Managing Your Business Better In A Post-COVID World

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Post-Covid|Managing Your Business Better In A Post-COVID WorldThe battle with COVID-19 is far from over. There is a long way to go before the world can confidently say that it has a handle on the virus and that life can return to normal. However, many businesses are cautiously looking towards the future, and how they can adapt the way that they work in light of the pandemic, and the changes that we may have to make in the future.

The way we work has changed completely. While most companies were already moving towards being digital, this has accelerated the process somewhat. What other changes can you implement in a post-COVID world to help you to manage your business better?

Take feedback on board

It can be difficult to ask for feedback. After all, no one wants to hear what they are doing wrong, even if it is for the good of their business, but it really can make a significant difference.

The most obvious place to start with this is on your reviews and social media pages. If the same comments and criticisms about a particular product or business product keep cropping up, take heed and do something about it.

However, you can also create a focus group, made up of your target audience, and ask them what they think you are doing well and where they think you could improve. Above all else, take the feedback on board. Customers like to know that their opinions matter, so show them and tell them of the improvements that you have made based on their feedback.

Outsource tasks

Small business owners wear so many hats, and sometimes, one can slip and make the whole thing fall apart. Stop trying to do everything yourself and outsource. What is the point of you sitting there staring at a spreadsheet full of numbers that you do not understand when you can search for things like ‘a bookkeeper near me’ to do the hard work for you – and do it better!

Aim for a better work-life balance

If there is one thing that the coronavirus pandemic has taught us, it is that nothing is more important than our health. When you are not healthy, you can’t work as productively or efficiently as you could, so it is not only in the best interests of yourself and your family to stay healthy, but your business too.

One of the biggest health issues affecting business owners is burnout. As mentioned above, they wear so many hats and try to do so many things that you can end up burning out, which can be terrible for our health. Make sure you take time to be you, and not just a business owner.

Stay positive

We are in a situation like no other, and no one has any idea what the future is going to hold. There are undoubtedly going to many challenges in the road ahead, and sometimes, you may well feel like quitting. However, try to stay positive. You are far from the only person or business experiencing feelings like this, and while some will end up closing, many will survive, and come back stronger than ever.

Providing Your Staff With Everything They Need

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | Providing Your Staff With Everything They Need

When you first start out with your small business, chances are you do everything yourself. That or you employ the help of third party, outsourced freelancers to complete more complex or specialist tasks that are outside of your skillset, such as creating a website or shooting product photography. Hiring staff doesn’t tend to be the first thing on any new business owner’s list. After all, employees are costly and you take on a big responsibility when you hire them. But as your business begins to grow and expand, you’re going to have to take on permanent staff at some point or another. It’s impossible to run a medium to large size business independently and employees will help to keep things ticking over and moving in the right direction. When you do take on staff, it’s absolutely essential that you understand their needs and provide them with everything that they do need to carry out their jobs effectively. Here are a few areas to focus on!

Carry Out Surveys

Sometimes, staff won’t be outright about what they need to do their work. They may feel awkward and fear repercussions for making requests. But it is important that you know their needs in order to cater to them. So, carry out anonymous surveys to check whether there’s anything that you can do for your staff to help them with their work. This could include suggestions for helpful software, changes to the working environment, or anything else that could prove beneficial to productivity.

Invest in Quality Software

Nowadays, most work is carried out online with the help of devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops and computers. So, your staff are going to rely heavily on good quality software to do their work. Make sure you have the best and most up to date necessary software available. You may even want to consider having custom software made to meet all of your business’ specific and unique needs and requirements.

Invest in Your Office Space

Your office space can have a profound impact on productivity. So, make sure it’s up to scratch. Your office should have all ergonomic furniture and accessories to protect your staff from strains and injuries. This could include the perfect ergonomic office chairs, desks, wrist supports, back supports, foot supports and more.

Invest in Health and Safety

When it comes down to it, health and safety guidelines are in place to protect your employees and it’s absolutely essential that you follow them. In fact, it’s so essential that you follow these guidelines that there are laws in place to ensure that you do. So, invest in everything you need in terms of health and safety. This could include fire extinguishers, permanent safety signage, temporary safety signage, electrical PAT tests and more.

Of course, there are a number of other areas you could focus on when it comes to providing your staff with everything that they need. But those outlined above should help to get you started out in the right direction!

How the Right Office Design Strategy Can Improve Productivity

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Productivity|How the Right Office Design Strategy Can Improve ProductivityBusinesses don’t need hard workers. Someone who pushes themselves behind their limit and struggles to make it through each day on time and pulls overtime to reach deadlines is not someone you want on your team. Not because their dedication isn’t proven every day, but because they are not caring for their health. A productive employee is one that works better, faster, and often finds it far easier to get through a workday than someone who grinds through.

Their outlook is vastly different. Someone who works hard but doesn’t seem to actually get any more work done is someone on the verge of a breakdown. You are not always responsible for this downward spiral, but you can do a lot to help your employees avoid it.

There is an old saying that you should work smarter, not harder. The right office design can help employees be smarter about how they work, just by being the supportive element they need throughout their workday.

Natural Light Boosts Energy Levels

Our bodies wake up with the day. This is because we have evolved to respond to blue-white light. Our circadian rhythms are set in response to daylight hours, and yes, the blue-white light from the phone and other electronic screens messes with this rhythm. There is a reason why there is now a night mode on devices that warms the color of the screen after sunset.

In-office environments, you can use our relationship with this blue-white light to our advantage. Big windows and mirrors can bounce more light throughout the space, yes, but the right lights can also play a significant role. There are therapy lights you can install on every desk that will help your employees be healthier and more productive during the dark winter months.

