Business owners and managers constantly look for ways to improve overall workplace efficiency. Running a business is already stressful, and unnecessary downtime can be frustrating and result in losing valuable time. A recent study suggests that the average worker is productive for 60% or less per day. This is why it is vital to limit downtime to take advantage of your employees’ productivity times and boost the overall productivity rates. Here are four ways to decrease your downtime and enhance the productivity of your workplace.
- Communicate downtime policies
It is crucial to communicate your business downtime protocols during new staff orientation. Similarly, your employees should be updated on changes to the policy and be reminded of it when there’s another downtime episode. It is vital to make your employees aware of this to effectively reduce downtime issues and educate them on practices that may cause this issue. Additionally, you should educate them on its effects on the workplace and its stakeholders, such as customers and partners.
You should make parties affected by downtime aware of your business’s downtime policies. Find out which work areas will be affected, including customers, partners, and the business community. It is best to acknowledge the problem, empathize with the affected customers, communicate the extent of downtime and offer alternative processes if possible. Likewise, you may want to create a to-do list of tasks that employees can do during downtime.
- Stay organized
Keeping the workplace organized is essential for saving time which means that employees can stay focused on completing tasks on time. A well-organized workplace also improves workflow among your working teams for more productivity. For instance, pallet racking systems can help your warehouse keep track of inventory and avoid the issues of lost items. This can save a lot of time and reduce delays when retrieving inventory. Likewise, being organized can help working teams avoid crucial mistakes such as overlooking work instructions and missing deadlines.
- Incentivize working teams
Many managers instinctively find ways to punish employees they feel are unproductive. However, this approach is ineffective and obsolete since employees have little control over downtime. In this case, punishing them will do no good. Instead, reward employees for meeting set goals within a specified period. Acknowledging their performance will uplift the atmosphere in the workplace to boost employee morale and drive them to be more productive.
- Update your equipment
Non-performing tools are a leading cause of downtime. When equipment is outdated or lacks regular maintenance servicing, workflow suffers tremendously. It is tempting for most business owners and managers to focus on the bottom line and reduce the amount of scheduled maintenance their equipment receives. While this may cut costs in the short term, it can have a crippling effect on workplace productivity and profitability in the long term.
Although downtime can spell trouble for the workplace, it can be easily resolved. Using the following steps would help you and your employees recover from downtime by increasing productivity and finding innovative ways to make up for any losses.