When the workload increases – due to gaining more business or losing staff – the first reaction of many business owners and managers is to put in extra hours to ensure everything is done. While taking care of business is of vital importance to the health of your company, working yourself to the bone is not. The better solution is to discover ways to increase productivity without increasing hours.
Few things are as frustrating as having a mound of work to do, but not having functional resources with which to complete it. Problematic infrastructure could include:
- Accounting systems
- Network servers
- Phone systems
- Security equipment
As soon as you notice an uptick in the amount of work you must complete, it’s wise to carve out a few hours to evaluate the functionality of your systems. If your business relies heavily on your Internet connection for sending emails or conducting business, a quick way to save time is to evaluate your bandwidth and transfer speeds. The less time you can spend waiting for pages to load, the more time you’ll have for other tasks.
Also check for the stability of your infrastructure. Problematic phone or security systems can demand more of your time than you can afford to give, especially while short-staffed.
Finding the right person for the job
While it often goes without saying that finding the right person for the job is important, it’s even more crucial to your business’s success as the workload increases. Someone with an affinity for numbers can get through a stack of invoices and receivables faster than someone who’d rather be selling. For this reason, consider the strengths of your employees when assigning additional responsibilities. This will help keep the productivity high without adding overtime hours to the budget.
You may find that your business has processes and procedures that are less than efficient. Granted, you won’t always be able to control these if a corporate office or government regulatory agency created them, but if you have the freedom to change things, it’s well worth your time to investigate this. Spending a few hours critically observing the way employees complete tasks could help your find time-wasting duplications of effort or needless steps.