3 Ways To Avoid Wasted Work Time and Increase Efficiency
Wasted work time is an expensive epidemic. The average working professional wastes 56 minutes a day using their smartphone for non-work tasks, and another 42 minutes a day on personal tasks. Altogether, this adds up to the average worker wasting over eight hours a week, costing their employees a full day of pay for nonproductive activity. Employees 18 to 34 are even less productive, averaging 70 minutes a day on mobile devices and 48 minutes on personal tasks. Overcoming this culture of inefficiency is essential to maintaining productivity and profitability. Here are three ways to combat operational inefficiency and get more out of your staff.
Consolidate Your Communications
While employers tend to blame smartphones and Internet surfing for wasted time, inefficient communication is actually the biggest drain on productivity. Excessive email and unproductive meetings are the two biggest time wasters at work. The average employee checks their email 36 times an hour, receives 304 emails a week, and has to spend 16 minutes refocusing after handling an email. Altogether, email costs employers $1,800 in lost productivity per employee annually. Meanwhile, employees attend 62 meetings monthly, wasting half the time at each meeting, for a total of 31 hours of productivity lost per month, amounting to almost a full work week.
Addressing these issues by taking steps to consolidate your communication can give a big boost to your productivity. Email is inherently inefficient for conversations that involve more than one person, especially if someone came into the conversation late and needs to be caught up. Sharing attachments with groups can also be cumbersome, and keeping everyone’s file revisions in sync can be a nightmare. Consider switching to a unified communications system such as Slack that uses an interface modeled on social media, allowing conversations and files to be shared with groups of people at once while keeping updates in sync.
Avoiding unnecessary meetings can also help consolidate your communications. Don’t use meetings to handle conversations that can be conducted more quickly through phone calls or texts. Only invite people who truly need to attend to share information or participate in decision making. Set a clear agenda in writing before the meeting to keep the conversation on track. Use efficient calendar tools to schedule meetings and send out invitations, which can also be time consuming. For instance, Doodle lets you automatically coordinate your calendar with invitees, cutting the time it takes to schedule meetings in half.
Use Automation To Increase Efficiency
Tools such as Slack and Doodle that speed up communication are examples of how automation can increase efficiency and reduce wasted work time. Inefficient use of automation can slow your workplace down. Slow equipment and software can clog up your workflow. Failing to optimize software usage can cause you to waste time entering the same data multiple times into different programs or media.
On the hardware side, you can accelerate your technology’s performance by using devices with the best mobile processors. For example, the Qualcomm Snapdragon series supports 5G-capable speeds, in addition to charging five times faster than conventional methods, it also provides TruSignal antenna reception for enhanced coverage, offers advanced biometric and malware detection security features. It also features a cutting edge image signal processor camera that can capture up to 28 MP with no shutter lag. Offloading your IT to the cloud can also speed up your local equipment.
On the software side, look for ways to enter data automatically and reduce time spent on manual data entry. For instance, the Shoeboxed app lets employees use their smartphone cameras to scan in receipts to simplify expense reporting.
Syncing software together to export data from one program to another can also save you time. Shoeboxed can be synced with QuickBooks Online to automatically import expense reporting data into your accounting books. Transaction data, customer databases and inventory lists are other examples of data that can be automatically exported from one program to another.
Outsource Unnecessary Tasks
Outsourcing is another major strategy for saving time and increasing efficiency. Many time consuming routine business tasks lie outside the average company’s core competency area. These include accounting, payroll and lead generation sales calls. Other important tasks involve specialized skills, such as website management, graphic design and copywriting. Consider outsourcing tasks such as these so that your in-house staff can devote their time to productive activities that use their unique skills.
Consolidating your communications, optimizing your use of automation and outsourcing unnecessary tasks will all help improve your efficiency by reducing wasted work time. Putting these strategies into effect will give you more time to concentrate on the priority tasks you need to get done to grow your business.