Almost every firm is experiencing staffing issues. Leadership must ensure they are maximizing employee productivity. I divide these productivity enhancements into three categories: hardware, software, and time management.
Hardware improvements can be the addition of monitors, replacing aging hardware, and if applicable, providing remote work abilities. Adding just 1 additional monitor to workstations can boost productivity by 20%. Team members can multi-task more efficiently and enables staff to work in more than one application at once. If your staff is complaining of technology frustrations and your equipment is more than five years old, it may be time to think about doing a workstation or server upgrade. Not only can aging equipment lead to productivity loss due to slow or sluggish work but older equipment is also at a greater risk of failure. Older computers will often fail at the most inopportune times (like April 5th). Remote work is also something that can add productivity. If there is a snowstorm or power/internet outage at the office, having a remote work option can lower the loss of productivity.
Software can also help bolster productivity. Adding a CRM can help organize customer information and track new opportunities. Firms may also consider software that helps manage tax workflow. Implementing a customer portal for clients to upload and download information not only improves productivity but it is much more secure than email. Using a communication platform such as Microsoft Teams for inter office messaging and collaboration can save a lot of time and is critical for anyone operating in multiple locations.
Time Management is perhaps the most important but the most difficult of these three items. Using task scheduling can not only help with productivity but is a great tool for discovering available resources. Teaching staff to schedule their work and using their calendars to do it provides the staff with uninterrupted time to focus and management with the visibility into scheduled work. Using a public facing calendar solution that enables clients to schedule their own meetings cuts down on the back-and-forth admin time to schedule meetings. We also encourage having scheduled team meetings regardless of company head count. Schedule the meetings weekly or biweekly to review any pressing matters and update each other on progress. These meetings can help management spot where someone may need help or identify any client issues.
Productivity is more important now than it has ever been. We recommend firms implement these steps to increase productivity of their employees.