Spring is here! Your office may have gone through a frenzy of spring cleaning or may be in the middle of that task – but that’s not the only way to get things shipshape for the rest of the year!
One of the best ways to get your spring started off with a bang is to invest some time and energy into organizing and streamlining your office.
Now, when we look at streamlining an office, we don’t just consider the space itself. We also look at employees, their tasks, and the way they are managed. Coordinating and appropriately managing staff and tasks may be the most important part of the overall streamlining process.
Five Methods for Effective Office Streamlining
Before we discuss successful methods to streamline your office, we want to dive into what “streamlining” really means. The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that Streamline is a verb meaning Make (an organization or system) more efficient and effective by employing faster or simpler working methods.
So, whether you are streamlining your physical office or helping employees and managers to streamline their workload, the end goal is to make things more efficient and more effective. If a solution does one without the other – you are not streamlining.
Fortunately, we have five tried-and-true methods of streamlining right here, in this article. Here they are:
- Hunt down inefficiencies.
Many offices have small, everyday inefficiencies that end up wasting an hour or two of each employee’s days. Depending on the size of your staff, that can add up to a lot of wasted time and money.
Ask your staff and office leadership to write down moments throughout their day when inefficiencies nag them. It could be that meetings without an agenda drag on and on, or that a broken communication system results in constant interruptions.
Whatever the case may be, ask all staff to track these inefficiencies for a week and then turn them into their supervisor. The supervisor should tally issues and, in turn, send this information to their leadership. Once every office inefficiency is hunted down and turned over to you, the business owner, you can meet with the proper leadership to collaborate on getting the most common issues fixed.
It’s likely that small issues are causing big interruptions and are wasting valuable time throughout the workday.
- Stop interruptions.
As we pointed out in a previous article, small disruptions can cause lots of wasted time. Studies show that, when distracted from a task, it takes about 23 minutes for an individual to regain focus.
Instead of allowing unnecessary interruptions, have your leadership set up a communication system that only interrupts an employee when there is an urgent matter to be dealt with and otherwise lets the person do their job. This little change can increase office productivity no end!
- Get orders from the right person.
Sometimes the biggest inefficiency is an employee who ends up taking orders from everybody. This person may think that he or she is just helping out, but at the end of the day they aren’t doing their job – they are doing someone else’s job!
Establishing a clear line of leadership for your employees may seem very old-fashioned or regimented, but it actually cuts down on a lot of unnecessary back and forth. Help your employees out by giving them a direct supervisor from whom to get instruction or orders.
- Make collaboration work.
Collaborative projects can get chaotic when they are not assigned and tracked and when they have no team lead. Additionally, if a project’s timeline isn’t established right at the beginning, things can get messy. Rather than avoid collaboration within a group, simply make sure a team lead is assigned and that there are systems in place to get projects completed.
- Upgrade slow tech.
Nothing is more frustrating than sitting around all day trying to deal with slow or constantly crashing technology. If your computers or servers are due for an upgrade, make that investment happen. Slowing your whole office down because of old or poorly maintained technology is not an option in today’s fast-paced world.