The fourth quarter of the year means crunch time for many businesses as they scramble to finish projects and meet yearly goals. However, this time of year can take a toll on office productivity as employees’ focus drift to upcoming winter vacations, holiday preparations, and other demands in their personal lives. Here are a few productivity tips for helping your team finish the year strong.
Allow time off: At first glance, it would seem like a bad idea to let people take time off during the company’s busiest quarter. Studies indicate, though, that allowing employees to take time off can actually boost office productivity. For the majority of your workers, stress has a negative impact on their morale and often leads to reduced output. Letting staff members take a day or two off to relax will recharge their batteries and improve their ability to meet the challenges ahead.
Clarify the goal: It’s hard to get anywhere if you don't know where you’re going. Analyze where the company stands in relation to its goals, and then create a plan to bridge the gap. Use visual aids to share these goals and the action plan with your team. This will instill a sense of purpose into your administrative staff, which can boost office productivity.
Connect goals to tangible actions: Another way to increase office productivity is to connect the team's goals to actions individuals can take to hit the target. For example, a department manager can tell each clerk how many files he or she would need to process to achieve the company’s goal of moving all employee files to the new computer system. This can further be tied to weekly team goals and daily personal goals.
Cut down on multitasking: Despite what you may have heard, people cannot multitask. It may seem as though a person is doing multiple things at once. However, what’s actually happening is the individual is focusing on one thing for thirty seconds and then switching to something else for thirty seconds. People complete tasks faster if they focus their whole attention on each task for the entire sixty seconds. Try to structure the workday so that your staff can devote blocks of time to completing specific tasks. For instance, one person can work on returning phone calls while another can focus on completing required reports. It may feel counterproductive at first, but you will find office productivity will improve significantly after a short acclimation period.
Although you may be focused on achieving Q4 goals, consistently using these productivity tips can help you improve office productivity throughout the year. This, in turn, can make it easier to achieve company goals in the New Year.
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