Workplace Efficiency | 7 mins read

Bridging the Gap between Workplace Efficiency and Labor Costs

bridging the gap between workplace efficiency and labor costs
Michelle Jaco

By Michelle Jaco

When the goal is to improve efficiency in the workplace, the proper thing to do is to make employees work smarter instead of harder.

Maximizing efficiency in the workplace is not a one-sided venture since there are a lot of factors that have an effect on workplace efficiency. Some of these factors can be leadership, workplace environment, and job satisfaction.

A good leader needs the right strategy and tools to increase efficiency within a company and this is provided in this article. Here are seven hacks to increase workplace efficiency-

1. Flexible Work Hours for the Employees

Giving employees the option to choose their work hours has many benefits. The possibility to decide for themselves can increase efficiency since they will work when they are most productive. Presenting workers with an option will also make them happier which will motivate them to stick to work-related tasks when they are doing their job.

Another solution to take into consideration is making the teams virtual with the option to work from home a few days a week. Having a virtual/remote team has been proven to increase productivity. According to Stanford Business School, allowing people to work from home can increase productivity by around 13%.

Having remote teams is not as unusual as one might think. There are several startups such as Groove or Zapier that are utilizing fully remote teams. Allowing employees to work from home can be a big time-saver for them and it will allow them to work in a more comfortable space.

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2. Making Technological Changes

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One of the more obvious hacks is to continuously upgrade technology within an organization. Technology generally increases workplace performance by expediting daily tasks. An example might be to buy employees tablets so that they can work on the go.

Depending on the industry and business, there are different technological solutions that can help an organization increase efficiency and productivity. A great example is the restaurant business, according to Ordyx, a great POS system can dramatically increase capacity and also make the work easier for the employees.

Cloud-functions are also a technological solution that all businesses should take into consideration. Allowing employees to upload documents to the cloud provides the staff with the option to work from anywhere in the world, which also grants the employee the benefit to be more flexible with their work hours.

3. Map and Investigate Company Processes

Lack of productivity can originate from a few different sources, but one of them might be unnecessarily complicated workplace processes. If an employee always experience trouble in a work process such as the production line this will decrease the productivity. By constantly running in to problems the workers will need to waste precious time to fix the issues.

Mapping and investigating the processes of a business will help identify existing problems. These processes are anything from the production line to the procedure of hiring new staff. When the problems are identified they can be removed from the process resulting in increased workplace efficiency.

4. Inspire Team Building

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Communication within an organization is key and productivity will soar if employees can communicate in an efficient way. Getting employees to work together will help the flow of information within the company. For example, it is important that information about problems is shared within the organization so that the obstacles can be dealt with.

A great way to boost morale and teach people to work together is with team building activities, such as activities outside of the workplace, like a team happy hour on a Friday after work. This allows employees to become further acquainted with each other, fostering greater comfort levels when working together.

Physical group activities, like a softball game, are another great way to strengthen the teamwork of employees, while also combining work with exercise. This will better the health both physically and mentally of employees. Healthy employees are generally more productive and take fewer sick days.

Another great way to encourage teamwork and team building are to conduct a mentoring session when new hires are brought on. According to an article from Harvard Management, this is a great way to make sure that teamwork increases within an organization. A simple example of this is doing a departmental lunch-in and ordering takeout, allowing the new team member(s) to meet peers.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

5. Create a Happy Work Environment

People who are happy are typically more productive. Happy workers also focus more on the task at hand instead of growing distracted by the non-work-related things that are interfering with their happiness.

One great way to improve the workplace is by taking a look at the physical environment in the office. How is the lighting? Invest in easily accessible blinds to allow the employees to adjust how much natural light is let in. Also, make sure that proper overhead lighting is installed to prevent strain to the eyes.

Also, encourage feedback. Survey the team and vote on other environmental improvements that could be made, like new chairs, standing desk, or and in-house espresso machine (of course, communicate that all suggestions should be financially viable).

6. Reduce the Number of Meetings

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Companies in the US are spending around $35 billion on meetings annually, while employees reportedly spend an average of 40% of their workday in meetings per year.

Take into consideration just how many of the scheduled meetings are absolutely necessary. Could the information shared in some of the meetings be distributed via mass e-mail? Can the meetings be shortened?

One way to reduce the number of meetings is to incorporate the right management tools into every project. Of course, face-to-face meetings will always be a necessity but take into consideration where changes could be applied.

7. Automate the Work

Surprisingly, one way to actually negatively impact productivity is by multitasking.
Time management becomes more challenging when an employee is regularly trying to produce multiple projects at once. Constantly changing up the tasks of the work can result in the employee losing up to 40% of their productivity.

One great solution to this is to utilize technology, like with the use of automation. Social media campaigns, for example, can be greatly improved by timing when to post versus having an employee manually complete the task.

Bonus Improve Team Performance

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Six bonus tips on how to improve team performance-

1. Set clear rules for the team- one example might be to be extra clear on no laptops or cellphones during meetings and also to respect the office hours. This will make disengaged employees pay more attention to the right tasks.

2. Clarify the purpose- Clarify for the employees why things are done and for what purpose as well as explain what the goals of the project are. The time frame of specific tasks within a project needs to be clarified as well so that the company will not fall behind schedule. Having clear goals and a purpose will encourage teams to work harder since they know the motivations behind a project.

3. Make sure to reward good work- Make sure to give out rewards if an employee does good work. The reward can come in a lot of forms like bonuses or extra vacation days.

4. Promote collaborative space- The workers need to be inspired to use the common places that exist around the office and one way to do this is for the senior management to use them as well. If the managers use collaborative space, it will more easily become a part of the company culture.

5. Informal meeting- A great way to improve team performance is to schedule informal meetings, such as an extra coffee break where all the employees have an opportunity to chat.

6. Focus on the strengths of individuals- Making sure to identify the strengths of the employees and utilizing them is much more useful than focusing on weaknesses. This will surely increase employee efficiency within a team.

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