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A Getting Started Guide to Better Office Productivity

medium_4516000281When your business relocation is complete, the office movers and packers have been, and gone, you’re presented with the perfect opportunity to streamline your workplace, and dramatically increase office productivity before the dust has even settled.

Tiny changes can spawn big results; results that are harder to achieve in a static, established office. There are three basic categories of change: team management, time management, and resource management. The following guide will give you some pointers for each of these all-important areas.

The first step is to identify the problems so that you don’t end up fixing the things that aren’t even broken. Establish the essential tasks of each employee and then ask him or her to record how much time they spend on them. This will help you pinpoint exactly where little changes can be made. For this exercise, it is important that large tasks be broken down into their individual stages, so that findings are accurate. At the end, you’ll also have a master-list of exactly what everyone does – a vital asset to any streamlined business.

Draw up a list of the major office time-sappers.

Solutions will immediately become apparent. If the office water-cooler is in one, far-off space, you’ll end up saving time and money in the long run by having multiple water-coolers sprinkled throughout the workplace in strategic areas. A boiler that provides instant hot water will also spare you the vast amounts of time taken up by employees waiting for kettles to boil.

After a business removal has been done and dusted, there is no better time for instilling a new sense of order and tidiness in your employees. Cluttered desks means that people take longer to find the documents they need. Seconds add up to minutes and, if you have a large staff, it’s not long before days and weeks have been swallowed up. Bring in a new era of clean, uncluttered desks.

Help your employees to priorities their activities and divide them up into daily, weekly, and monthly goals. They should not be wasting time creating new ‘to do’ lists every morning. With your help, recurring activities can be drawn up in writing and put in shared calendars.

A huge amount of time goes down the plughole when your personnel constantly checks email, having to weed out inessential items or personal messages from friends.

There’s a neat way to overcome this: implement a rule. For example, consider asking your employees to have four, twenty-minute email-checking sessions a day and no more. Of course, this needs to be flexible. Some emails need immediate action. As long as email notifications are in place, such important ones will not be missed. The rest can wait and be dealt with only during these agreed, twenty-minute sessions.

Go as paperless as is humanly possible. Employees who are showered daily with unnecessary printed documents end up feeling overwhelmed and harassed and the wanton generating of endless sheets of paper leads to confusion and chaos further down the line. Provided employees are properly labelling and filing their emails and attachments, PDF files can successfully replace paper.

Agree upon naming conventions for electronic files, which all employees will use and stick to unwaveringly. This way the interchange of information is not hindered because employees have to spend ten minutes going through archived items, opening and closing them in search of the right one. With a proper naming system in place, files are found instantly.

These is some gentle guidance to get the ball rolling – and merely the tip of the iceberg.

There is a wonderful array of steps you can take to increase productivity in the wake of business or office moves, and it’s the perfect time to take them.

Guest post by James Harrison, works as relocation consultant. He regularly contributes write ups to business websites and blogs with most of his writings based on tips for business removals, business relocations and marketing techniques. In his free time he plays sports mainly soccer and chess. He is also passionate about reading fiction and traveling.

Photo credit: hawkexpress via photopin cc

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About Greg Dillon

Greg is the founder of strategy consultancy GD | Inspires and spends his days strategising for various design agencies and clients around the world - see more at http://gdinspires.com. He is also a prolific entrepreneur having launched Strat-Talking.com - a website aimed at giving advice and insight to new, existing and veteran freelancers as well as commenting on all things strategic as well as acquiring CreativeAgencyFreelancing.com for designers. Feel free to email him at: greg@gdinspires.com or follow on Twitter @CAFreelancing.

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