They’re your people and they want to be productive and do a good job. But when office workers around the country were surveyed by Microsoft, they said about 16 hours of their work week were unproductive.
Some of that time is the boss’s fault. Workers say 5.5 hours each week are spent in meetings, and most of that time is not productive.
Some things to consider before setting up your next meeting:
- Invite only those who need to attend and are relevant to the purpose of the meeting.
- Have an agenda. Know what you are going to say.
- Stick to business and avoid chit-chat. Some bosses hold meetings where everyone is standing up.
- Avoid scheduling confusion — use apps like Outlook Calendar or Google Calendar to make sure your team has the time blocked out in their schedule. To make sure everyone is familiar with the topics to be discussed, consider providing the agenda to everyone in advance. If you will be looking for specific details on project milestones, be sure to alert your team to come prepared with this information.
- Don’t hold a meeting if it isn’t needed. Regular meetings for no specific purpose are a waste of time.
- If you operate multiple locations, cut down on travel time by having a virtual meeting. Services such as MyMeeting123 or GoToWebinar allow you all the interaction without the costs involved with an on-site meeting.
- To manage projects, consider solutions such as those offered by 37Signals.com. With everything from real-time chat to project management and contact management solutions, they offer powerful, no-nonsense solutions without long-term contracts.
Other Tips for Boosting Office Productivity
- Have a real to-do list that includes only those projects that will be done today.
- Don’t rely on memory, because other matters will enter your mind and create stress.
- Schedule your browsing time and email processing. By batching these tasks, you avoid getting bogged down processing replies, or losing track of time while you surf your favorite sites. Keep your personal surfing relegated to your lunch hour. Break time is too short.
- Take notes. Write down ideas to consider at a later time. Always have a note pad handy.
- Stay organized. Keep material you are not presently working on off of your desk so you can concentrate on one thing at a time.
- Break a big task into smaller segments that can be worked on for part of each day.
- Write brief text messages and emails. If what you have to say doesn’t fit, pick up the telephone.
- Use the last 15 or 20 minutes of each day to set yourself up work for tomorrow.
- Clean out the email in-box.