How to increase productivity is one of the oldest concerns we have. And while previous approaches focused on quantity (e.g., working overtime, hiring more people, imposing more demanding working conditions), modern methods focus on the quality of work and employee experience.
We want to find ways to improve productivity at work without overworking employees or forcing them to do overtime. We also want to help employees have a good life-work balance, be happier, and build stronger work relationships. And sometimes, this means reducing the number of working hours or allowing flexible schedules. But to effectively improve productivity at work, you need a strategy.
As we said before, focusing on quality instead of quantity is the first factor for improving productivity. Your entire strategy depends on this factor. You need to improve work processes and release the employees from any unnecessary tasks. They don’t have to spend a lot of time figuring out how to ask for a day off, who is responsible for their work documents, and what benefits they are entitled to. Therefore, make things easy and transparent for your employees.
The plan is another critical factor. You need a measurable goal, a strategy, and a timeline. If the first plan doesn’t give the results you want, you’ll know exactly where you need to make improvements.
You should also focus on improving HR processes and shortcutting communication procedures. A better hiring strategy may create more cohesive teams that work better together. Transparent and efficient leave management may avoid leave clashes and conflicts. Personalized benefits may boost employees’ morale and make them more responsible and productive.
An enjoyable work environment is the basis of a productive business. People work better when they feel acknowledged and appreciated. They also focus better, communicate more, and think twice before accepting another job offer and leaving the company. Growing a healthy company culture improves turnover and productivity at the same time.
Working from home isn’t a novelty but the scale at which we do it is. As a result, many managers and HR experts worry that working from home induces procrastination and reduces productivity. Many of them focus on maintaining high levels of control (e.g., finely granulated task planning, daily meetings, reports, frequent emails, etc.). However, frequent interruptions, detailed reports, and never-ending meetings only waste everybody’s time. There are better ways to increase productivity while working from home.
Use web-based HR apps
Employees need to have access to HR procedures while working from home. They should be able to check their leave balances and ask for a day off without sending and receiving many emails. HR procedures should be easy to follow and efficient. When employees spend a lot of time waiting for a response from the HR department and checking emails, their focus isn’t on the job.
A web-based HR app provides everything from leave management and absence tracking to employee database and streamlined HR processes. It sends instant notifications whenever a request is submitted. Furthermore, a web-based HR app doesn’t need installation or maintenance. You can use it from any device while working from home.
Define productivity metrics
To be able to increase productivity, you need to have efficient ways to measure productivity. Use productivity metrics that match your employee’s profile and gather accurate data. People working from home may require different productivity metrics than people working at the office. For example, you may have to change the evaluation period because your remote workers have a different pace. Or you may have to adjust employee time tracking methods because your remote workers have flexible schedules.
Give the correct feedback
Feedback is essential for improving productivity at work. However, employees working from home don’t receive feedback face to face, and the message can get lost in translation. Make sure you provide the correct feedback, both positive and negative. People should know exactly what they are doing right and where they need to improve. Sarcasm, irony, and metaphors don’t have a place here.
Feedback should go both ways. You give and receive feedback at the same time. A culture of trust is one of the best ways to improve productivity at work. So take time to ask employees what challenges they face while working from home, what resources they need, or how you can improve their work experience.
An online time-off manager allows employees to request time off, check their leave balances, and be aware of your company’s time-off policy. When everything is transparent and well-organized, people are more responsible and work better. Remote employees should be able to plan their holidays without interfering with task planning or creating leave clashes. Regardless of their time zone or public holidays, they should receive the same treatment and benefits.
Many things can happen while working from home. Each employee is different and has a diverse group of people around them (e.g., small children, a partner currently working from home too, etc.). As a result, you can quickly improve productivity by being flexible and allowing them personalized work schedules. Don’t worry about time tracking. A timesheet app can reduce the administrative work and accommodate as many work schedules as you need.
While you can find complex strategies for increasing productivity, a simple and doable action plan will get you farther away faster. All you need to do is customize it to your workforce.
Improving productivity at work is the subject of many studies. Some focus on eliminating pointless meetings and emails; others focus on keeping an eye on employees while working from home. A study released by McKinsey shows that the average employee spends 28% of the day managing emails. The Korn Ferry survey shows that 67% of the respondents believe that meetings and calls distract them from work, while 34% of respondents say they waste between 2 and 5 hours per week with useless meetings. According to Atlassian, 91% of the average employees confess they daydreamed during meetings, while 39% of them slept during a meeting. So controlling your workforce through meetings and emails only decreases productivity and makes them lose focus. We think the best approach is flexibility and transparency, getting the time to understand your workforce and listening to their feedback. So make doable action plans to increase productivity and remember that happy and motivated employees work better by default.