It has been said that in order to grow, one must be willing to change and adapt. The same rings true for running a business. To run a successful company, you must take a step back every now and then to evaluate different aspects of the business setting and determine if any changes would be beneficial. If you are looking to revamp your company’s workplace environment, read on to learn some elements that you will want to include in your assessment.
IT systems are the foundation of most businesses. Very few establishments run without some kind of internet technology helping things to process smoothly. When revamping your workplace, your IT systems should be one of the first pieces you assess.
If you have an IT department, set up a meeting with them to review the different networks your company is using. Have you had the same internet provider for years? Evaluate your contract and see if you can get a better price or if there is a better provider. Are your systems due for updates? Make sure those are completed and done on a regular basis. Do you have virus protection? Analyze its performance and determine if the software is meeting your needs.
Streamlining processes to an online platform can increase productivity. If you want to transition some tasks to online, consider investing in a program such as H2O AutoML. AutoML, or Automatic Machine Learning, helps companies maximize efficiency by utilizing their online systems to handle repetitive jobs and thereby allowing employees more time for productive tasks. If you are interested, take advantage of their free trial offer to see how their systems can benefit your day-to-day procedures.
Companies are increasingly transitioning their employees from working in the office 5 days a week to working remotely full-time or part-time. There are numerous advantages to having a remote work setup. For one, it saves the business money. With employees working outside the office, you likely can downgrade to a smaller space, especially if they are working outside the office full-time. If your staff is only away part-time, they can still share desks and save on space. Additionally, with less people connecting to the internet, you save on internet costs along with other utilities, such as water and electricity.
Remote work also gives your employees a sense of freedom, which can benefit their moods and overall productivity. Working remotely allows employees to save on time and gas that would normally be spent on their commute; plus, it gives them the option to travel and work, which can benefit you as the employer. Have a staff member that has plans for Christmas but there is a conference call that you need them to be on during that time? Remote work allows this to happen.
On a similar note, another change that can improve morale is to allow flexible scheduling. A typical 8-hour workday brings with it many challenges for some people, such as a parent who has to manage their kid’s schedule or someone who is taking care of an elderly relative. By allowing flexible scheduling, you not only give your staff the flexibility they need to tend to other tasks but you also broaden the pool of applicants when you are hiring. Suddenly, someone who may be a great candidate but could not apply due to schedule conflicts is now able to interview for the position.
Have your managers sit down with their teams to develop a schedule that meets everyone’s needs. If you are running a business that always requires someone to be available, such as a call center, obviously not everyone can be away at the same time. Make sure schedules are coordinated in a way that your customers are prioritized. Additionally, do your best to allow for unexpected situations. If a staff member suddenly gets a call about a doctor appointment opening or they must go to their child’s school unexpectedly, do what you can to accommodate. Working with your employees in these instances will not only increase moral but develop a dedicated staff that feels heard and valued.
Another great way to breath fresh air into the workplace is by assessing the company’s furnishings and supplies. Nobody enjoys sitting in a chair that squeaks relentlessly or working at a desk that has two broken drawers. Plus, chances are if someone is getting a sore back from a bad chair, they are not going to be very productive.
If you have an office manager, collaborate with him or her to get all the furnishings evaluated. Set up a schedule or send out an email to staff asking if they have any equipment that needs to be replaced. Make sure someone looks at the community locations, such as the kitchen and bathroom, to ensure everything is functioning properly and anything that is not is fixed or replaced. On a similar note, make sure you staff is fully stocked with office supplies needed to do their jobs, such as pens, paper and staplers.
Engagement sessions are an excellent way to accomplish two goals: education and feedback. These sessions can educate your employees on different company values, procedures, industry highlights or employee well-being topics. On the flip side, these sessions can be used as a platform to gather feedback from your staff, such as their thoughts on a new policy or where they see opportunities for improvement.
Develop a schedule for engagement sessions throughout the year. Depending on your company size and personal preference, education sessions can be setup bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly. Feedback sessions should be scheduled when there is a specific area you want feedback on. However, it is a wise idea to regularly host open forums with your staff to ensure any recommendations or concerns they have are heard and addressed.
This may seem like a simple recommendation, but a thorough cleaning can do wonders for lifting spirits and refocusing energy. Dirty and cluttered surroundings make it difficult for people to focus and reach peak efficiency. Furthermore, if you have a community setting that is unclean, such as the kitchen, this can be very off-putting for those who need to use the facility.
Ensure the office is getting a meticulous cleaning at least once a year. If you have a regular janitorial staff, ask if they offer deep cleaning services. Otherwise, research companies online to find one that will meet your needs within your budget. If you have a small business, you might be able to save money and do it yourself. Ask for volunteers to stay after hours or come in on a Saturday to clean. Keep in mind, you will likely have to sweeten the deal to encourage people to sign up, such as pizza and cookies for lunch or dinner out when the job is done.
It is easy to get caught up in the everyday jobs and errands that your business requires from you. However, it is important to take a step back occasionally to look at the big picture and see what things can be changed to improve the workplace. When doing so, consider the above recommendations to bring new life to your workforce!
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