More productivity means doing more. Right?
Not necessarily. That’s an easy trap for your business to fall into. Adding people and new resources doesn’t mean your company will improve productivity.
Productivity means accomplishing more with what you already have–meaning your time and resources. It’s not always about cutting back.
In this post, you’ll learn that the key to workplace productivity is not doing more, but rethinking the way you do it. Great companies want to be productive, as well as efficient. Use these tips to increase your workplace productivity, therefore making employees, managers and teams more successful as well.
1) Find ways to add value.
And we’re done here. Because in many ways, this one captures everything that comes below. Being more productive in the workplace involves finding the undiscovered value that occurs with time and money.
Most companies focus on finding inefficiencies with a budget, but you can find more ways to be efficient with time no matter your position in the company. This could include the ways you create internal reports, the review process, or how your customers get onboarded.
2) Think about Team Communication
This is a huge issue for companies because team communication is dictated by company culture. If you enter a company as a new hire, it’s really hard to get everyone using a new system unless you’re the team lead. But even then you may not get buy-in from the CEO or founder.
What should you do?
- Start with small steps such as meeting with the key players in your company on a regular basis just to pick their brains.
- Offer helpful criticism that opens the door to more ideation and brainstorming about how to solve problems.
- Ask questions that provide clear details about what’s expected.
All of this could be going against the grain but will help your productivity.
3) Collaborate Together
LOL, this seems kinda silly. If you’re on a team…you naturally collaborate together, right? Not really. Working together and collaborating are two different things.
Great collaborative teams form goals together and pursue those relentlessly.
Here at ClickUp, our success and marketing teams have weekly scorecards that list the goals that we’re working on for that week. Those weekly metrics usually involve:
- Larger goals that we’re pursuing that build to a whole. This helps us hold each other accountable.
- Clear goals and better team collaboration improve productivity as each team member is more aware of what each person is working on and how they can chip in and help.
4) Reduce Distractions
This is the great white whale of the modern workplace and no one is sure how to do it. But part of the problem? Workers aren’t excited or committed to what they’re doing. They don’t believe in the goals or the cause or the company and therefore are more easily bored and distracted when at work. Notification overload is also to blame because our devices are dragging us back to them and away from work that matters.
5) Keep Your Area Organized
One way to stay productive in the workplace is having a work area that keeps you organized and sane. Your attention isn’t diverted to the clutter around you. “I’m consistently looking at whether to keep (on desk), file or toss. I have very little on my immediate space. Most things are filed away or put away in containers for easy access. I’m a feng shui fan and want positive energy around me,” says Sue Duris, a customer experience expert with M4 Communications.
6) Be Funny
Humor is a stress reliever and when you’re relieving stress, you’re more productive. Studies show that it’s true. It also helps with creative thinking and figuring out those knotty problems. So next time you and your teammates are stuck, think of a few jokes to lighten the mood and find a path through.
7) Get The Right Tools and Tech Stack
Are you providing employees with the modern tools to do their jobs faster and with greater ease? Take project management for example. If your teams are using Excel to manually track tasks and then send reports through email, then that’s a waste of time. There are way better tools (like ClickUp!) that can do that job much faster and more collaboratively. If you’re an employee, it may be time to approach your boss with some proposals for new productivity tools that can help you do your job faster and more efficiently.
“Investing time to create the right process to automate will cut down on menial tasks so you can have more time doing something important,” he says. Go here for more on choosing the right productivity tools.
8) Create Great Workflows
Once you have the right tech stack in place, you can now leverage that technology to its fullest extent. Set up your projects, tasks, and details in your project management software along with start dates and deadlines. With ClickUp, you can create recurring tasks and use task templates to automate the processes you use most. You can also use custom fields to uniquely specify each part of your workflow. Then you can set it, kind of forget it, and focus on the work that needs to be done, rather than on the processes. Improved workflow management saves companies millions each year. Improved workflows will help your company produce more.
9) Think About the Workplace Environment
Is an open office hurting or helping your team?
What about the type of chairs?
Meeting rooms? And stand-up desks?
Or maybe your employees just need more walks and a nice area to do it. These simple tweaks will make your employees more excited about the work they’re doing because they feel more flexibility and control over their environment.
A different type of office has made a big difference for the team at Enhancv, notes Tatiana Rehmova, a communications specialist with the interactive resume company. They’ve recently moved to a new office with an outdoor terrace and patio.
“There’s nothing better than having lunch on a terrace, an occasional meeting with a fresh air, or a meeting while smoking a bit of shisha. In the summer, we use our big terrace for BBQ parties,” she says.
10) Provide Thoughtful Feedback
Feedback helps employees see how their progress is making a difference for the company. With an eye on the prize, employees will be more productive. Feedback can also be a powerful incentive for team members to try harder and experiment with different ideas, rather than just be self-directed.
11) Motivate Your Team By Knowing Your Team
There are so many ways to do this and the Internet is filled with great suggestions. But honestly, motivating team members differs by team member. Some team members are motivated by outside rewards, others are more motivated by a great work-life balance. Some are motivated by free beer, others want free time and to finish as fast as possible. This means knowing your team, listening to them and seeing how their individual talents and skills contribute to the whole. This strategy for better workplace productivity doesn’t have a clear through-line to better ROI–instead, it’s an investment in a culture that helps your company be successful in the long term.
12) Delegate Responsibilities
If you’re growing fast, you’ll be more productive by letting others in on the action. More hands on deck isn’t always a bad thing, especially if you have rockstars and A-players on your team. This takes some organization. Managers will need to sort through their tasks and figure out who can do what. This is where project management software like ClickUp can be beneficial. You can create projects, lists, and tasks with what needs to be done to finish the project. Or you can set up notifications for recurring tasks that need to happen over and over. ClickUp helps you in the delegation process by giving you a one-stop hub for capturing your work tasks.
From there, you can determine who is the best to tackle the task, monitor the work they’re doing and then give encouragement and feedback in the process. What may seem like a less productive action in the short term will have magnificent benefits as they get the hang of it. Then your business will be more productive.
If you’re a small team, this may mean hiring freelancers, contractors or a virtual assistant to help with the workload.
When you’re trying to make your business more productive, the answer isn’t always “do more.” It also means refining your tasks, environment, and processes for maximum value. And laugh along the way. Developing these areas in your business will help you be more productive. This doesn’t happen right away–it will take time to rebuild your foundation into a productive workplace. Individual employees can take an initiative that will then influence others to do the same, improving your culture.