Did you know that 74% of small business owners say they couldn’t operate their business without the use of organizational tools; and that 63% of them believe that their level of the organization directly correlates to their business’s profitability?
This should come as no surprise, considering that organization is one of the critical components in driving productivity in the workplace as it reduces time wastage and decreases work-related stress for your employees. This means that an organized workplace will generally accomplish more tasks and generate more revenue due to better resource allocation.
Seeing as we live in the midst of a global pandemic where most work-related tasks are completed remotely, let’s take a look at how you can maintain an organized workplace even while you are away from the office.
Respond to your emails immediately
Most people view their emails as a chore, which leads them to check them sporadically throughout the day without allocating time to go through them and deal with them effectively. Eventually, this leads to a backlog of tasks and seriously hinders your productivity, not to mention the important emails you might miss.
Fortunately, there are plenty of handy tools to help you out with this conundrum, such as a dedicated email client that takes away much of the dreaded tasks you must deal with when responding to your emails, including the rigid formalities of email culture, long, tedious, and confusing threads, and all of the clutter that makes your emails a pain in the neck to decipher.
Not only that but tools such as this turn your email into a real-time chat that’s easy to read and lets you see important messages first, while low priority messages are moved to the side for later.
One of the most challenging tasks a small business owner is faced with during a period of remote working is keeping teams connected with each other. As you would expect, the distance between colleagues causes a lack of team cohesion which causes breakdowns in the communication chain, which is never good for business.
To get around this, set up a regular video conference with your employees and encourage people to use open communication channels more frequently. This is also a great way to bring a social side back to your working hours as it gives you and your employees a chance to connect with each other.
Make use of productivity tools
We all have our favorite tools and apps that we use on our mobile phones in our personal life, and your work should be no different. There are tons of great apps out there that are designed to make your life easier when it comes to running your business remotely. Here are a few that spring to mind:
- Project management: Trello, Basecamp, Asana
- Chat apps: Whatsapp, Slack, Discord
- Collaboration: Dropbox, Google Drive,
- Customer signature: Docusign, Hellosign
- Video calling: Zoom, Skype
Organize your computer
There is nothing more stressful than a computer that’s full of desktop icons and has pop-ups flashing up on the screen every 15 seconds. It’s enough to make anyone go crazy, nevermind when you have important business to take care of.
Do yourself a favor and take some time to declutter your computer and get rid of all of the unnecessary documents and applications. You should treat your work computer as if it were a physical desk/storage room, especially if you handle sensitive customer information. Here are a few tips to help you get things cleaned up:
- Create a digital filing system
- Update your software
- Manage your cables and work area
- Keep your desktop icons to a minimum
- Scan for viruses and performance issues
- Backup everything
- Use a password manager to quickly access passwords
If you follow these steps, you will increase your productivity, and it should improve your computer’s speed and performance. Win-win.
Trade your in-person discussions for phone calls
Even though we mentioned using productivity tools earlier on in this article, it’s important to remember that sometimes the old school is the best way to go. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you would normally decide to go see and see a colleague in-person to resolve an issue, reach for the phone instead of the tech.
It’s quick, easy, and you’ll get your answer much faster, which means you can carry on with your day and focus on other tasks.
Give yourself a break
Last but not least, you need to remember when to give yourself some well-earned rest. The problem with working from home is that the line between work hours and leisure hours blur into one. This makes it very easy to work into the night without even realizing how much stress and strain it puts on your mind and body.
Remember, this is a tough time for everyone, and you should do your best to remind yourself and everyone on your team that people are doing the best they can within the current circumstances. Sometimes, slowing down and taking the extra time to organize things properly is the best way to boost productivity, and if not, at least it’s a great way to give yourself some peace of mind.
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