Small changes are some of the most effective tools when working to boost office efficiency. Even if your office seems to work great already, any business can benefit from increased efficiency. Here are a few small changes you can make to increase office efficiency and take your company to the next level.
Asking employees to take regular breaks is a surefire way to boost office efficiency. Because most offices operate by using computers, employees quickly tire from staring at screens all day. Encourage employees to get up every once and a while and walk around. However, breaks that involve scrolling through social media do not really count toward productivity. Typically, they do not leave employees feeling at all refreshed. For example, when you ask employees to take a break from their work it should be about every 90 minutes or so. This break can be as simple as taking a walk to the water fountain or the coffee machine. These small breaks give employees’ bodies much-needed rest and allow the remainder of their day to be more efficient and productive.
If you haven’t done so already, switching your traditional filing system to an electronic one is another great way to boost office efficiency. Employees spend countless hours searching through crowded filing systems for the correct documents. As a business ages, it naturally builds up paperwork. The older your business is, the more versions of documents you have stored up. Every time an employee needs to find a document, they have to sift through this backlog to find what they need. Electronic document management systems solve this issue by putting all of your paperwork on a server that can be indexed. Rather than sifting through filing cabinets, employees use a simple search function to find documents. Most electronic document management systems also allow employees to collaborate online, saving both time and money.
Organization at an office-wide level is critical for any efforts to boost office efficiency. Employees’ desks are their own work spaces, and some can be protective of them. Sometimes being protective in this case means keeping them cluttered and unorganized. Having to deal with disorganized desks is inefficient for everyone in the office. If an employee needs another to find and send them a file, a messy desk can mean the difference between this task taking less than one minute and taking ten minutes. These extra minutes add up. An employee’s own work is less efficient with a disorganized space, and it affects the productivity of other employees, too.
Communicating in a concise manner with your employees is another simple way to increase the efficiency of your office. Communication is the key to properly managing a business. However, over-communicating can quickly become a strain on employees. Only send out emails when necessary, and keep them short and to the point. Putting out too much communication can be worse than none at all. You don’t want your employees reading emails all day–you want them to do their work. To make communication even more concise, try utilizing a business-oriented instant messaging software. This way, a simple question can be answered right away without writing an entire email reply.
In your efforts to boost office efficiency, remember that small steps are more attainable. Small changes are the most effective tools for increased efficiency. Each of the changes listed here will make a difference on its own. Better yet, they are even more productive when implemented together.