How to Reduce Downtime and Increase Productivity in the Workplace
There are a lot of distractions in the typical workplace that diminishes productivity and even results in downtime. Successful businesses know the importance of a productive workforce. There are numerous factors that promote productivity and keep operations moving. What constitutes worker productivity may look differently depending on the nature of a company’s business. For some businesses, it might mean higher customer satisfaction rates. For another, it might equate to delivering projects on time and on budget. For another, it might be shorter sales cycles.
A common mistake many businesses make is to measure productivity in terms of the number of hours worked by employees and time spent in an assigned workspace. Simply because a worker spends a lot of time in a workspace logging a of hours doesn’t means they are productivity. Studies show that workers in hybrid work arrangements are more productive in terms of outputs and outcomes than their counterparts who work in a fixed location and adhere to a standard work schedule from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Recommendations to Reduce Downtime and Increase Productivity
Businesses seeking to reduce downtime and increase productivity should consider the following recommendations:
Get the right technologies
The digitization of the workplace creates numerous opportunities when it comes to productivity gains. Yet, at the same time, some technologies can become a distraction and actually diminish productivity. Not every technology is a one-size-fits-all solution for every business. One digital tool might be a great fit for one business but not the right solution for another.
There are a lot of different digital tools. Hundreds literally. Determining which ones are the right option for your business is important. Below are some of the possibilities and more prevalent technologies in the different functional areas:
Chat communications. While email will not go away anytime in the near future, organizations recognize its limitations and rely on other communications tools to fill the gaps. Slack, Microsoft Teams, and other chat tools are easy to use and integrate with many of the other technology tools you may use in your environment.
Project management. For organizations that have multiple team members and various projects in flight, a project management tool like Basecamp, Monday.com, or Asana might be a great way to keep teams focused on what matters while improving productivity. These are easy to use and implement and priced per seat (thus affordable to acquire).
Managing tasks. Managing day-to-day tasks can consume a lot of time and energy. It sometimes isn’t easy to remember everything you need to get done. Task tools like Todoist or Meistertask are inexpensive and have per-seat pricing.
Customer service management. Any growing business requirements a great customer service management system. Zendesk, Helpscout, Trengo, and other options are relatively inexpensive and easy to set up and manage.
Secure content sharing and storage. Workers need to collaborate with each other and third parties on sensitive content. Organizations need to ensure that the content is protected in transit and at rest.
There are a number of other productivity applications for workers, but the above categories are a good starting point.
Outsource administrative tasks
Incoming calls, emails, texts, and web chats can consume a lot of time and distract professionals from revenue-generating activities. Some of these are critical, and you want them to get attention in real time. But many of them don’t require an immediate response. Plus, routing calls and inquiries to the right subject-matter expert on your team is important. When they go to the wrong person on the team, it wastes time while frustrating the business or individual who made the call, sent the email or text, or initiated the live web chat.
Hiring someone as a full-time receptionist exceeds the budget of many small businesses. Instead, growing numbers of organizations are turning to on-demand live receptionists such as Davinci Live Receptionists. These on-demand subscription services allocate teams who become experts in your business—professionals who understand your core value proposition, messaging, products and services, and what each of your team members do.
Find the right workspace for your workers
Hybrid work arrangements are the norm for most businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 8 in 10 professionals want to continue working remotely—at least some of the time. But home offices aren’t an option all of the time for all professionals. Spouses, kids, and other home mates can be disruptive and compete for internet bandwidth. For those working all of the time or most of the time from their home offices, loneliness can be a problem.
Coworking space and day offices provide businesses with workspaces that can be rented on demand. These enable workers to avoid downtime due to work-from-home distractions and interruptions. Some businesses may have opted to eliminate their permanent, fixed office spaces altogether. Others may have retained only part of their permanent office. Regardless of the specific circumstances, coworking, day office, and rented meeting room providers like Davinci Meeting Rooms makes it easy for businesses and workers to find on-demand workspace—as well as meeting space.
Use professional meeting space
Even for businesses with permanent physical meeting rooms, those meeting rooms aren’t always the most appropriate fit for internal and external meetings. Finding a rented conference room for those meetings can be time consuming and frustrating. Hotel conference rooms are expensive and lack the professional tools needed for productive meetings. On-demand meeting rooms like those from Davinci Meeting Rooms provide businesses and professionals with the means to search for meeting rooms in specific locations with specific requirements in mind—number participants the meeting room will accommodate, available presentation and collaboration tools, and others. They also can help ensure businesses and professionals stay focused on what is important and sustain their productivity.
Employ incentives to keep workers engaged and productive
The same incentives businesses employed before COVID-19 may no longer be effective in motivating workers to stay focused and productive. Businesses and managers need to incent their workers in different ways. Objectives and key results (OKRs), developed at Google and documented by John Doerr in an award-winning book, can be used to spell out clear business measurements for employees. Awarding employees for their performance and outcomes by awarding them with gifts, lunches, and the like is one approach. Spot bonuses and option grants can be used to recognize top talent.
Enabling Productivity While Eliminating Downtime
For most businesses, the competitive landscape is more intense than before the pandemic. They must eliminate downtime and increase productivity to grow margins and revenues. The upside is that there are growing numbers of digital tools—most delivered as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)—which businesses and professionals can tap. On-demand services for live receptionists, coworking space, among others enable businesses to focus on what is most important while outsourcing administrative functions that can consume valuable time and energy.