It doesn’t matter if we work from home or in an office, we often find ourselves losing focus and being less productive. There are many reasons for this, from not liking the job we have to simply being tired. However, one major factor that can lead to a decrease in motivation is bad workflow organization. Listed below are some tips that can help you boost the workflow efficiency of your business.
Analyze your current workflow
Chances are that you are not really aware of the work process that goes on in your company. With that in mind, you need to learn as much as you can about it by making a detailed list of everything that is necessary for your business to run smoothly and thoroughly analyze it. If you have several departments, you have to know how each of them operates. If you are a one-person operation, list everything that you have to do in a day. What you need to figure out here is what needs to be done on a daily basis and what mistakes you have been making. Consult your employees and see whether they have any feedback or suggestions that can improve the workflow.
Identify the areas to focus on
Analysis of every task that has to be done will help you identify key areas that you need to focus on. Once you know which areas you are lacking in, you should look for ways to improve. By identifying the factors that affect the efficiency of your operations, it should be easier to prevent future decreases in productivity. Perhaps you find that breakdowns in communication between the employees result in big errors and a loss of time. Maybe it’s due to unclear instructions or an unpleasant work environment. It’s vital to be aware of these issues in order to adequately deal with them.
Break it down into smaller tasks
In case your results show that the employees are overwhelmed with the amount of work they have to deal with on a daily basis, you need to think about breaking down the entire process into smaller steps that are more manageable. Keep tasks as simple as possible and celebrate small victories as that will encourage your workforce to stay productive.
Set your priorities
In addition to breaking the work process into smaller chunks, you also need to set your priorities. Seeing as how certain tasks are more important than others, ranking assignments on a scale of 1 to 10 means that employees will know which tasks to tackle first. Once those of the highest priority are done, the less important ones should not be a problem to finish.
Automate your processes
For some reason, a lot of companies overlook the great benefits of technology. Nowadays, plenty of processes can be automated, so why not make the most of it? Relying on software and apps to streamline the workflow can have many perks. For example, everything from wireless printers that you can connect to using applications on your Android devices to electronic signatures and automatically filling in forms, the ways to automate your operations abound so you will surely save some precious time.
Create an inspiring environment
Another step you should take to improve workflow is creating a more inspiring work environment, if that is what is causing the issues. From implementing a layout that streamlines most processes and incorporating colors known to boost productivity, all the way to ensuring there are no conflicts in the workplace, there are a lot of things to consider here. An office that encourages trust and sharing problems is surely going to make the workers more productive. Furthermore, ensure that the space is clean and tidy as clutter is only going to adversely affect the employees’ concentration and lead to mistakes.
Improve communication among workers
We mentioned earlier that miscommunications can play a detrimental role in the efficiency of the workflow. This is a great reason to start improving communication around the office. For example, rely on various platforms that allow easy messaging and task handling. From Basecamp to Asana, from Slack to Skype, it’s easy to stay in touch and ensure everything is going according to plan. Establish the preferred way of communicating and ensure that every employee is aware of it and knows how to use it. Encourage them to ask for clarifications if they are not sure about a certain task and not hesitate in approaching a superior for help. Just a message or two could clarify everything while miscommunication can lead to disastrous results.
By following the above-mentioned suggestions, you should be able to see some changes in the office workflow and output. However, if that is not enough, you need to revise and refine your strategy until you find an approach that best works for you and your organization.