Attention all small business owners! Are you looking for ways to make your company more efficient? Here are 10 hacks that you and your employees can implement to increase productivity:
- Sharing is caring. Make it easy for you and your employees to share documents and spreadsheets. Using online databases for such affairs, such as Google Drive, will make everything that your employees need easily accessible. Don’t waste your time and money making paper copies of documents if you don’t have to.
- Strange but true: The Lemon Law of Productivity. Sure Payroll reports that the smell of Lemons in the workplace makes your employees 54% less likely to make errors throughout the day. The scent of jasmine and lavender have also proven to make workers 33% and 20% less likely to make mistakes throughout the day respectively. Remember, the better your office smells, the better your business is.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Among the largest hindrances that prevent a company from progressing is introversion. Make it known in the workplace that it is O.K. to ask questions and admit that they need some help. When giving an employee a task, be sure to provide him or her with all of the necessary resources, and again- make it clear that there is no such thing as a dumb question!
- Make sure that meetings are worth your time. Your time is money. Make sure that the meetings that you and your employees go to are pertinent to the success of your business. Try to stay away from conferences that won’t directly benefit your organization, and do not schedule more meetings than are necessary with the same business partners–superfluous get-togethers hamper productivity.
- Finish a task before lunchtime. Schedule your day so that you can complete a full task prior to your lunch break so that your meal will feel like a reward. Telling yourself that you can eat as soon as you finish whatever it is that you are doing provides an excellent incentive to get the job done. Use lunch to your advantage, and encourage your employees to do the same.
- Take walks. Forbes reports that a study from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center found that 54% of subjects from a study are likely to die of a heart attack. How can this be? It is because many people sit at a desk all day. Marc Hamilton, a professor of biomedical sciences at the University of Missouri, told Forbes that when you sit down for extend periods of time, your levels of the enzyme lipoprotein lipase, which breaks down fat in the bloodstream, drops. This causes fat cells to build up, and therefore leads to an increased risk of a heart attack. Be sure to take a walk at some point during your workday, and dodge the fat build up.
- Beware of your email. The McKinsey Global Institute has concluded that most knowledge and interaction workers spend 28% of their work weeks checking/writing emails, according to Sure Payroll. In order to limit your email use, try unsubscribing from emailing lists that you don’t need. Also, it may be beneficial to keep a strict policy of separating your work email from your personal email.
- Make the thermostat your friend. According to a study from Cornell University, the optimal office temperature is between 70-77 degrees Fahrenheit. If your workplace is too hot or too cold, productivity decreases.
- Chew gum. Scientists from Cardiff University in Wales report that workers who chew gum on the job are less likely to have high levels of occupational stress. When your workday is getting overwhelming, make sure you have a pack of gum with you.
- Keep the tweets to a minimum. Avoiding social media is getting tougher and tougher, and it goes without saying that constantly checking your Facebook or Twitter news feed is a distraction. Save your social media use for after your workday.
Now, you’ve got your productivity on the up and up. Is your cash flow headed in the same direction? If you could benefit from a short-term boost in cash flow, consider factoring for your business.