Productivity is a hot topic of discussion recently. With news articles closely following the idea of Microsoft Japan’s recent four day work week experiment, some businesses are beginning to look at ways to boost their own productivity numbers. This is an important area of focus, as productivity costs not only affect output, but also employee morale as well as overhead costs.
Even if a four day work week isn’t the best for every business, there are still ways that productivity can be given a much needed breath of fresh air. Increasing productivity can have positive effects on many elements of a company’s operation. Therefore, every business can take a page or two out of Microsoft and many other companies’ playbooks when it comes to finding easy ways to increase productivity.
Reduce Time Spent in Meetings
Every employee hates sitting in endless meetings, let’s get that out of the way now. No one enjoys sitting down in the morning, pulling up their calendar, and seeing hour after hour blocked out jamming up their work time.
And in reality, how necessary are many meetings? In many cases, the information needing to be conveyed can easily be done in an email. But in other areas, meetings are crucial for brainstorming and collaborating.
But what if the meetings were, more streamlined and took up less time? Chances are, more would get done and the time taken away from an employee’s daily tasks will be reduced. Microsoft cut meeting times from an hour to 30 minutes — this may be an experiment worth undertaking in a marketing agency struggling to find enough hours in the day to get through all of its responsibilities.
Try Flexible Scheduling On for Size
Yes, it’s true that many industries can’t shift to close their offices or storefronts during an ordinary business day. However, there may be some flexibility in the schedules employees are working. When given more control and autonomy, employees may show more self-sufficiency and initiative to do more work in less time.
Consider taking a poll of employees in the agency, to find out what motivates them and what “pain points” they have when it comes to the workplace. One way to help boost productivity is to provide more motivation to get through work more efficiently. Allowing employees to work a consistent schedule, for example, may allow them to more effectively balance work with their home lives, which can in turn help them focus more on work when they’re in the office.
Reward with What Matters
In a similar vein, employee feedback is important to fully understand motivation and what drives productivity. Simply throwing what is perceived to be a reward may not be what actually motivates an employee. And while there is an argument for gratitude and the opportunity to work for any sort of reward, it’s still imperative that employers take their workers into account when making adjustments. After all, it’s never been more true that other businesses are cropping up quickly, ready to entice jaded employees from rivals.
So take the time to ask for feedback, and find out what’s important to employees in order to find ways to boost productivity. Finding the best balance of serving business needs while also keeping morale up will help productivity numbers increase organically.