Monthly Archives :

January 2019

10 STRATEGIES TO BOOST WORKPLACE EFFICIENCY

10 STRATEGIES TO BOOST WORKPLACE EFFICIENCY 900 600 WildFigAdmin

The 21st century is bursting with extraordinary achievements. We discovered water on Mars, mapped the entire human genome, created robotic limbs and can now grow human organs from stem cells. All that said, we still haven’t figured out how to add a single hour to the proverbial day. This leaves us with only two options: we can either work harder or we can work smarter. It’s probably safe to assume that every one of us, given the choice, would choose the latter. Fortunately, there are countless ways to boost efficiency throughout the workday that serve both to reduce stress load and increase workday satisfaction.

1. Do away with unnecessary meetings
Did you know that, according to Atlassian, the average worker spends over 31 hours each month in meetings? Well they certainly have their place, before you schedule your next meeting it’s wise to consider if the same goal could be accomplished with a group email, a phone call or a virtual meeting. Unnecessary in-person meetings cut into productivity and can negatively impact team morale. If you decide an in-person meeting is necessary, opt for a standing meeting and increase engagement and efficiency.

2. Maintain clear goals
According to a 2015 Gallup survey, only half of employees know what is expected of them at work. Naturally then, the other 50% are floundering to varying degrees, wasting company time and resources. Clearly communicate what you expect of your employees when it comes to projects and daily tasks and they will repay you with productivity.

3. Invest in employee training and development
As far as intentionality is concerned, on-the-job training and enrichment education for your employees must be top priority. In much the same way that an athlete invests time and money into their training, investing in your employees by way of workshops, seminars or individual coaching will help to develop their on-the-job ‘muscles’, further increasing their passion and performance.

4. Utilize project management tools
Implementing tools such as Slack, Basecamp or our favorite – Asana – facilitates team communication, allows employers to assign and detail tasks and allows employees to track and update their progress. These project management tools cut down on the need for task clarification and conversations regarding project status.

5. Enact gamification
The Nestler Lab at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai tells us about the power of the reward center of the brain:

In simplistic terms, activation of the [mesolimbic dopamine system] pathway tells the individual to repeat what it just did to get that reward. It also tells the memory centers in the brain to pay particular attention to all features of that rewarding experience, so it can be repeated in the future.

Video game creators and casino designers understand this concept emphatically but employers can also benefit from gamification. Plan out a reward system for employees who complete a task ahead of schedule or under budget or who go above and beyond what’s required of them. This will motivate employees to strive for excellence and make the most of their time. Rewards can be anything from sending out a ‘thank you’ email and copying your boss on it to taking an exemplary employee out for lunch…from issuing “lazy Monday” coupons (which entitle your employee to a late Monday arrival) to extra PTO. Consider what motivates your employees and incentivize them accordingly.

6. Encourage telecommuting
Did you know that employees who work from home are 13% more productive, according to a study out of Stanford University? In a day and age where ‘work/life balance’ is a common battle cry, you have the opportunity to facilitate this for your employees while they return your gesture with their productivity. Between the stress of the morning and evening commutes, the inevitable sick-kid-home-from-school scenario and general workplace costs and distractions, telecommuting is a time, money and sanity-saving slam dunk.

7. Facilitate good time management
Even though the temptation is to barrel through tasks nose-to-the-grindstone, statistics tell us that encouraging employees to take regular breaks actually increases their productivity. The New York Times reports that employees who take a break every 90 minutes claim a 30% increase in focus and a 50% increase in creativity. Also, when we get up and get moving (go for a walk, hit the gym on a lunch break etc.), we increase blood flow and release endorphins which drive our energy and stamina.

8. Turn off notifications
Few things are more distracting than an incoming text (Look! A squirrel!), or a new email/voicemail/social media notification. Luckily, you maintain complete control over the notification settings on all of your devices. Turning off your notifications (and encouraging your employees to do the same) will keep you from having to reassimilate into that important task you were up to your elbows in just three minutes earlier.

9. Beautify your environment
Believe it or not, the aesthetics of your workplace environment go a long way towards increasing your efficiency – by up to 15%, in fact! (according to a February 2015 article on Inc.com) Take down those 80’s pastel watercolors with the fake brass frames and replace them with something timeless or contemporary and relaxing. Swap out the artificial, too-green-to-be-real plants for a few low-maintenance philodendron. Paint your stark white walls a soothing grey or cafe brown. Cosmetic updates require little cost and effort and can be the secret sauce to increasing overall workplace efficiency.

