Ensuring each member of a team is working diligently to achieve their goals and complete their tasks in a timely fashion is important regardless of the size of the business, but for SMB owners, knowing and supporting the productivity of the team is top priority.
This time of year, it’s easy to see how productivity slumps. The days are getting shorter and the thrill of summertime has come to an end. Though employees may feel recharged after summer vacations, the distractions of the holidays will soon creep up. With limited resources, short runway before holiday vacations, and a list of to-dos that seems never ending, what can be done to make sure your office space fosters efficient and thorough work through the busy end-of-year season?
Encourage teams to make to-do lists
A crucial component to getting work done is outlining what needs to be done in one place. Making to-do lists helps prioritize tasks by importance and deadline, identify what can be passed along to other team members, and highlight projects that may need to be tabled altogether. Additionally, to-do lists help account for the amount of time it will take to complete each task, providing clarity into busy schedules and who may have the bandwidth to take on more work.
Tidy up workspaces
An often-overlooked key to productivity is ensuring our workspace is tidy and free of distractions. Most of us are easily distracted by thoughts of our outside to-do lists, pings from our cell phones, alerts from email and the mountain of paperwork engulfing our desk. Keep productivity levels high by setting aside time to check your phone for personal messages and emails, read emails and prioritize their contents, and clear your desktop of clutter. Clearing away the piles of paper may seem the most daunting of all, but with easy-to-use scanners like the Fujitsu ScanSnap can help. Cut that pile down to size with built-in features like one-touch scanning to your device or cloud and OCR (optical character recognition) that allows you search the text of your files.
Eliminate unnecessary meetings
Most people have a love/hate relationship with meetings. It’s helpful to have everyone in the same place at one time to align on priorities or a task at hand. However, meetings quickly become a time suck. To keep productivity high, eliminate unnecessary meetings. Before throwing a meeting on your team’s calendar, ask if the objective of the meeting could be handled through email or Slack. Studies show employees spend 31 unproductive hours a month in meetings and found that 73% of employees do other work during meetings, which makes them a waste of time for the organizer. Be mindful of upcoming priorities and bunch meetings together based on deadlines. Added bonus: hold standing meetings to energize your team before they head back to their desks.
Make time to stand up and move
Increase productivity by stepping away from your to-do list. It can be difficult to do, especially when you are buried under a mountain of to-dos! However, research has shown that by standing up and moving around for even a few minutes, you return to your work more focused. Even a few minutes of stretching or a walk down the hall will increase blood flow and productivity when you return to your desk.
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