By Anastasiya Savelyeva

Employees are the most valuable asset of a company. That is why you should pay close attention to optimizing and increasing their productivity. The following tips contain advice that can be used individually and implemented on a team level to boost productivity.

1. Dedicate Time to Planning

Planning is crucial on every level because it gives you a clear direction to follow. Let’s say you want to earn $1,000,000 in 2016. To achieve that goal your company has to earn $84,000 every month. So, you have to plan the work of each unit in a way that would provide the necessary income.

The marketing department has to generate a certain amount of leads, sales people have to work with them to convert them into paying customers, and the support team has to handle the load that those two provide. You see where I’m going? To reach the common goal of earning a $1,000,000 you have to define goals of each unit, i.e. monthly goals. And to reach monthly goals you have to define weekly goals.

Before building the plan for the next year, take your time and go through what your company/unit did. How much have you earned, how much have you spent, what worked well and what didn’t. Take into account the activities that worked great and include them in the upcoming year. Thus, you will naturally increase the productivity of employees’ work.

2. Review Your Process for Meetings

You can’t argue that meetings are an essential part of company’s workflow. But they can easily turn into time- and productivity-eating monsters.  First of all, you don’t always need a meeting to discuss a topic. Most of the issues could be easily resolved via email or chat.

Second of all, the time when you schedule meetings also matters. E.g., one hour before lunch is a bad idea because the chances are high that the participants will think about food and not the discussion.  The optimum time for having a meeting is 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

And third of all, who do you invite? Do all employees fully relate to the topic you’re about to discuss? If not, then don’t waste their time. And if there is company news you want to share, just send it via email.

3. Allow Employees to Telecommute

There are people who love being around other people. They can’t live a day without communication. And at the same time, there are people who like to stay on their own from time to time. There are also employees who feel OK working in the office, with lots of people and noise, and those who like to work from home where it’s quiet.

So, make it acceptable for employees to work from home when they want or need to. Not only you will increase their productivity, but you will also increase their satisfaction with work.

4. Encourage a Clean Workspace

A cluttered workplace is a paradise for procrastination. We all start off with a clean table, but throughout the time we bring more and more stuff to work, don’t we? Try making Friday a cleaning day. The employee who cleans up and organises the workplace the fastest gets a treat (what treat? you decide!).

5. Outsource Simple Tasks

Does everything that employees do need to be done in-house? Or are there tasks that you could outsource to freelancers? For sure there are! You could outsource copywriting, video and graphic design, translations, video and sound recording, etc. By outsourcing you free up time for the tasks that can not be outsourced due to their complicity or the risk of data leaking.

6. Encourage Ongoing Education

The efficiency of employees’ work greatly depends on how educated they are. Daily people invent new tools and improve old methods, so companies have to stay updated. Make sure to allocate funds to educate employees; send them to conferences and training. Or, have employees conducts trainings for their co-workers. They will learn something new and can share their knowledge with the team.

7. Use Productivity Software

Productivity software is supposed to make our life and work easier. And that’s what they do! If you still haven’t adopted some great tools, then check out these time-saving tools and the ones below:

  • Yaware.TimeTracker – automatic time and productivity tracking. Streamline HRM processes, measure and increase employee productivity.
  • Google Drive – free cloud-based file and document storage. Share and collaborate on the document fast, simply and efficiently.
  • Trello – project management tool. Keep company projects organized and let each employee know what they have to do.
  • IFTTT – create recipes to automate tasks. E.g., let it post a Twitter update every time there’s a new blog post.
  • Google+ Hangouts – free instant messenger. The benefit is: you can have free conference calls with up to 10 people.

What are your favorite tips and tools that maintain the productivity of your business? Make sure to share in the comment section below!