all been in meetings that could have been an email or a quick phone call, by defining the purpose and goal of the meeting in advance it can help illuminate opportunities to resolve the issue in a more efficient manner than a meeting, when possible.