If there’s one thing that no business has enough of, it’s time. The pandemic pushed us all to our breaking points in every imaginable way. We struggled to make our budgets stretch to get us through to the end of each month. We had to find a way to accommodate our employees when they needed to take time away from work. We had to figure out how we were going to juggle our personal responsibilities with our professional ones. At certain points we had to learn how we were going to work from home while home-schooling our kids. It’s been a long stretch of gritting our teeth and looking for ways to keep moving forward.
Now that we have a few more reasons to be cheerful and we’re starting to think more positively about our futures, we still need to look for ways that we can make our businesses more agile. There is no telling what the future will hold, and we all need to be using this period of greater breathing room to think carefully about how we can be more resilient in future. Creating more time for your business will stand you in good stead for whatever is coming on the horizon, and here are just a few of the ways that you can take back control of your days.
Start By Getting Organised
It doesn’t matter what business you’re in. If you are looking for ways to improve your timekeeping, you need to start by getting organised. Create a schedule for each day and look for those tasks that have turned into drains on your time. Look at what each employee and colleague is doing with their day and ask them to create a schedule of their own. Look for opportunities to share tasks and look to see if there is any way that you can lighten the load for yourself or anyone else. Once you have a crystal-clear idea of how everyone is spending their days, you can start improving efficiency.
Make Sure Everyone Is Communicating
Maintaining open lines of communication has been one of the biggest challenges for all businesses during the course of the pandemic. Once everyone started working from home, we became increasingly reliant on unreliable ways of checking in. We spent a lot of time merely hoping that everyone was getting on with their tasks because the alternative was to spend the whole time worrying.
If you want to make sure that everyone is using their time as productively as possible, you need to find the happy medium between leaving your employees to get on with their work and making sure that they are actually doing so. You don’t want to be hovering over their shoulders all the time, but you also need to know that the work is getting done. Start by establishing communication channels for each of your employees and set regular check in times. Ask for status updates at regular intervals.
Invest In Software That Saves You Time
Saving time doesn’t just have to be eating lunch at your desk. Over the last few years, we’re seeing the amazing results that have come from businesses utilising software to cut out a lot of time-consuming tasks. A new platform can help you with your HR management, making it easier for employees to register things like absence and sick days and leaving the HR team with more time to deal with the more important issues.
It can streamline your employee performance management, offering real time performance feedback and logging achievements met for quarterly employee reviews. It can also, as we mentioned in the point above, help you to establish clear and open lines of communication between management and employees to ensure that tasks are being completed on time and that progress is visible to everyone. If you want to make this investment, StaffCircle can work with you to customise their multi-layered platform to help your business be more efficient and stay focused on the big picture.
Trust Your Employees To Know What They’re Doing
As we mentioned earlier, there is a fine line between making sure that your teams are getting everything done and getting so involved in their workdays that they actually start falling behind. A common mistake that a lot of businesses made in the early days of lockdown was that they overcompensated for the lack of in-office communication. It was driven by panic, and that’s how you end up with an hour-long check-in meeting in the morning, an hour-long wrap-up meeting in the evening, and several video calls throughout the day to confirm that what was talked about in the morning meeting was getting done.
Now that UK restrictions are lifting, a lot of businesses are thinking of returning to the office in the near future. Many others will continue to work remotely. Either way, one of the best ways that you can improve your efficiency is to think carefully about how much time you need to spend talking to your teams, and how much time would be gained by letting them do their jobs.