10 general productivity tips for the whole office
1. Add context to tasks.
Always explain why tasks are important. It helps motivate teams and keeps everyone informed on how their timely input impacts the bottom line. Contextualizing tasks helps your entire team feel more eager to get things done and is a terrific way to boost employee productivity quickly.
2. Rethink the meetings
It doesn't matter how much you've honed in your meeting strategy. The stats show that only about 11% of meetings are actually productive. As a result, you should consider cutting any unnecessary meetings. Then, take some steps to make sure your remaining meetings are efficient, like scheduling the meeting as early as possible, only inviting absolutely crucial people and having a clear plan of action.
3. Focus on time management
Take time to organize your day. It helps you get more done, reduces stress and keeps your tasks from piling up. Good time management is even more important when working remotely because of the added distractions and the blurry lines between work and home life. Focusing on time management can be an excellent tool for increasing personal and team productivity.
4. Rewards and recognition
According to the latest research, 78% of employees work harder when their efforts are rewarded and recognized. Consequently, supervisors should employ a recognition and rewards program in their operations to make sure their entire team feels appreciated for their hard work.
5. Encourage regular breaks
Burnout is a real thing, and working long hours, non-stop is a fast track straight to burnout. While it might seem like breaks are counterintuitive to boosting productivity, frequent breaks can be the best way to increase productivity. Encourage your employees (even those working from home) to step away from the computer regularly and take a walk or eat a snack to feel rejuvenated and ready to continue to produce.
6. Employ automation
Technology and automation are critical tools for increasing operational efficiency. These days, AI and machines can finish tasks that used to take humans hours to complete. Automation increases efficiency and allows your employees to focus on income-generating activities instead of manual tasks.
7. Collaboration and delegation
If your team isn't working equitably, then it's time to redistribute balance. You want everyone's workloads to be fair and in line. When one employee or team has too much on their plate, find ways to collaborate and delegate. This not only increases efficiency but it also empowers team members to contribute to tasks that they might not have otherwise. It also allows your hardest workers to offload some of their unneeded tasks.
8. Check-in regularly
It can be easy to feel isolated in hybrid and remote teams. That's why it's important to keep in touch with all your team members, so you can know how they're feeling, where they need help and how you can help them improve their productivity. Often a semi-regular, one-on-one chat is all it takes to get a grasp on the entire team's productivity levels and goals.
9. Appreciate your results, and then work to improve
Firstly, it's critical to measure your productivity metrics because there really isn't any use in trying to make them better if you don't know what they are. Then, find ways to measure performance and output. Every quarter (or cycle), take a look at these metrics and how they've improved. Take time to recognize your team for their hard work, and then find ways to overcome any challenges and obstacles to create better results in the future.
10. Utilize tools
From collaboration platforms and productivity suites to smartphones, calendar apps and more, there's no shortage of available tools to improve productivity. As hybrid work continues to increase, these types of tools will only become more prevalent. Take advantage of some of the tools out there and encourage your team to research and recommend some tools.
8 tips for improving email productivity
Even though instant messaging is on the rise, many companies still use email as their primary means of communication. However, employees are often bogged down by emails, receiving an average of more than 120 emails every day. Even if it just took them one minute to read and respond to each email, employees would still spend roughly two hours a day moving through them.
So, what's the solution? In short, send fewer emails and make them higher quality. Also, find ways to handle them more efficiently. Here are some best practices for doing just that.
1. Consider direct messaging instead.
Rather than sending an email to get information on an internal project or wish somebody a happy birthday, consider instant messaging instead. Break your company into different project teams and allow them to chat directly instead of emailing about everything.
2. Create designated email times
Rather than expect employees to deal with emails around-the-clock, consider setting an email time block. Ideally, you have your employees answer emails first thing in the morning and then maybe after lunch. Then, don't look at the emails again for the day. To hold yourself and your team accountable, you can even set up specific times when you'd like to receive emails so that you aren't tempted to look and answer outside of those hours.
3. Silence email notifications
If you need to work on a big project or have some uninterrupted work time, try silencing your email notifications for a bit. This helps cut back on distraction and allows you to focus on the task at hand. You can even set an out-of-the-office message in your email so people know not to expect an immediate reply.
4. Clean up the inbox
Take time to organize your email with folders or labels. Then, redirect emails that aren't urgent to other inboxes. Also, take time to unsubscribe from any newsletters you don't use, and turn off notifications from your work applications if you don't need them. For example, do you really need an email every time someone sends you a Slack?
5. Compose better emails
Always include a subject line and be succinct. Send emails with clear action items and questions, so the receiver knows exactly what's expected of them. This will help reduce the number of back-and-forth emails that waste time.
6. Enforce a cut-off time
If setting off email times doesn't work, consider enforcing a cut-off time. This allows you to continue to email when needed but only until a certain point. At that time, you should turn off notifications and focus on the present tasks.
7. Avoid long-winded emails
If you're writing more than a couple of sections, it might be better to make a phone call (or video call). Doing so allows you to deliver your message much quicker, and you get the response right away. It's a win-win.
8. A trick for urgent messages
When a person sends an urgent email, you might feel like you need to respond right away. However, if you need more time to think about it, send a holding message instead that tells them when you expect to get back to them with a complete answer. This gives you a bit of space while still letting the sender know their issue is important to you.
Final thoughts on improving productivity
Ultimately, if you use these 18 simple tips, you should notice a vast improvement in your and your employees' productivity. When working to improve productivity, ask yourselves questions like:
- Are the right team members doing the right sort of tasks?
- Does the amount of work make sense for the number of employees we have?
- Is the work distributed evenly?
- Are we using the right tools and tech to measure and automate?
Then, take steps to improve. If you find that you don't have enough team members to reach your productivity targets, we can help. We help companies hire and employ top talent from around the world in minutes. Learn more.