There are only so many hours in a day, and figuring out how to get the most out of each one is a trick we all wish we could master. Or perhaps more importantly, it’s a trick you wish your employees could master. Getting them on the right track is easier than you might expect. As with any skill, the key is to start small.
Here are 7 simple things you can do starting right now that can help to boost productivity for your entire team:
- Utilize Keyboard Shortcuts - A keyboard shortcut is simply a sequence or combination of keystrokes that will allow you to perform certain functions, or prompt certain commands in software. There are hundreds of keyboard shortcuts. Some are universal, others are specific to a program or operating system. Having an arsenal of shortcuts for the programs and applications you use every day can be a big time-saver. Think about how often you use something like ALT + Tab to switch between windows, and how annoying it would be to have to go back to using your mouse instead. It may only take a few seconds, but when it’s an action you repeat constantly, those few seconds start to add up.
- Take Advantage of Outlook Integrations – There are a ton of handy apps and programs that can integrate with your Outlook account. You’re already using your email constantly throughout the day, so making it a tool to help you complete other tasks and stay organized almost feels like common sense. For example, connecting your Outlook account to your Skype account lets you send instant messages and place calls right from your inbox.
- Utilize the Right Software Platform for Every Need – Whatever you’re trying to manage, create, or complete, chances are there are a dozen different programs or applications that can help you do it. Finding the software that works best for the task at hand and integrates well with the rest of your system might take a bit of research, but it’s well worth the effort. Relying on generic software just because it’s there can be a huge waste of time and energy, and make something simple take twice as long to accomplish.
- Allow Your MSP to Deal with Vendors on Your Behalf – When your Internet connection goes down, your team is going to have their hands full trying to work around the obvious issues this will create for your business. Asking an employee to step back from an already hectic situation to sit on the phone with your provider to get back up and running is not ideal. By leaving problems like this in the capable hands of your MSP, your staff is free to focus on managing your business while the problem is dealt with by professionals who not only will have a better grasp of what the problem is, but also know your IT infrastructure inside and out. Make your MSP your main point of contact for all things tech-related, and you can spare yourself a lot of frustration when something goes wrong.
- Have Backup Hardware Available – Computer troubles are never ideal, but having a spare on hand that can be put into use quickly can make a huge difference with regards to offsetting downtime. Consider investing in a backup computer for each of your departments. A system that already has all required software installed and ready to go makes it possible for your employee to get back to work in minutes, instead of losing hours or even days of productivity while the faulty PC is repaired or replaced.
- Use Dual Monitors – Adding an extra screen to your workstations can save a heap of time by allowing employees to multitask by referencing one screen while working on the other, or comparing documents to make finding necessary information easier. Typing up a report will go much faster when the spreadsheet it’s based off is open and sitting right next to your Word document, offering up data at a glance.
- Eliminate Social Media Distractions – The urge to check Facebook or Twitter periodically throughout the day can be tough to ignore. Consider using an app like Freedom to block social media sites and allow you to work distraction-free, or set your firewall permissions to prevent access to social media sites from within your office altogether. If you want your workplace to be a work-only environment, there are tools available to make that possible.
Want to learn more about the ways Inspired IT can help your business maximize productivity? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (+61) 08 6142 8221. We’re the productivity experts local businesses trust.