Whether it’s a small office or a large corporation, every workplace has areas for improvement. Whether you are the manager of that workplace or just an employee, there are always ways to streamline processes and become more efficient. Most workplaces could use some help with streamlining processes and identifying opportunities to be more efficient. Inefficiency can come from having too many meetings, spending too much time on email, or from not documenting processes thoroughly enough to repeat them consistently in the future. In any workplace, these tips will help you see where you can become more efficient and find new ways to make your workday easier. These tips are particularly beneficial if you work in a company with several different departments that need better communication and coordination between teams.
Have an Organized To-Do List and Stick To It
A to-do list can get messy fast. If you’re not careful, it can spiral out of control and become a giant list of unachievable tasks. However, if you have a to-do list that is organized and prioritized, you’ll be able to accomplish more in less time. When prioritizing your to-do list, you must focus on what you need to do right away. Anything that requires significant time (like writing a report, creating a training manual, or pitching a client) should go at the top of your list. For items that you’re not as pressed to finish, such as making coffee or responding to emails, you can schedule them for a time when you have a little less on your plate.
Hold Effective Meetings
Meetings are an essential part of any workplace, but they can also be one of the biggest time sucks if not run efficiently. There are two types of meetings: the ones you need and those you don’t. To decide which meetings are necessary and which ones you can cut out or put off, use the 80/20 rule. Ask yourself, “What 20% of activities contribute to 80% of the results?” This will help you determine the meetings that are worth your time. When hosting meetings, focus on the meeting outcome, not the meeting process. For instance, if you have a meeting about the following quarterly report, don’t let the meeting get bogged down with how many graphs or graphs to use. Instead, stay focused on the end goal of the meeting, which is to approve the report. To further improve efficiency, you should schedule and book your meetings, even using a meeting room booking system to ensure you have a room for the time you have agreed on.
Cut Down on Email Usage
When used appropriately, email is a great communication tool, but most workplaces are plagued with “reply-all” emails and unnecessary communication. If your company is like most, you probably receive several emails daily. If you’re receiving too many emails, you’re also sending too many. You can manage email overload by promoting face-to-face communication or organizing emails in your inbox based on how soon you need to respond to each of them.
Rotate Employees to Different Roles for Efficiency
If you have employees in various roles, consider rotating them every 6–12 months. Job rotation can help your company run more efficiently by giving everyone a better understanding of the entire organization. Rotating employees to different roles can also help your organization if you’re looking for employees to fill specific positions when you don’t have the necessary people in the company. Rotating employees to different roles will likely increase employee retention rates, as well, since employees will be working in various fields and gaining new skills that can be applied in their current roles.
Provide Employees With Tools That Make Work Easier
If your employees use cumbersome or outdated tools to complete their tasks, they may be wasting time and energy. For example, if your employees are printing reports and manually organizing and filing them, they waste time. Find out what your employees use and look for ways to upgrade their systems. Areas where you can improve efficiency in a workplace can be found in almost every department. A few areas to focus on including your filing system, communication, and meeting processes. By improving these areas, you’ll help your company run more efficiently and give your employees the tools they need to be successful. Also, upgrading your technology can help attract a broader range of employees who might be more suited to roles within your workplace and who can help increase workplace efficiency.