Ergonomic Furniture Supports Spinal Health

Spinal health plays a huge role in productivity. A misaligned spine or a spine that has pinched a nerve can cause headaches and even restrict blood flow to the brain, and that’s on top of back and neck pain that is common with spinal conditions. Sitting at a desk all day can ruin a person’s back.
You can help and, in turn, improve your employee’s productivity just by investing in the best office furniture Aurora, IL, has to offer. New or used, the office furniture should be designed for skeletal health and support.

Art and Design Are Great for Productivity

Art does not detract from a day’s work. In fact, it is proven to improve productivity. Studies have shown that offices with art enjoy a productivity boost of 17% and that employees often work 15% faster.

To put this into a monetary perspective, if your payroll each year was $100,000, then the small bump in productivity would increase their value by $15,000. Art makes a space more inviting, builds on company culture, and is proven to boost the speed and productivity of your employees naturally.

The Right Break Room Supports Health

Ideally, every one of your employees will bring a healthy lunch to work with them. It will save them money, improve their cognitive function, and help support a healthy lifestyle. You can encourage this by making it easy for them to store and prepare their food during lunchtime.

Should You Conduct Routine Employee Drug Tests?

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |employee drug tests |Should You Conduct Routine Employee Drug Tests?Deciding whether or not to drug test your employees is often a big choice that employers have to make.

Employee drug tests have many pros and cons, and for some businesses, they may be essential. How do you know if drug testing in the workplace is for you?

We’re going to go over the pitfalls and benefits of employee drug testing so that you can make an informed decision for your business.
Keep reading to learn more.

Pro: Employee Health and Safety

A safe workplace is essential for any business. Drug use may impair your employees, making them dangers to themselves and others.
Industries that work with large machinery may want to drug test to avoid accidents.

Having healthy employees is also better for everyone. Employees who use drugs may need an extra incentive to get clean through the workplace.

Con: Employee Morale

No one particularly enjoys getting drug tested, and if you operate in a legal state (or a state that allowed marijuana), your employees may bristle at the idea of drug testing. This is especially true if it’s random.

Some potential employees may shy away from businesses that mention drug testing to start with regardless of their own use. They may see it as an invasion of privacy and look unfavorably at the employer.

Some employees also use medication that will flag on a test, and being unable to use that medication (marijuana or otherwise) will lower their morale.

Pro: Legal Liability

Having a drug-free workplace may reduce the legal liability of the employer.

If there is an accident in the workplace, the employer is legally responsible for it. Having employees go through drug screenings helps to remove one potential threat.

You protect yourself by testing your employees.

Con: Speed

The hiring process needs to be quick and efficient. By adding drug testing, you’re slowing down the process of getting a potential employee from the hiring stage to the working stage.

This may not be an issue for those who aren’t in a hurry, but it extends the time that you need and in the meantime, an employee may find another position elsewhere.

Mixed: Cost

Drug testing is costly for the employer. It may cost upwards of $30 per employee to get a comprehensive drug test (see this 10 panel drug screen guide for information). Many small businesses can not support this cost.

That said, it will reduce workers’ compensation costs if the employee who is hurt in an accident was using drugs at the time.
Overall, this is a complicated area when considering the pros and cons. The long-term costs may be reduced in the case of an accident, but the upfront cost is quite high.

Are Employee Drug Tests Right for You?

Using employee drug tests for your business might be the right choice depending on your unique situation.
Making the right choice for your company is important, and you should consider all possible factors before making your final decision.
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3 Things That Will Make Your Offices Way More Comfortable

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Office environment|3 Things That Will Make Your Offices Way More ComfortableWorking in an uncomfortable environment can be tedious and unenjoyable. If you are too hot, you can become lethargic and tired. If, on the other hand, you are too cold, then it can be incredibly challenging to focus on the task at hand. Moreover, if you aren’t comfortable in your offices, then it is very likely that your employees aren’t either meaning that productivity across the board isn’t what it should be.

Do yourself and your workers a favor by taking measures to improve the environment of your offices. Here are three ways to help you do just that so that everyone will be able to work comfortably.

1. Good Ventilation

No one likes to work in an enclosed space that becomes stuffy and stagnant. If you don’t have high-quality fans and ventilation throughout your offices, then the air is very likely to feel stale and uncomfortable. This doesn’t just apply to the hotter months of the year, either. When the heating is running in your offices during the colder months, then it is just as likely to feel stuffy inside if you aren’t taking the proper measures to circulate the air.

Look for the best heat recovery ventilation system that you can find to help keep the climate of your office comfortable and circulated. Such systems can also help save on energy costs in some scenarios as they can help the air in your offices reach the desired temperature more efficiently.

2. Window Coverings

It is always nice when an office space has plenty of windows that let in natural light. Windows can also make a space feel larger and less cramped. That being said, lots of windows make it difficult to control the climate in an office as they allow the heat from the sun to stream in during the warmer months of the year. The glass of windows can also allow cold to enter during the winter months.

Window coverings can help provide the extra insulation that you need in your offices. This can keep out the extreme temperatures outside so that you and your workers can have more control over the internal temperatures of your workspace.

3. Quality Office Chairs

A day at the office can be made increasingly more uncomfortable without the right chair. In fact, a poorly designed or worn-out office chair can lead to unbearable back and neck pain when sat in for too long. Sitting in the incorrect type of chair all day can also lead to poor circulation throughout your body, among other health risks. The chronic, nagging pain and discomfort from the wrong chair can make it difficult to focus as well.

While good quality office chairs are an investment, they are one that is definitely worth it in the end. By ensuring that you and your employees are sitting comfortably throughout the day, you can help ward off the chronic pain that generally accompanies jobs that see people sitting at desks all day and contribute to an overall more comfortable working environment.