Improving Productivity is About More Than Cutting Costs
In tough times managers are driven to look at the bottom line ignoring what is best for the company and its employees
It can be hard to prescribe common solutions for improving productivity, as each organization is so different, there are a few principles CIOs can try in order to really make the most of what they have.
- Do not just cut staff numbers - One of the biggest temptations when overhauling productivity in the workplace is to eliminate some workers - fewer workers doing the same job should logically mean higher productivity, however at what cost. This typically raises stress levels
- Embrace Telecommuting - Many times employees will have to leave early for one reason or another. Unfortunately, for many that means having to leave work piling up until the next day. Businesses should set up networks to allow employees to login to their computers from home, with whatever device they choose, in order to get their work done.
- Manage sick leave and vacation cycles- Sick leave is a big drag on productivity. According to research the cost of absenteeism is draining up to $30 billion from the economy each year. And even more people are taking sick days due to rising stress levels.
- Manage activity - Businesses have been using Six Sigma principles for years to maximise the efficiencies within manufacturing lines, and more recently, in offices as well. There are a number of these principles that apply to businesses of all types, but one is critically important - using the right tools. Too many businesses don't provide their employees the tools to do their job which ends up wasting time.
- Use electronic records - Many businesses have been looking to eliminate paper from their offices and go completely digital.
- Shut down your computers when they are not in use - Many workers leave their computers on overnight, and while that might not necessarily impact your productivity but is a definite security risk.
- Make the work visual and utilize automated tracking systems - One of the problems with working with a computer is that work becomes less visual. Instead of physically seeing that an employee has finished a certain project have tracking systems in place with exception reporting so managers know if something has not been done.
- Maintain a pleasant work environment - Everyone knows what it's like to work in a stuffy room that's too hot or an office that is too noisy. You can't think, and your work suffers.
- Eliminate clutter - Research shows that Productivity rises e as much as 30%. when clutter is eliminated.
Telecommuting Policy Template - This policy is 13 pages in length. It contains everything that an enterprise needs to implement a functioning and compliant telecommuting process. Included are forms defining the working environment in addition to a check list to validate that the offsite location complies with you safety requirements.