A smoother running office is a must for many entrepreneurs. As any small business owner will know, starting up a business is no easy task.
However, as difficult as the beginning is, growth can be even more tricky. Once your business takes off, you have to employ help to deal with the extra work and set up an office space for everyone to work in.
It’s running this office that is the real nightmare. When you’re in charge of an office, there are so many different things and people that you have to consider, as well as all the work that you had to do before.
If you do something wrong or don’t handle something as you should, things could go wrong, and productivity will decrease, which will be bad for business and your stress levels.
Luckily, there are loads of things that you can do to ensure that things run as smoothly as they can and productivity remains high.
Keep reading for some helpful advice to help you make a smoother running office.
Show Newbies Around
The first thing that you should do when a new member of staff starts working in the office is give them a tour.
This shows them that you care about their well-being and that you have time for them, and so they will be more motivated to work.
It also reduces the necessity for them to have to stop working to ask you or their colleagues where the paper is stored, or the bathroom is.
If they know where everything is, they can just go and do what they need to and return to work without any fuss.
Offices can often feel incredibly plain and boring, and this produces an unproductive environment that sucks the energy and motivation out of everyone within it.
To avoid this, you should allow your office workers to bring some bits and bobs from home and spruce up their office space a little.
Pictures of family and a potted plant or two can really brighten up a desk and re-energize whoever is sitting at it.
Plants will also improve the air quality in your office, which has been shown to reduce sickness and stress and increase productivity.
Make It Comfortable
You and your employees are going to be sitting at your desks for a large portion of the day, so it’s important to ensure that everyone is comfortable how they are sitting, or you are going to have a lot of bad backs and sore eyes on your hands.
Your aim is to be as ergonomic as possible, to ensure that you and your employees are safe and comfortable.
Focus particularly on the office chairs, computers, and keyboards, and also purchase adjustable desks.
Sort Everyone’s Equipment
While you are ensuring that all of your employees are working comfortably, it makes sense to check that they also have all of the correct equipment that they need to work properly.
Trust me, something as simple as ensuring that all of your employees have a sufficient number of pens, post-it notes, and highlighters can drastically increase the productivity of an office.
This means that they won’t have to sprint to the supply closet every time they have something important to write down, and so they can get their work done much faster.
Manage Space Effectively
More often than not, things in offices aren’t in the most sensible places on the planet.
For example, some offices keep the printer paper in a cupboard far away from the printer.
This means that employees have to walk from their desk to the printer, realize there’s no paper, walk to get the paper, and then walk back again, which takes a lot of time when you add it up.
To make everyone’s lives easier, go through your entire office and make sure that everything is positioned in the most efficient place possible.
Explain Tasks Properly
The purpose of hiring employees and office staff is to take some of the pressure off you by giving them some of the tasks that you don’t necessarily need to complete yourself.
Unfortunately, if you don’t have great communication skills and don’t explain tasks properly, you could end up with an employee hiring a soil removal company when they were supposed to hire a removal van for office furniture.
This is obviously going to cause many problems for you, rather than provide solutions, so make sure your employees know exactly what it is that they’re supposed to be doing.
Manage Your Time
As a business owner, you should be used to having to get a lot of different things done in a short space of time.
Unfortunately, while hiring employees does ease this burden a little, running an office does bring up a whole new assortment of problems that you have to deal with on a daily basis.
You are going to have to get all of your regular work done, as well as assist your staff, sort office equipment deliveries, organize meetings, and deal with any emergencies that pop up throughout the day.
To get all of this done, you need to organize your time incredibly well and get the most important tasks done first.
Make It Automatic
With so much that you and your employees need to do each day, it makes sense to eliminate as many tasks as you possibly can, so that you have less to worry about.
Of course, you can’t just ignore these important tasks, but, for some of them, you can make the process automatic.
Your office supplies, for example, can usually be placed on recurring orders, so that you get deliveries every week, fortnight, or month so that you don’t have to think about it until it arrives.
You can usually do the same thing for food and other things too.
Set A Schedule
In an office, routines and repetition are usually the death of productivity.
This is because people get bored very quickly when they’re doing the same things over and over again, and so they slow down and start procrastinating.
However, some things really need to be scheduled.
Anything massively important, like filing or bookkeeping, should be scheduled, or you and your staff will just put it off, and it won’t get done.
To make it more bearable, put boring tasks at the end of a Monday, and promise you’ll let staff leave early once the work is done.
You are responsible for your employees, but that doesn’t mean that you should be cleaning up after them, putting paper in the printer for them, or constantly be explaining basic things over and over again.
When a new employee starts working for you, explain that you encourage your workers to be more independent than this, and that, although you will be there to help if need be, you would much prefer they attempt to do things for themselves first.
Hire A Cleaner
Although offices shouldn’t get dirty very quickly, and staff should be cleaning up after themselves, there will come a point when the windows need wiping, the computers need dusting, or the floors need vacuuming.
While you or one of your employees could do this, it’s not the best use of either of your time.
To keep the office productive, it makes more sense to hire a cleaner to give the office a once over every fortnight or so.
Have An Open Door
There are lots of things, both work-related and not, that could affect your employees’ motivation and productivity.
This is why it is so important for your employees to trust you and for them to know that you are always there to listen if there is something that is bothering them.
While you might not always be able to help, sometimes you will. For example, if work stress is decreasing productivity, you can discuss different things that you could try to reduce their stress.
Even if you can’t help, sometimes just talking can give a person some perspective and allow them to come to the solution themselves.
A suggestion box is also great, for those employees that don’t necessarily want to come forward with their issues.
Reward Good Work
Your employees aren’t going to be motivated to work if they feel as though you don’t appreciate the work that they are doing, so it’s important to show them every now and then how grateful you are.
After all, even one unhappy and the unappreciated worker could reduce productivity for the entire office and have a negative effect on your business.
To show that you care, you should reward them when they complete a difficult task or hit a target.
You can do this with a cash bonus, of course, but little things like a thank you card or a cupcake will work just as well.
When you are in charge of an entire office of people, there are a lot of different things that you have to take into consideration every single day to ensure that the office runs smoothly and work gets done.
Hopefully, these tips will help you do just that.