10. Embrace automation
Don’t be deceived. Small tasks are huge time-suckers – one small task here and one small task there and, while, you know that big project with the looming deadline? You might as well kiss that deadline goodbye. Additionally, while we want to think we’re fabulous multitaskers, the reality is that, according to Wrike, 40% of productivity is lost when it comes to switching between tasks. Why do what automation can do for you? Automate your social media campaigns, lead generationfollow-up emails…even client onboarding!

Wild Fig Marketing wants your business to succeed. If you want help increasing efficiency in your workplace, click here to schedule a free 15-minute strategy session!

TECHNOLOGY THAT HELPS YOU SAVE TIME

TECHNOLOGY THAT HELPS YOU SAVE TIME 900 600 WildFigAdmin

I love manual data entry! said no one ever. It’s one of many timesuckers around the office. In fact, you’re probably somewhere between eager and desperate to free up more of your professional time so you can focus on the most important tasks that demand your attention. Fortunately, technology offers some fantastic applications that help you streamline your processes so you can increase your efficiency, grow your bottom line and get back to doing what you do best.

QUIT MAKING EXCUSES

Are you up to your eyeballs in tasks and feel like you don’t have the time to dedicate to learning new programs and implementing new processes? We propose that you don’t have the time not to. We want to address common pain points and highlight some great apps that can help remedy them. Even implementing one new app at a time can reduce your stress level and increase your efficiency. This can create the momentum you need to make 2019 your best year yet!

Are you sick of phone tag? Check out Calendly! Calendly is scheduling software that helps you save time, avoid double-booking and replaces old-school methods of using email and phone tags to schedule appointments.

Are you looking for a more efficient way to acquire signatures? Try SignNow! SignNow, a cloud-based electronic signature provider, makes it easy for people to sign and manage documents from any computer. It facilitates a quick, legally-binding signature that keeps processes moving along without the waiting.

Are you wasting time manually logging miles for business reimbursement? MileIQ can help! Claiming to save users an average of $7300 annually, MileIQ automatically tracks your miles in the background as you drive for business.

Are you running yourself ragged trying to manage multiple projects? Asana to the rescue! Asana is a project management app that helps you keep organized by tracking progress, setting due dates and assigning tasks. It also helps facilitate communication between management and employees regarding project specifics. A project management win-win!

Are you struggling to maintain a comprehensive perspective on the customer journey? Ontraport is the answer! Ontraport helps you organize customer information and manage the customer journey. Heralded as the #1 CRM on the market today, Ontraport is your one-stop shop for customer management and marketing automation.

Quit wallowing in timesucking tasks. Instead, tap into timesaving technology and turn your ship around! If you want help saving time and streamlining your business processes, book a free 15-minute exploratory call and learn how Wild Fig can help!

YOUR TIME IS VALUABLE – DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT’S WORTH?

YOUR TIME IS VALUABLE – DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT’S WORTH? 900 643 WildFigAdmin

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we often despair that there are only 24 hours in our day or “x” amount of dollars in our business accounts or we are stressed to the max because we have “a million” tasks on our plates. We feel like our time, our money and our stamina are stretched beyond what we can manage. It’s from this place that we often toss around sayings regarding the value of our time such as, “It isn’t worth my time,” or “I’ve got more time than money.” When it comes down to it, though, do you truly know what your time is worth? Calculating how valuable your time is provides you with a benchmark. This benchmark helps you increase your bottom line by decreasing the time you spend on tasks that would be more cost-effective to delegate.

SO HOW MUCH IS MY TIME REALLY WORTH?

The value of your time is not arbitrary. Rather, there is an easy formula for computing its value. Take the amount of money you make each year and divide it by the number of hours you work each year. A 40-hour workweek equals approximately 2000 hours per year. This will determine how much per hour your time is actually worth.

NOW WHAT?

Delegate, delegate, delegate.

Let’s say you determine your time to be worth $40 per hour. Is it a good use of your time to do an office supply run or could you ask your $15/hr. employee to do that for you? Or how about when it comes to entering receipts in QuickBooks? Is it worth $40/hr. for you to be the one to enter those or do you have a trustworthy $20/hr. employee who could do the job just as easily? Delegating can be difficult but once you assign a dollar value to your time, you will probably realize there are at least a few areas where delegating translates into a cost-savings for your company.

Consider ways you can manage your time more effectively.

Now that you know how valuable your time really is, let that be the lens through which you view your workday decisions. Would an email be a more succinct way to communicate with your client or would a phone call or in-person lunch meeting help you hash out details that an email correspondence could take days to flush out? Or maybe there are programs or applications that could take over some of your time-consuming, day-to-day, manual operations.

We all want to maximize our efficiency and our bottom lines and calculating the value of our time is one fundamental component to achieving those goals. It can be the catalyst to confidently delegating certain tasks and looking for more efficient ways to run workday operations.