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Three productivity measurement tools to get the most out of your workforce

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Productivity measurement is an esoteric but essential part of managing a business – even for a one-man band. Understanding and then implementing it, is not always easy though. The Harvard Business Review defines productivity as “units of output (goods, services) divided by units of input” that go into creating said product (time, money, resources). Productivity measurement involves gathering data on both output and input and working out whether the means justify the end.  Here are three tools that will help you become a boss when it comes to productivity measurement:

1) Google Cloud Print lets you manage some of your most expensive resources.

Monitoring printer and resource use is important in productivity measurement – paper and ink cartridges are expensive and their cost needs to be justified. With fewer people owning printers at home, the temptation is to use the office supplies for personal use – especially if you can send documents to the printer remotely. This burns up both company time and money. Google Cloud Print[L1]  keeps track of who’s printing what, when and from where, and will help curb unnecessary printer use. If staff are becoming wasteful, implementing print quotas can help curb the associated costs.    

2) Keep track of how everyone in your company spends their time using Toggl.

Time might be an illusion, but it certainly isn’t at work: time is a commodity. Wasting it is one of the most damaging things you can do to your business. A proven way to waste less time is to keep track of it. At OfficeBox we love Toggl for that exact purpose. You can keep track of how much time each employee spends on every aspect of each project. Not only are you going to increase productivity and productivity measurement, it will make billing for work done a dream. It even syncs in with workflow software like Asana and Trello and you can get the app for most mobile and desktop operating systems.  

3) Google Apps make real-time collaboration across teams a reality.

Google Apps (Mail, Drive, Calendar, Sites, Sheets and Docs) are another godsend when it comes to productivity measurement. These collaboration tools help you monitor what work is being done, as it happens. Staff can collaborate on documents that are updated in real time. The Calendar means that everyone has a clear idea of how their and everybody else’s week is going to play out. Evernote is another platform with which to collaborate in real time that will also reduce how much time you spend in meetings. You’ll be able to collaborate and communicate better; you will also be able to eliminate confusion, people doubling up on work and encourage transparency.  

Communication is vital to everything in business: productivity measurement is no exception.

Communication is a key factor in productivity measurement. Regular check-ins with your colleagues about where they are with their tasks and whether they have any issues completing work is important. Sometimes the resources that go into your goods or services can’t be measured tangibly; having an ear to the ground will give you a better idea about how well your colleagues are working. If your staff’s productivity is judged on tasks rather than on time, and they consistently get the job done, whether they spend a few minutes here and there on YouTube or Facebook is irrelevant. Becoming a tyrant and banning things will only be counterproductive and destroy morale.  

Going back to basics and working completely offline will help creativity and give you a break from looking at a screen.

Allocate a few hours several times a week for analog working. Digital may be the primary way your business functions, but taking time away from the screen will refresh your work routine. Gather small teams for pow-wows where new ideas are generated and people can talk about things face to face. Without the myriad distractions a laptop offers – email, Skype, social media – whilst trying to brainstorm, your staff will be way more creative and focused armed only with a marker, flip chart and their brains. Remember: your employees are people, not machines. It is natural that some days will not be as productive as others. Rather than work up a sweat if one day is not proving as productive as the last, gauge how productive your staff are over a longer time frame – a week or a month for example. Whilst more is done electronically in business today, the need for stationery persists. OfficeBox brings stationery into the modern age by changing the game of how stationery is supplied. Get in touch with us today to chat to us about how we can help your business operate more productively.

Improving Efficiency in the Modern Day Business_OfficeBox

OfficeBox Branded Stationery
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David Adams
27 July 2015
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