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Be More Productive With These Office Tips

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article |Productive office tips|Be More Productive With These Office TipsWorking in an office environment is sometimes a stressful job. It is a working environment that is often fast paced and sometimes it is hard to balance every little job and reach your goals.

If you have been sure going creating a productive office space recently it is important for you to try and make some key changes for efficient working. Today we are going to take a look at some of the ways you can make a change to your office space this year and be more productive.

Make it light

An office space cannot be dark and drab if you are to work in it effectively. You need to make sure that the office has plenty of natural light as well as bright light sources such as a 2×2 led panel above desk areas. Light helps people to stay awake and focused and it will ensure that they are able to work efficiently throughout the week.

Hire an Accountant

Running a business is stressful enough but if you are also trying to budget your business it can become a difficult and overwhelming task rather quickly. Instead of trying to budget for your own business and risking making mistakes, hire an accountant to handle it all for you. It will save you time and will ensure that you can be more productive at work.

Schedule social media

If you are looking to better market your business with an online presence, one of the things that can be very time consuming is making social media posts to go out throughout the week. To save you some time throughout the week, schedule them all in one sitting with an app like buffer and this will allow you to maintain an online presence without taking too much time out of each day to create new posts.

Virtual Receptionist

Who enjoys answering the phone? No one! If you don’t want to spend every 10 minutes having to stop working to answer the phone, a great idea would be to get a virtual receptionist. All calls will go through to them and they will simply update you with messages when needed.

A happy environment

The most important thing you can do to create a productive work environment is to make the office a happy and homely place to be. The office is a place where you will spend a lot of your time during the week so ensure you bring some comforting touches to the space. This includes things such as plants, cushions, sofas and artwork. The last thing you want is to have an imposing space that leaves no room for inspiration.

Avoid clutter

A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind. If you constantly have clutter all over the office and your desk, you won’t be able to concentrate very well on your work and nothing will get done. Always make sure that you clear away paperwork and clear the space to make it feel open and light. This will make a huge amount of difference.

3 Changes To Implement In Your Business This Year

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |Business Goals|3 Changes To Implement In Your Business This YearIt is that time of year when we set new goals, revisit our expectations and make fresh plans for our businesses. You have probably already been thinking about revisions that you might need to make and pinpointing your strengths in a bid to build on them and further develop them. We are keen to help you to have a successful start to the year, which is why today we are sharing with you 3 changes to implement in your business this year.

Assess your business’ productivity

You are always going to want your business to be more productive, so take some time to fully assess it this month with a view to implementing any essential changes going forward.

Try to view your business critically, so that you can break down each element of your operation to enable you to decide whether it is working as efficiently as it could be. You might find that you need to get another pair of eyes on it for you, as you might be too close to everything.

When you spot areas that you feel could be improved, start looking into ways that you might be able to work differently. For example, you might find that it would be wise to invest in the latest technology to give you a boost or you could move to using manufacturing companies such as TSMC to give you an edge.

Improve the working conditions

Your business will run more smoothly with happy, engaged and loyal staff, so it can serve you well to look at improving the working conditions for everyone.

You will want to ensure that you have all of the basics covered first, so make sure that the office has the supplies that it needs and give it a good deep clean.

After you have catered to the key areas, get your team involved in helping you to improve all common areas. You might choose to alter the premises through redecorating, adding accessories, rearranging the furniture or adding in new items.

Additionally, you might introduce dress down Fridays, music playing in the office, new reward systems or fresh flowers every week. Do not guess at what you think will work best here, do involve your staff. That way you know you are investing in the right places and they will appreciate having been heard.

Develop your marketing strategy

How is your current marketing strategy working for you? Do you feel that it is reaching the audience that you are striving to connect with? Do you feel that your business and brand is being promoted enough?

A coherent and positive marketing strategy is essential for any business looking to grow and flourish this year.

There are hundreds of possibilities available to you, such as direct mail, digital content marketing, business networking, hosting events, running promotions and utilising social media.

Take the time to think about the people that you are looking to connect with, and then you can start devising the best ways to reach out to them.

