Businesses and teams, in general, face so many challenges every single day. There’s always that need to do more, produce more within the same day—all without sacrificing on the performance quality.
It seems as if quotas are getting higher than ever, given that businesses today are also facing so much competition. So, to survive, it’s important for teams to be able to implement a smooth and agile workflow.
But, there’s only so much that people can fit into the same limited hours of work in a day. Human beings also have inherent physical and biological limitations. You’re not robots, after all.
So, no matter how much you push yourself to improve your workflow, you can’t just keep your eyes open 24/7. The changes discussed here have to do with the operations side, which will help make the most out of human and technological resources without causing burnout on anyone in the team.
The goal should always be to improve workflow—not to hamper it. To help you out, here are some things your business can do and adapt for it to implement a smoother workflow:
1. Use The Right Tools For Office Workflow Management
First on this list is an advantage for everyone! All thanks to technology, there are now so many tools, apps, and software that you can utilize to improve office workflow. This means that productivity can improve without putting a toll on the employees’ level of work. After all, a person can only do so much.
If there are tasks that you can automate, then why not move away from manual labor and introduce automations that help the team. Doing so can make the workflow more efficient by being able to achieve more in less (or at least the same) time. On the side of office workflow management, teams can also be handled and managed effectively with the help of tools.
When there are now so many good ones available for you to use, there’s absolutely no reason for your organization not to adopt these tools for your business. You may be missing out on its benefits, such as:
- Smoother and more effective project management;
- Unified communications across different departments, to avoid confusion;
- Possibility of staying connected, even on the go.
2. Stop Multitasking
While you might think that you’re able to do and achieve more through multitasking, you’re actually hurting your flow of operations. Remember that it’s the workflow here that you’re focusing on. So, what’s important is to get one task over with, so you can move on to the next.
When you’re multi-tasking, you’re essentially disrupting the flow of priority. One task is delayed because you’re sharing your time with another task that’s only second on the list. When this is done by a lot of members in your team, the effect builds up and that’s when you can expect delays to happen.
Apart from severely obstructing workflow, multitasking also has other dire side effects that you certainly wouldn’t want to happen in your organization. These include the following:
- It may disrupt your memory, simply because your focus is affected by working on two or three tasks all in one go;
- It can lead to increased distractibility, as you’re already all over the place by not focusing on just one task;
- It can lead to lower quality output, as you weren’t giving your full attention and best on one task first before moving on to the next.
3. Encourage Continuous Learning
Learning doesn’t stop. Especially in this day and age of technological advancements, you’ll want your team to be able to adapt. Adaptability is another factor in agility that your workplace must have. So, it’s important to encourage continuous learning within your organization.
If there are seminars and workshops that your team members can attend, then expose them to these at the company’s expense. After all, this expense will still get returned to the company when your employees are able to work more effectively and efficiently.
If you don’t give time and room for your employees to keep learning, the danger is that you may still be applying obsolete strategies. This means that you’ll consistently be farther behind the competition.
You need to update the knowledge and skills of your team so that they can have the ability to do more and perform better—thereby also speeding up and improving the entire office workflow.
4. Conquer Difficult Tasks First
In an organization, there are certainly managers for every department. It’s the job of each of the managers in these departments to encourage your team to tackle the more difficult tasks first.
So, whenever a workday starts, do an audit or check of what each member has to accomplish in the day. If there’s anything that needs to be prioritized, then notify them about it.
When the difficult tasks are done early on in the day, this can take a huge tick off the list of your team’s daily workload. So, the workflow can then move faster when these tasks are already out of the way.
Plus, when these difficult tasks are the first to be addressed, this means that your team isn’t mentally and physically exhausted yet. They’ve got all their energy and mental faculties to focus on completing that task.
If you leave these difficult tasks for later, you may be delaying other jobs that would’ve also been finished earlier. It also increases the motivation of everyone in the team when they feel that because they’re able to finish a hard task first, then surely those that come after that will already be so much easier to accomplish.
In closing, it’s safe now to conclude that from the changes above, a workflow that’s agile and streamlined is one that’s simplified. If there are ways to make otherwise time-consuming tasks easier and simpler to do, then adapt these ways.
Don’t be afraid to use project management tools such as Basecamp in your organization. While these changes may mean making adjustments in your business operations, you’re going to get used to it eventually.
Then you’ll start seeing the positive effects of these changes when you see your entire workflow moving smoother than it has done in the past.