Productivity is paramount to all businesses, from multinational corporations to freelance translators. However, in a world that’s constantly changing, how do you measure work efficiency? Let’s start by reframing how we view productivity.
The Collins dictionary, states that “someone or something that’s productive produces or does a lot for the number of resources used”. While it’s tempting to measure productivity by profit generation, the Collins definition suggests that there’s much more to it. Productive businesses are not defined by profits and long employee working hours; they create a work environment where everyone can give their best in the shortest time possible.
Happy employees are productive employees
If you place focus on profit alone, chances are that you’ll treat your employees as numbers rather than human beings, and you might be shooting yourself in the foot. Numbers don’t bring productivity, humans do! Studies show that employees who work in environments where they feel appreciated and cared for are more satisfied and engaged at work. They exhibit an emotional well-being that makes them more committed to the organization they work for, bolstering team spirit, and increasing work output.
By slightly shifting your focus, you can create a warm environment where employees don’t feel like escaping. A home away from home. Statistically speaking, people are 12% more productive when they are happy. Think about it, if your employees don’t think of the workplace as a dreadful place filled with anxiety – a spider web that they’re eager to escape from at the end of each day – they’ll look forward to coming in for work. It’s a win-win!
Common productivity pitfalls
We’re going to discuss some common productivity pitfalls that might be holding you and your business back, as well as ways to avoid them. We’ll also be looking at new ways to measure productivity and how to build improvements in these areas.
Focusing on the wrong standards
The number one pitfall to avoid is attempting to measure productivity in terms of figures. Yes, running a business is about making good profits, but putting profit above all else is much like jumping off a mountain without first setting up a working parachute: you’re headed for a crash!
Take, for example, companies that place making a sale over the well-being of their employees or those that push their cashiers to make sales and meet new membership quotas by any means possible. This may seem like a good business tactic at first, after all, the more sales they make or the more quotas they meet, the more productive they are, right? Wrong! It might work in the short-term but it’s a recipe for disaster in the long-term. Burnt out employees spell trouble for businesses.
By shifting your focus from increasing those numbers to making sure that each customer leaves with a smile on their face, your employees are no longer sales figures but human beings concerned with providing quality customer service. Customers can tell the difference between businesses that care about them and those that are all about the money.
Customers who feel appreciated will come back for more and even give recommendations. By paying attention to the customer experience, you indirectly boost productivity. Happy employees will give you happy customers, and happy customers bring business growth.
Having morale-crushing schedules
As many studies show, it’s becoming increasingly obvious that productivity is not about how many hours an employee sits at a desk. People are more efficient when they take time to rest, step away from their jobs, and forget about work for a bit. An older study carried out by the University of Illinois in 2011 confirmed what many of us are just now discovering: allowing your employees to have brief diversions from tasks that require their attention for prolonged periods will not only strengthen creativity, it’ll also improve focus and productivity.
Still not convinced? Consider this, in addition to the risk of mental and physical exhaustion associated with not taking proper breaks, by sitting for an extended period, you put yourself and your employees at risk of developing health complications such as high blood pressure.
Exhausted people are not productive. Adopting a healthy work culture with structured breaks will boost your business; try out the many break methods available to see what works for your employees.
Lacking good time management practices
Whether employees work remotely or in a central office, a company with poor time management will have diminished productivity. Adopting time management software like Traqq will significantly improve your business productivity and employee experience.
By using this time-tracking software, you can get an idea of what areas to improve on and what job strategies you need to change. It’s all about proper process and planning. Adequate time management will enable you to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. This will give everyone more time to rest and reduce stress, improving productivity.
Using a time tracker with screenshots is a great way to ensure the work efficiency of employees. It takes regular screenshots of each workers’ screen, keeping them from entertaining distractions while they work. Nobody wants a screenshot taken when they are on Facebook!
Having data that isn’t easily searchable
This pitfall comes with an alarming statistic: on average employees spend 1.8 hours each day searching and gathering information needed for work in the office. That’s a shocking 9.3 hours per week! Categorizing and structuring data is one way to improve productivity and reduce research time. By cutting down on the hours spent searching for data and files, workers can focus on other things.
The problem, however, is that current enterprise search methods are inefficient. There’s so much data pouring in during work, that it’s unrealistic to expect one individual to be able to categorize and structure them efficiently. By employing Artificial Intelligence software designed specifically to keep track of data, you can reduce time spent searching for files on multiple storage locations.
If there’s one thing to remember, it’s that productivity can be measured in many ways; the satisfaction of your customers, the well-being of your employees, the amount of time spent on certain tasks, and the time spent on locating data from storage locations. By taking a fresh look at what productivity means to you and your business, you’ll be better equipped to improve working conditions and bolster company growth.
Now that you have a highly productive business, you may be considering expanding into international markets, and hiring a professional translation service will be crucial to this transition. BeTranslated can offer quality translators specializing in Asian languages like Japanese, European tongues like German, and many more. For more information or a free, no-obligation quote, get in touch today.