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How to Make Your Office More Efficient

February 22, 2018 No Comments

Featured article by Emily Roberts, Independent Technology Author

Getting an office to run more efficiently isn’t the easiest thing. People get into a rut of doing the same thing over and over. To gain greater efficiency, you mustn’t be afraid to mix things up and try different approaches to achieve a new result.

Here are some ideas about how to be efficient in different ways.

Increase Natural Light

Making sure there’s enough natural light filtering through the windows helps to illuminate up the office and make people feel more energetic. While florescent lights obviously light up the rooms, it never feels good compared to natural light from the sun. A sunny day elevates the mood too; if employees cannot be outside, at least let a little of the outside goodness in.

Virtually Eliminate Meetings

Meetings tend to be a huge waste of time for most businesses. It either becomes a space for one person to hold a command and control session, or the most outspoken person runs the show. Either way, for most employees with a full day ahead of them, a meeting just wastes their time when it’s needed elsewhere.

If you must have a meeting, make sure it’s a standing meeting to avoid everyone getting too comfortable. Only bring in chairs for people who physically cannot stand for a good length of time due to a physical disability or an injury. Have a fixed agenda and move swiftly through it.

Also, have a rule that every meeting must be 15 minutes or less. Lastly on the subject of meetings, ensure that no meeting ends without decisions being made about what actions are needed next on major points on the agenda, otherwise it’s a lot of talking and zero decisions made.

Upgrading from Microfilm to Digital Storage

Depending on the age of your business, there may have been a time when documents were converted to microfilm storage. While this was efficient back in the day, it doesn’t make it easy to reference old information quickly or efficiently. There are many types of microfilm (3M cartridge, 16-35mm film roll and microfiche). Keeping equipment around to read the different types of microfilm storage is inefficient and expensive in both equipment and employee time to look something up.

To make this whole process more efficient, use a microfilm conversion service to take your existing microfilm storage and turn it into a readily accessible series of images or PDF files. Make them available on the network for employees to find the information they need based on accurate word searches.

Allow Headphones & Earbuds

Not everyone agrees with this, but letting employees use earbuds or headphones to listen to their own music helps them focus in noisy office environments. You’ll want to make sure that their office phone is fitted with visible LED alerts that a call is coming in otherwise they may miss it. While the boss may be concerned about reduced productivity, in most cases it’s the number of interruptions and distractions in the office that lowers production rate.

Making an office and people in the office work more efficiently is often as much about removing or reducing elements that do not support that goal as it is about changing how people work. Some of the changes might be common sense, but few managers are willing to accept that making a change will improve employee morale, boost retention rates or overall efficiency. Sometimes they need a little coaching too.

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