Managers are always trying to find new ways to increase employee productivity, but not all tricks or tips are appropriate for every workplace. One way to get more out of employees—no matter what kind of business you run—is through a few tweaks of their work schedules. By following a few best practices for scheduling, you can increase productivity at work for yourself and your team.
Most work schedules are made using a bottom-up approach, meaning that you look at your week and schedule specific tasks for each block of open time. The downfall to this is that if you stray from it, the whole schedule gets messed up and could cause you have to start from scratch. Bottom-up work schedules ensure you are constantly busy, but you may not actually finish any projects because you had no specific goal in mind. Instead, try the top-down work schedule approach, which starts with your end goal and then schedules specific work blocks for getting to your goal by your specified target date.
When you are making your new top-down work schedules, be sure to pencil in some time outside the office. Often, employees work better and are happier when they can spend at least part of their time outside of the office. Even if this means just getting up and taking your laptop outside or to another part of the office, you will have more productivity at work. If you are working from a remote spot, there are plenty of productivity apps available that can help you stay up to speed and get your work done. You can even try having meetings with your team outside of the workplace, such as at a restaurant or coffee shop, to break up the monotony of the daily grind and foster creativity.
Speaking of team meetings, try to avoid early mornings if you possibly can. A study from WhenIsGood.net shows that most people are checking and responding to emails in the morning, so this is a bad time to have a meeting, as their minds will likely be distracted. Instead, choose a later hour in advance so that workers can pencil it into their work schedules. Phone calls to clients should also be kept on a schedule, factoring in time zones and the time of day they are most reachable. This helps you get them on the first or second try, freeing up more time that you might have otherwise spent making multiple calls to the same client.
No matter which job market you work in, finding the right formula for work schedules is a must if you want to increase productivity. Don't be afraid to try a different approach or work from outside the office. These little changes can result in big dividends later on as well as a calmer and smoother workplace.
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