Let’s talk ‘How to Increase Workplace Productivity.’

Just in case you’re wondering why an Answering Service is talking to you about increasing workplace productivity I’ll give a quick run down.

Call Centres are one of the most efficient workplaces. Full stop.

Okay fine, some context.

When you have 20 plus virtual receptionists in an office all helping different customers with very different problems you have to make sure  that everyone has exactly what they need, and doing what they need to be doing. It doesn’t take much for the system to derail, so you have to ensure that everyone knows what they are expected to do. The company is responsible for ensuring that everyone is aware of expectations and that they are supported in achieving these expectations.

If your are an employee and you can’t figure out where your days are going, don’t worry! You are not the only one, it’s extremely common to feel like we are not the most productive in our work day.

So let’s talk solutions.

1) Get.Off.The.Phone.

If you are answering the office phone all day when your receptionist needs some help, or if your company does not have one, then you are wasting your time.

It goes without saying, when you answer the phone you are going lose your train of thought. It will take you at least a few minutes to speak to the caller, and then about 4 minutes to get your momentum back. Let’s do a modest calculation and learn how much time you are losing per day.

3 minutes talking to the caller, and another 4 minutes to get your mind back on track. That’s 7 minutes. Now lets multiply this by say, 3 calls an hour. That’s 21 minutes an hour. So in an 8 hour work day you are losing approximately  168  minutes or 2.8  hours,  on phone calls alone.

The solution to this problem is simple, get some help. Sometimes the best solution is to either hire a receptionist, or if that just isn’t an option (Or you already have one who is stretched too thin.) then a cost effective solution is to hire an Answering Service to act as a virtual receptionist. They will transfer calls, screen telemarketers and ensure that the calls you do receive, are ones you want to get. Making your day more productive.

2) Don’t write a novel when you are answering an email.

If you can’t answer the email in a few sentences then it’s time to pick up the phone and talk. Much faster then figuring out what you want to say, writing it and spell checking.

Tip: If you’re going to call someone make sure you don’t get caught up in side conversations.  

This is a revolving door. When you are asking a question in an email get right to the point. Learning to keep emails simple  will help you move through your work quickly and can encourage your co-workers to send short emails in turn.

3) Time your meetings and have a hard stop.

We have all been there and sometimes it’s us. (I’m horrible for this) We get off topic, or we ramble. This drags our meetings on for much longer then they should and we end up working late.

Forgetting about the clock is a common mistake. Best fix? Have a clock in your meeting that everyone can see. The visual does wonders for reminding everyone that the meeting ends at a specific time.  Which brings us to part two of this tip.

Have a hard stop for meetings and most importantly,  enforce the hard stop.

If you are going to increase workplace productivity, it means being a bit less flexible with your time. If your meeting ends at 3 then that’s it. The moment the clock hits 3  everyone packs it up and goes back to their desks. This may seem counter productive when you have to stop a meeting right in the middle, but if you enforce this rule everyone will soon adapt.

4.  Journal your day.

If you do, or have, tried all of the above and yet you still cannot figure out where your day is going then maybe it’s time to start a work day journal.

Write down the task you are doing and the start time. When you are finished write the end time. Repeat for every thing that you do, including your lunch and coffee breaks. (Don’t skip breaks, you need them!) At the end of the week look back at your journal and find the pattern. Are you still spending too much time on emails? Or perhaps you are answering customer complaints too often and it’s time to delegate.

Journalling can seem counter productive, but if you are stuck it is the sure fire why to discover what you need to do to increase your workplace productivity.

There you have it, workplace productivity improved with 4 simple tips.

Now go be the best, most productive you, you can be.