Improving efficiency in the workplace is about your employees working smarter, not harder. Nor is it enough to “crack down” on employee efficiency.

It is important to take a well-rounded view on all the factors affecting employee productivity such as the work environment, job satisfaction and effective leadership. Our 7 hacks below will help you find the right tools and strategies to boost employee morale and engagement and increase efficiency at your company.

  1. Allow Flexible Work Hours

Flexible work hours let employees work when they are the most productive and efficient—whether that’s late at night or early in the day. Giving employees the ability to choose their hours will also make them happier and more likely to stick to work-related tasks when they’re on the job.

You might even consider making your team completely remote, or at least offering more work from home days. Having a remote team improves productivity by 13 percent, according to Entrepreneur. You wouldn’t be alone; many start-ups and online businesses have fully remote teams. Nixing commuting saves employees lots of time and gives them a more comfortable place to do their work.

If you suspect work from home productivity is dipping, try having employees use an online time tracking tool.

  1. Update Your Technology

Research technology developments in your industry and put in place any that will increase work efficiency. Buying tablets for your employees can help them work on the go, especially if they’re working from home. Or use an iPad system in your reception to help receive packages and notify employees of guests quickly and easily.

Try a virtual whiteboard during your conference calls. Consider giving employees a headphone allowance to let them concentrate.

  1. Map Processes

Inefficient workplace processes can make normally efficient workers into frustrated, unproductive ones. Map your processes to see if there is anything unnecessary that is slowing down productivity. Change these processes or eliminate them altogether.

Try mapping a workplace process in a meeting with sticky notes before you commit it to a program. Input revised and new processes into project management software so your entire team is onboard.

  1. Encourage Team Building

Work productivity increases when employees learn to communicate better. Find ways to get employees to work together as a group on projects or for different departments to improve their flow of information. Team-building activities or off-site adventures are great ways for employees to learn to communicate and work together.

It is even better if you combine these team building efforts with ways to encourage employees to get active or nurture their overall health—both physical and mental. Healthy employees take fewer sick days and are more productive. Plus, these types of activities help employees bond in a stress-free, fun way that boosts morale and improves engagement, says ProofHub.

Organise a charity run, a sports day or fitness competition. Get employees to volunteer for a charity effort for an entire day. Or sponsor a wellness day with yoga, massages and workshops as well as a healthy lunch and snacks.

  1. Foster a Happy Work Environment

Employees who are happy at work are more efficient with their time, do their jobs better and are more productive overall. They also tend to focus on the task at hand instead of getting distracted by non-work tasks, like checking personal social media accounts.

Start by analysing your office space, recommends ProofHub. How is the lighting? Invest in better lighting to reduce eye strain as well as blinds for windows to let employees adjust how much natural light they want.

Poll employees about their work spaces—are their chairs comfortable enough? Can you install a couple of standing desks? How about casual areas so employees can work on the couch?

A quick change in office layout can energise employees. Organise an initiative to declutter and move furniture around (ask employees to collaborate first). Buy plants or new art or decorate for a holiday.

  1. Stop with the Meeting Madness

U.S. companies spend over $35 billion (€32 billion) on meetings every year and employees spend on average 37 percent of their time in meetings, according to Entrepreneur. Consider if your company has too many meetings—you could be wasting both time and money, not to mention affecting your employees’ happiness.

Having the right project management tools will help eliminate the need for many meetings. Of course, there will always be a need for face-to-face meetings, but maybe not so many of them.

  1. Find Ways to Automate

Multitasking actually hurts productivity. Rotating between different tasks constantly can cause employees to lose 40 percent of their productivity. Here’s where technology can shine and take over small jobs that aren’t as important. Try automating your social media campaigns, using email marketing services that send automated email campaigns and automating your sales and lead-generation work.

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