The worst part is that these inefficiencies not only affect productivity, but can have a strong impact on a business’s bottom line. The effects can include potential earnings lost, money wasted on useless processes, time spent on frivolous tasks, and many others. However, most executives and business owners do not realize that the solutions to many of these problems are incredibly simple, and could lead to a major improvement in their companies’ overall operations. Here are seven of the easiest and best ways to improve businesses’ efficiency.
BYOD – With mobile technology advancing the way it has in the past decade, bring-your-own-device policies have become more widespread in business culture. BYOD policies encourage employees to use their mobile phones, tablets, and even laptops at work through software applications or networks, and enable cost savings, better efficiency, and even the ability to work on the go thanks to cloud technology.
Automate the Menial Tasks – It is crazy to believe that many companies still pay large sums of money for tasks such as invoicing, inventory, or call forwarding. With developers and technology allowing for incredibly sophisticated systems that can handle these things automatically, companies can save and delegate. Automation allows teams to delegate truly important tasks to staff while avoiding wasting money on more employees to do the same work.
Go Paperless – One of the biggest culprits of office waste is the constant investment in office supplies—namely, paper. Companies today handle incredible amounts of data and documents for almost everything, from invoicing to communications to proposals. However, by printing these, businesses waste money on storage, printing, supplies, and eventually destruction. Going paperless can make communication more efficient and save massively on supplies and everyday expenses.
Make Business Mobile – This strategy goes hand in hand with BYOD policies. Allowing employees to use their own devices could lead to situations where personal numbers and information get used for businesses. However, this is simply avoided by using a Voice-over-IP—or VoIP—service, which allows teams to use their business phones anywhere they go, from their mobile devices or laptops. There are hundreds of services, and it is not hard to find the best VoIP system to fit a company’s needs.
Skip the Meetings – Businesses today waste a shocking amount of time on frivolous tasks, with one of the biggest problems being meetings. While in theory they are excellent, modern communications have rendered them moot, and many studies have found that meetings drag on too long and sap productive time from staff. Businesses should look to fully get rid of meetings in favor of quick communications, or simply make meetings much shorter.
Forget the E-mails – Another surprising drain on productivity, e-mails have been found to take up nearly a third of employees’ workdays. Between sending, receiving, and waiting for e-mails, workers can waste entire days without the information they need. There are several better communication channels out there from services such as Slack, HipChat, or even Google’s Hangouts. Studies have even found that old-fashioned phone calls are a more efficient way to communicate at work.
Set Clear KPIs – A big issue with many employees at businesses is the fact that in a lot of companies, goals are not clear, or are too vague to be attained. By setting Key Performance Indicators—also known as KPIs—that are easy to measure and offer clear paths to achievement, employees can be more easily motivated and productive while working toward a visible objective.
While it might seem that some of these tactics are hard to implement, most only take a little planning and some research. Reading great VoIP reviews, or doing research on better communication systems, and even trying new policies out on a pilot basis can lead to major improvements while transforming a company’s efficiency within a short period of time.