Being efficient in business is about finding the most effective ways of using the resources we have available to us in order to maximise the results we can achieve.
Resources are scarce and time is the one element that restricts us all. When we talk about being efficient, we talk about the best use of time. Using our time in the best way means we’re more productive, more fulfilled and enjoy work because we have a greater sense of achievement.
However, it’s increasingly easy for time to disappear and once time is lost, it can never be found again. Distractions are rife and unless we’re careful they can easily seep into the workplace where they sap energy, diminish drive and cripple productivity.
That’s why creating a workplace where efficiency can thrive is key to sustained growth, soaring levels of staff moral and tangible bottom-line results.
Here are six ways we can all be more efficient in the workplace:
Create the right environment
Our work environments have a huge influence on how efficient we are. Office spaces are in the midst of a revolution. Take the designs of Google’s new California headquarters as an example. This is a workspace rather than a workplace and uses cutting-edge design and architecture in order to enrich the experience of the workforce, ultimately inspiring them to constantly better themselves. Now, not all of us will have Google’s budget, but it is easy to identify ways to streamline your environment to make it more efficient.
Do one thing really well
On a micro level it can be very easy to take on too much and say ‘yes’ to everything. This can have its benefits but it’s always worth asking ‘is this the best use of my time’ and ‘is this how I add the most value?’ Experts are by their definition those people who spend many hours doing one thing in order to perfect it. By doing this one thing well they then become better at it than anyone else and so their value increases.
In a perfect world, your dream team will be made up of talented professionals, all eager to impress. Communicating effectively with them will maximise their potential and deliver results. Good communication can take a little time to get right but will save you hours in the long run. Before firing off that email or picking up the phone, think about what you want to say, how you’re going to say it and why it’s important.
Learn and review
Creating increased efficiency comes from learning what works and what doesn’t. Measure your outputs and do more of the activities that are generating the best results. Schedule in time to learn and develop, then review your actions. Repeating these cycles will often help streamline your activity.
Manage your downtime
Time when you’re not working is just as important as the time you spend working. Tired, stressed and overworked people aren’t efficient or productive and they don’t enjoy work. Regular breaks, after work clubs and time to rest will all help create an efficient team who perform at their peak.
Advances in technology, both software and hardware, are helping businesses become more efficient and productive. Cloud-based computing makes it easier for people to work anywhere at anytime, while workforce management software means businesses can plan, budget and forecast all from the same place.
Being more efficient means you will save money, reduce costs and improve productivity. And you will do all of this while enjoying your work more.