Improving Employee Efficiency

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Employee Productivity|Improving Employee EfficiencyIf you are able to save time in the office, then it can be something that can be really beneficial to your business and to your employees. These days, employees are spending more time at the office, and in many instances, are exceeding the typical hours that should be worked in a working week. However, simply working more hours isn’t something that is going to make much of a difference, as productivity can be lost over time. If the team is tired, asking them to keep working more than they should won’t be a good thing to do. So how can you as a leader in business help to improve the productivity of your employees, while still doing things to save time? Here are some of the top things to be thinking about.

Delegate

While this tip can seem like something that is obvious, it can be hard for some leaders to delegate and share the load. Your business is going to be your baby, and you’ll want to be in control of it. There is nothing wrong with checking on how something is going, or what the finished product looks like. But if it means you are wasting your time to check every small detail, then it can be detrimental to you, as well as the team of people you are working with. So instead, look to give responsibilities to the qualified employees, and then you just have to trust that they will perform the tasks. This helps the team to grow, as well as feel needed in the business, and can let you get on with other things, being more productive overall.

Train and Develop Employees

If you want to reduce training, or even stop it altogether, it can seem like you will save money as well as time. Although people can learn on the job, it can actually backfire, as learning on the job can be quite inefficient for some. So one thing to do, that will help productivity in the long run, is to take a day to train them in something, and carry on doing this from time to time, to show they are valued and that you want to keep them improving their skills.

You can get people in to train them, though with a corporate training platform, you could also perform the training yourself. Offer some continued employee development and help them to expand their skills. It will be what helps your business to grow and grow. You could also offer some specific courses, or things like mentoring, if they are ultimately looking to achieve something specific.

Embrace Telecommuting

If your business is one where just a laptop and a phone are all that is needed, then encourage and allow your team to work from home from time to time. You might think that they won’t get much done from home, however, the reality will be the opposite. Working from home can be much more productive, as they won’t gossip with colleagues, go to the coffee machine, or take a full lunch like they might when working in a city. Plus, you have the option to keep productivity high for your business. For example, an employee with a cold might feel a little rough to come in, though they are still able to function. Instead of them calling in sick, they can work from home, as that will be easier for them to do when they aren’t feeling completely at their based. In bed checking emails and getting things done, will be better for the business than that person doing nothing that day.

Improving The Workflow Of Your Factory Operation

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article |Workflow |Improving The Workflow Of Your Factory OperationOne of the most important aspects of building up your business is understanding the areas of productivity where you need to improve. Workflow is vital, and in the manufacturing industry where there is a focus on the practical aspects of production, the workflow can be a concept open to interpretation. But with this in mind, are there any ways for you to improve manufacturing productivity? Is it all about changing the layout, is it minimizing the processes, or a combination?

Examine The Current Workflow

To solve any problem, we have got to see if there is a problem and admit to it. We need to look at the workflow of our factory, and gauge the current state. Examine individual components such as workbenches, and see if there are individual components that are holding up the entire process. If, for example, workers are too busy fiddling with air fittings, when it can be achieved by automating this process, putting the stops in place to make this a reality can take some time. But when you look at how much effort will be saved, so workers can focus on other tasks, it becomes necessary. The current workflow needs a stringent examination. Only then can you improve.

Acknowledgement Of Your Employees

Collaboration is a difficult process to implement in a factory environment. After all, people are working individually, but when we look at the bigger picture, this can encourage collaboration. But we also have to remember that we need to collaborate with our employees to get their opinions. Ultimately, they are on the floor, not you. They will have better insights than you on developing a more efficient workflow. This could very well be to do with something like the culture, working practices, or it could be something to do with the technology. A lot of workers are reticent of automation because they may feel they are being put out of a job. This is your responsibility to highlight that automation is designed to aid the employee rather than to take over them.

Invest In Preventative Maintenance

If technology is a barrier to increased workflow, is it because the equipment keeps breaking down? Preventative maintenance could very well cause issues in the short-term, but when you look at the impacts of workflow over time, it may be essential to invest in planned maintenance, despite downtime, to ensure that the equipment does its job. We only have to look at how a manufacturing operation can falter when one piece of equipment breaks down. It could very well shut down operations for the entire day.

Improving the workflow can also be done by encouraging accountability, as well as managing expectations. In a factory setting, where people feel like they are pieces of a puzzle rather than a whole unit, employees need to be encouraged to have more accountability so they are taking more responsibility for their work. But this means we have to implement a culture that can encourage people’s ability to speak up when they see inefficient actions. This is easier said than done in an environment that is perpetually noisy.

