It might be that the title of this article confuses you. Surely you pay your staff to attend the vital functions of your business, and thus you want them to invest their time in the tasks you have prescribed? Well, of course, but it’s also a ‘yes and no’ situation. Your staff likely have a range of tasks they must complete, some roles determine a more complex or supportive role than others. But there’s also plenty of busywork in the everyday life of a staff member, and this constant interruption can often lead to lax productivity, distraction, or perhaps them not being used to the fullest extent of their ability.
Of course, automating every process is impossible, and would pretty much encourage your staff’s utility to dry up overnight. But if considered well, saving time, discouraging unnecessary processes, implementing measures to save time and giving your entire process much more room to breathe from department to department could free up untold man-hours in your business, and that’s quite often the dream of any focused employer.
To this end, consider our advice:
The Morning Arrival
Of course, you’ll likely have a time in which you expect your staff members to arrive at the office, or a particular rotating shift pattern they are expected to internalize. While it’s none of your business how they arrive or how you might force them through one avenue or another, you can of course help their morning arrival to the office remain as streamlined as possible.
For example, investing in ample parking space could be the first required step to ensure your staff arrive fresh faced and always with somewhere to put their vehicles securely, shaving minutes off their arrival time. You might address your clock-in system. In some businesses this can be a cumbersome process to experience. Writing the clock-in time in a large ledger or having to verify it with someone at the front office adds an unnecessary waste of energy and time that needn’t be there. Instead, equipping your staff with key cards for their immediate clock-in system can help you more accurately ensure they are verified in attendance. Having this form of routinely adhered to in-and-out form of marking could also help you in the event of a fire, ensuring whoever has managed to evacuate is also accounted for as the people who were currently listed in the building.
Of course, competent cleaning, encouraging desk organization and investing in your IT infrastructure can also help them avoid the difficult process of spending the morning trying to make their computers wake up. A solid IT support system to help address any issues can also help. In other words, you want to ensure your staff are set up for the day correctly, and that nothing artificial prevents them from carrying on with their work where they might have left off.
Of course, it’s not just how much time you save for your staff, but also how well they are encouraged to use that time. If they’re not working hard, then free hours simply add up to nothing. But that doesn’t mean simply cracking the whip is going to be effective. In fact, it will likely lead to some form of animosity among your staff, especially if the work is sensitive or creative in nature, and requires the correct attention to detail or time investment. However, there are simply measures you can take to ensure the working day is more comfortable, and more conducive to this sense of focus.
For example, playing an air filter and negative ionizer in the office can help the room feel lighter, more breathable, and less oppressive. Even with good ventilation, an office space can feel like this if you’re not careful. Simply cracking a window can help, but if you imagine the potential of hundreds of people in one large room, you can see how it could feel a little intense. Solid greenery in the room can also help the cognitive function of your staff members, as can the inclusion of free caffeine, tea bags or green tea for anyone who wishes to use it. It’s not hard to see how this can improve the functioning of your staff, and it’s worth the investment.
Also, invest in excellent HR. There’s nothing less conducive to work than suppressed workplace bullying, harassment, or personal problems interfering in work. Have a zero tolerance policy for the former behavior, and do everything you can to encourage staff to confide in your HR team for necessary issues. Ensure that you set a high social standard, and people will feel trusted and cared for. This means that if a staff member is perhaps inappropriately flirting with others they are spoken to firmly, and if it happens again, they are gone. A workplace that feels safe and protective of everyone is essential to nurture that ‘office family’ feeling, and this only leads itself to productive work.
Remove Unnecessary Tasks
There’s a range of unfortunate legwork that is often carried out from day to day in most firms. If you ask most employees, they will usually have one or two issues they must deal with each day that lacks the inspiration to finish it, to say the least. Of course, as a boss, you’re not going to be able to simply give the best and most stimulating work responsibilities to your staff without any of the boring or dredging work, that’s what you’re paying them for.
But at the same time, it might be that completely eviscerating what you can from their responsibilities, and avoiding the ‘doubling up’ of departmental responsibilities can help them flourish in their select specialism. For example, it might be that thus far, you have had your marketing people answer the phones when it comes to branding deals and arranging meetings. With Your Virtual Office, mail forwarding, call answering, meeting generation and a range of other services are taken care for you, effectively offsetting an entire department of work to a refined digital system. With plans like this in place, you’ll be sure to remove unnecessary tasks.
We hope these efforts can inspire you to save your staff’s time piece by piece. With this in mind, great results are sure to follow.