As a small- or medium-sized (SMB) business owner, you are always looking for ways to be more productive and efficient. And while you may know about the common productivity drains like inefficient equipment or technology, there are others that can have a significant impact on your operations.
Here are some of the most common productivity drains on SMBs and how you can overcome them.
Excessive checking of email
Constantly checking emails can lead to constant distractions from both expected and unexpected tasks. Not only does it result in employees taking longer to complete their tasks, but it also leads to increased stress levels as employees struggle to keep up with email demands on top of their tasks. Moreover, if workers are constantly checking email after hours or during breaks, then their leisure time is also being invaded by work-related activities, which may lead to fatigue and burnout over time.
This is why it pays to set guidelines on when and how often staff should check/respond to emails throughout the day. Having clear expectations will help keep everyone focused on the tasks at hand.
Endless meetings and unproductive discussions can take away from the time staff could be spending on more productive tasks, such as completing work or strategizing for upcoming projects. Based on research, 70% of meetings keep staff from doing productive work.
As a business leader, one of your duties is to make sure that you are setting only productive meetings. Hold meetings only when absolutely necessary and try to keep them short and focused. And rather than insisting on face-to-face meetings all the time, leverage technologies such as video conferencing tools whenever possible. This can result in quicker and more efficient meetings.
Poorly structured workflows
When employees are stuck in inefficient processes, including manual data entry, complicated approval flows, or inefficient reporting systems, they can easily become bogged down in the details and take too long to complete tasks. Fortunately, automation and other technologies can simplify complex processes. You can implement job management software or task tracking tools to help keep employees organized and allow them to focus on the most important tasks at hand.
Multitasking is often seen as an ideal way to stay productive and get more done in less time. But while it may seem like a highly efficient approach in theory, focusing on one task at a time is much better for your productivity levels. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, doing more than one task at a time takes a toll on productivity.
When you multitask, the brain takes longer to switch gears between chores, and it can become overwhelmed when trying to process too much information at once. Focusing on one task at a time and breaking up larger projects into more manageable chunks ensures you can remain focused and be more efficient.
In today's digital workplace, having the right technology is essential in streamlining workflows and optimizing productivity. Without the right tools, employees may find themselves spending more time than necessary navigating complicated user interfaces, which can lead to wasted hours and decreased motivation.
This can be avoided by giving your teams access to the right technology for their job. Investing in up-to-date tools such as cloud storage systems, project management software, and communication portals can help streamline processes and make it easier for employees to stay productive. Additionally, consulting an IT support company to provide training and optimize tech tools for your teams can help them get up to speed quickly.
Negative company culture
Negative company culture, which is often characterized by a lack of trust and respect between colleagues, unsupportive management, and negative communication, can have a major impact on employees' morale. This, in turn, can lead to decreased employee motivation and productivity.
Business owners are responsible for creating a positive work environment where employees feel respected and motivated. This can be done by emphasizing trust and collaboration between colleagues, making sure team members get recognition for their accomplishments, providing regular feedback, and providing opportunities for growth.
By recognizing and addressing the common productivity drains in your business, you can make sure that your team is working at maximum efficiency. Healthy IT can help your SMB in New York implement strategies to combat productivity drains using technology. Get in touch with us today.