Five Tips for Small Team Management

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article |Small Teams|Five Tips for Small Team ManagementIt is tempting to think that more manpower equates to more productivity at work. After all, jobs tend to get done right away when many working pieces are involved, right? That is not always the case.

In fact, studies now show that a smaller number of members in a team is linked to more engagement and accountability. At work, small teams tend to be more productive because leads can focus their time and attention to fewer members.

However, spearheading a small team is still no easy feat. Just like any organization, small teams also have their fair share of challenges. And it is in everyone’s best interest to keep even a small boat floating.

Here are five strategies on how you can bring in the best out of a small yet effective team:

Use time tracking tools

You can use a free time clock software to set deadlines and objectives to manage project time more effectively. Time management tools can assist you to keep track of your team’s work and any project advancement.

It provides you monitoring tools that can be used to record the time that is spent on assignments and projects, such as timesheets and project trackers. You no longer have to wonder where time is wasted and which projects are receiving a disproportionate amount of attention. This time, you now have objective evidence.

Communicate with the team effectively

Having effective communication skills is one of the key ingredients of a team with good governance. When you communicate well with your teammates, you minimize misunderstandings and encourage the exchange of ideas that can propel your team to success.

For first-time managers, this might be easier said than done. To start with, you must create a welcoming atmosphere where your team knows that their feedback and opinions are all valued. Encourage them to open up. In that way, no one can feel as though they do not have a chance to express.

Staff meetings are a good way to build an open communication line in your team. During assemblies, convey the messages that you want to impart with confidence. Your audience will not only hear what you are saying, they will also see and feel your enthusiasm.

Having a proactive behavior in every discussion will help your teammates retain the discussion better. And with better retention, you possibly get more valuable inputs from them.

After you have established good communication in your team, the process of setting expectations and goals in your tasks will most likely go by smoothly.

Encourage teamwork and collaboration

Teamwork or collaboration has a dramatic effect on organizational performance.

Just like establishing good communication, teamwork is not something that just appears out of thin air. It is hard work and dedication that create a culture of teamwork in the workplace. When there is collaboration, the tasks at hand become more fun and uncomplicated.

Effective collaboration does not mean delegating an equal amount of work among the team. It is about knowing and sorting out tasks properly according to the skills, interest, and availability of the members.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about teamwork:

  • Be informed about the team’s common goal and objective.
  • Learn when to ask for help, especially when you are in need of an inspiration or support.
  • Let your team know about the progress you are making.
  • Encourage the team to question things from all angles.
  • Appreciate the efforts of the team and celebrate achievements together.

Set realistic deadlines

It is easy to postpone work when you think you have all the time in the world to finish it. Without a sense of urgency, you can always switch to things that are more enjoyable than the work you are avoiding to get done.
To stop the team from postponing and avoiding work, set a realistic deadline that is near to the present. If you firmly believe that a task can be done in a week, direct the team to get it done in a week’s time. This will keep the team stay driven throughout the process.

Before you set deadlines, it is necessary that the team knows what is expected from them. Explain the objectives and goals in mind clearly so that you are on the same page with everyone in the team. Make sure that the team agrees to the deadlines that you set so that they would have a sense of accountability in everything they do.

Evaluate your team regularly

Most of the time, it’s pretty easy to identify whether or not a team is successful. But how do you repeat those successes?

Giving room for feedback can help you measure the effectiveness of your style of leadership. It will also give you the privilege of knowing if this specific leadership is well accepted by everyone in your team.

For personal and career development, it is important to regularly know each of your member’s strengths and weaknesses. An age-old aphorism goes, “a team is only as strong as its weakest link.” The team can either be brought down by the actions of an individual or be brought up by a particularly strong contributor.

Take the time to determine if a person is raising up or bringing down a team. Once you have identified the individuals, see if you can coach the other members of the team to take some of the same attitudes and practices.
Lastly, establish a baseline and clarify your definition of success so you can better judge and provide feedback on how successful your team is. Conducting regular evaluations significantly determines how great a team will be moving forward.

Final thoughts

The fundamentals of succeeding in managing small teams lie in the knowledge that managing these teams is just as hard as managing mid-sized or even bigger teams. People often believe that managing a small team is easier, but that is hardly ever the case.

At the end of the day, the success of a team is only just a reflection of the combined efforts of each individual in a team.