Companies of all sizes suffer from the propensity to get bogged down in extraneous details. In other words, daily operations get too close to the forest to see the trees. It’s time to take a few steps back and start looking at the individual details that are slowing down the daily flow.
Creative use of technology and smart utilization of human resources turns a company from a tortoise into a hare and gets the work out the door done right and on time. Following are three ways for companies to work smarter, become more efficient, and be the best they can be.
Bring Project Management out of the Dark Ages
Project management requires the use of spreadsheets, not-so-graceful software suites, copious note taking, and constant communication with others. Stop losing precious time and take advantage of the many software products on the market specifically designed to streamline project management. Those who are working on the project benefit greatly from being able to see the progress in a format that’s easy to use, view, and track.
In the event a lack of funds is keeping the company from upgrading its software, there is still hope. Many software developers put free versions of their programs out on the market for companies to use. While the developers do this with the idea that it leads to an eventual sale, they still release the freeware with plenty of functionality.
Give Employees a Chance to Breathe
Employees are the key to getting a project done, but resist the urge to push them for everything they have and more. Science has proven again and again that the mind works best when given frequent breaks. Stepping back from the work helps the brain to create new connections and store the information in the long-term memory banks. Productivity increases measurably when people are given the opportunity to shift from an intense focus to a more scattered and relaxed one. It’s relatively simple to set up a system to encourage people to step away from their computers, walk around, and chat with others for short periods throughout the day.
Go Remote for Part of the Work Week With Software
Work doesn’t always have to be done in-office, although it’s good to have people come in and meet face-to-face on a regular basis. It’s possible to keep a project secure through the use of software designed specifically for that purpose while giving employees full access to the files and coworkers. Everyone logs in to a central software, files are secure, access is monitored, and everyone sees what’s going on.
Letting people work from home reduces their stress, gives them the opportunity to get their work done while monitoring their home environment, and can also increase productivity. Employees are more likely to work a little extra because they don’t have to commute or deal with interruptions from coworkers as frequently.
Take the time to investigate ways to make the workflow move smoothly. Working smarter results in less time lost, increased profits, and happy customers.
Image via Flickr by Travis Isaacs