Office Management and Productivity
Ah, productivity. The almighty driver of business and life success, the sought-after excellency of all human activity, the epitome of properly-done things. Such a comprehensive concept, so few rules to achieve it. Divide and conquer. Partition and organize. That’s it.
There are a lot of moving parts inside a business. And day to day, to keep it afloat, everything must run as smoothly as possible. To make this easier, we’ve narrowed it down to five things that need organizing in a company. It’s all about time, space, people, assets, and data.
The concept of productivity is generally defined in close connection to time – it represents the amount of work that can be done in a certain period. Naturally, efficiently coordinating and controlling the available time is to be desired. A methodical schedule should take care of both administrative tasks and the peace of mind of carrying them out.
To begin with, devise a time plan that relies on solid time management strategies. This includes tracking time, providing time management courses for employees, or even spicing up the office atmosphere with time management games. An important lesson to learn when aiming for productivity is how to avoid distractions in the office. Breaks and rewards are mandatory.
The starting point in boosting productivity through effective space management is office design. If you have a well-thought, constructive layout, it’s a lot easier to apply best practices of space utilization. Take activity zones, for example. Once a certain area receives a definite role inside the company building, people will feel compelled to perform the tasks attributed to that zone.
Another thing worth mentioning here is the fact that, if possible, people should have a say in the workplace’s design. Studies have shown that employee engagement is directly correlated with how much control they have over their experiences at work, including the ability to move around or choose where they want to work. Customizing or personalizing their surroundings is another engagement factor, as long as it doesn’t turn into clutter threatening to cause deterioration to their mental hygiene. All in all, the higher the employee satisfaction, the higher the engagement, and engagement is productivity’s main engine.
Let’s not forget about an essential tool in keeping your space under control and at full capacity: the space planning software. A room booking system, such as YArooms, is built specifically around this need of using office space wisely and efficiently. If you can reduce wasting resources, you can increase overall productivity.
Working with people has and will always be the trickiest part of any endeavour. It requires equal amounts of sensibility and sensitivity, plus a healthy dose of patience. When it comes to people, the path towards productivity spreads on three lanes: managing them (think taking care of, not manipulate), supervising their performance, and supporting relationship development.
What employee performance management entails is proper motivation and constant development. According to a study, engaged employees are more productive and more present, while those who lack motivation cost their company 34% of their total annual salary. In addition, companies that invest more in their employees are likely to reap greater rewards, in the form of loyal, hard-working staff laboring towards superior corporate productivity goals.
Last, but not least, productivity is about people who get along and can work through their differences, should they arise. For this to happen, companies have to create a work environment that supports positive relationships. This encouraging atmosphere has to spread throughout the entirety of the company’s branches, so it’s important not to forget about remote workers or hourly employees. Making them feel part of the team has a direct influence on their engagement, and hence, on their productivity.
What is asset management and what does it have to do with productivity? The broad definition is that it’s “a systematic process of developing, operating, maintaining, upgrading, and disposing of assets in the most cost-effective manner (including all costs, risks and performance attributes)”. In a nutshell and applicable to the subject at hand, though, it basically means how to administer your hardware and software fleet so as to avoid technological hiccups that can influence the work rate.
This organizational task, however, is usually the IT department’s duty. Handling the hardware resources (e.g. PCs, laptops, video projectors, routers etc.), alongside the software ones (e.g. applications, licenses, optimizations etc.), falls under their responsibility. Of course, having an asset management software to help maintain this network of tangible and intangible goods is a great plus and can ensure that the company is running efficiently.
Moving on from the previous bullet point and elegantly wrapping up this piece, let’s focus on the greatest asset that a company has in the 21st century – data. Nowadays, companies that learn how to implement real-time collection of data which enables machine learning have the upper hand. This is because machine learning can greatly improve a company’s performance relative to its competitors. The faster you can deliver what the customer needs, the more chances you have to be the preferred vendor. And who can make the quickest decisions if not machines?
But with great power comes great responsibility, as data protection regulation around the world is increasingly tougher and more complex. Thus, it’s absolutely crucial to opt for data management tools or platforms equipped with the latest, top-notch security protocols. On top of that, make sure the system’s backups are rock-solid, so you’ll be covered in case of emergency.