When it comes to work performance, productivity is a crucial factor. It is the measure of how well you perform, how much you get done, how efficiently you complete tasks, etc. The trouble is that productivity is very rarely constant, and sometimes individuals and teams find it challenging to maintain high levels of productivity. This usually isn’t to do with laziness, but simply not implementing the right practices.
One company we spoke to discussed some of the ways they help teams achieve better productivity. TechQuarters, the company in question, provide outsourced IT support London based organisations rely on to keep their IT infrastructures running consistently. This means that TechQuarters needs to keep their productivity high.
So, what are the top tips and practices that businesses, and more specifically teams, can utilize for better productivity?
This may seem like a relatively simple answer, but it should not be underestimated. There is a paradox when it comes to productivity and the way that people work, which is that the average worker focuses on completing work, rather than the importance of the work being completed. This means a lot of workers spend the majority of their time working through lower priority tasks. While these types of tasks do need to be completed, it is not the best use of one’s time, and don’t have a significant impact on one’s workload.
A better approach is to take the time to prioritize one’s workload. Understanding what work is high-priority, and more urgent can help incentivize and motivate and individual or team. Understanding the priority of a set of tasks means that teams can pool resources more efficiently, delegate low-priority tasks to free up time, and therefore managing and complete work in less time.
Following on from the previous point, collaboration is a key aspect of productivity. Within a team, collaboration is important; it is unhelpful for everyone in a team to see themselves as independent workers – instead, they should see themselves as part of a group effort. TechQuarters know this very well, because teamwork and collaboration is important in delivering the IT support services London businesses expect from them.
There are many benefits to this approach. Firstly, it means that individuals will feel like they have more support if they run into problems. Secondly, people can work together on tasks, and share expertise and resources. Thirdly, team collaboration helps distil goals and outcomes, which in turn means organizing and allocating work is more efficient.
It is a given that every tasks will take a different amount of time to complete depending on the size of the task, the priority, and even who is working on it. Tracking time provides invaluable feedback on how quickly (or slowly) individuals take to complete different types of tasks; it also helps gauge the average amount of time certain types of tasks take.
When organizing workloads, it’s important to know how much time you have at your disposal, and how much time the work is likely to take. This feeds into how you prioritize and allocate work to people and teams. It also helps individuals stay motivated, because they understand the time constraints accurately.
This may seem counterintuitive, but multitasking actually lowers productivity. Trying to split your focus between multiple tasks means you are less focused on all of them. On the other hand, dedicating all of your brainpower on a single task – or perhaps a group of similar / interrelated tasks – will make you work much better.
It mainly comes down to time again. It takes time to switch between tasks – because you essentially need to warm up to the task you’re switching to. When you are repeatedly switching tasks, you are losing time that you could have dedicated to uninterrupted focus.
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