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Picking up your productivity

Ready to increase productivity across your organization? Great! This post for business owners and managers offers five simple steps that can help teams get more work done.

“It’s the small things that will make you successful.” – The Great Khali, Indian actor and wrestler

The following five simple and proven steps enable any business, even a home-based business, to keep pace with the fast pace of technology change.

5 steps to boost productivity

1: Declutter your workspace(s)

2: Dual screens

3: Adopt a team hub

4: Hire a digital personal assistant

5: Tighten up your security

#1 Declutter your workspace(s)

Like homes, small business environments have a way of filling up with clutter. Files, paperwork, magazines, books, old furniture, stale art, and neglected plants—you name it, businesses collect unused stuff. And over time, that clutter looks unprofessional and wastes people’s time. Employees end up searching for misplaced items. The same applies to digital clutter. Follow these three quick tips to save all kinds of time:

  1. Get all those files off your computer and into the cloud, where you can access them securely from anywhere, anytime.

  2. Clean up folders! Order your projects with a consistent file and folder naming system. This approach ensures less searching for you and your team.

  3. Empty your email inbox. You can archive your email by project, person, or location—just as long as you get it under control.

#2 Dual screens

If you use desks as workstations, consider adding a second computer monitor. While once strictly the domain of programmers and graphic designers, the benefits of an adjacent screen will surprise you. Connecting a second screen to your workstation can provide you with a very cost-effective way to get more done in your day.

How? That depends on you, of course. Professionals can use the added desktop space for all kinds of things: Excel spreadsheets, chat windows for hubs like Microsoft Teams, their Outlook email inbox, palettes, social networks, news, music apps, and so on. Ultimately, the second screen means more info at your fingertips! That’s a time-saver.

#3 Adopt a team hub

Solutions like Microsoft Teams are massively popular for a reason. This teamwork hub provides a single destination for employees to collaborate and communicate. You give your people access to each other through chat, voice, video, and other means. It can help you break down the silos, reduce the volume of internal email, and cut down on big meetings.

If you run a “virtual” business (meaning with no physical shared office space), a team collaboration hub provides a brilliant solution to stay in touch.

#4 Hire a personal digital assistant

Take advantage of the new wave of AI assistants. Microsoft’s AI personal assistant, comes built into Windows 10. With a microphone, you can use Cortana to get things done and stay on top of your tasks. Cortana provides answers and completes basic tasks, plus she can run more than 1,000 partner apps and services.

#5 Tighten up your security

In 2018, StatsCan released their national cybersecurity report findings. Their research showed that one of five Canadian small businesses (21 percent) reported being impacted by a security incident in 2017. Over half of those business (58 percent) experienced an average total downtime of 23 hours. That’s a massive loss of productivity!

Don't become a statistic. Check out the business-self-defense campaign we created with Microsoft to empower businesses to better protect their interests.

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