No matter how good your business is doing, it could always be doing better.
Luckily, increasing your output can be achieved easily by making a few changes here and there to how you manage your business. And these changes won’t even cost you that much money—if they cost anything at all.
Here are five tips that won’t break the bank and are almost certain to improve your company’s collective output:
Let your employees make their own schedules.
Sure, your employees will have to make and keep certain appointments, whether that entails connecting with clients or attending companywide meetings (which are a waste of time on their own, but that’s another story).
But just because businesses have traditionally made slaves of their employees between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. doesn’t mean it’s right—or even necessary in the slightest.
Think about it: As long as your employees are meeting or exceeding their job expectations, what difference does it make as to when they begin and end their days? Let them work when it’s most convenient, so long as performance doesn’t suffer.
Take a look at Qualcomm, a California-based semiconductor company, which was recently ranked 32nd on the 2014 edition of Fortune’s 100 Best Places to Work. There’s a reason for that ranking: Employees are able to work as they see fit, as the company has embraced flexible schedules, job sharing and compressed work weeks. This means employees can get to work the moment inspiration strikes.
By embracing flexible scheduling, your employees will almost certainly have better work-life balances—they’ll be happier and healthier. And that translates into a more robust bottom line for your business.
Embrace flexible workspaces.
Rather than spending money on office rent, you might want to consider different approaches to work that are more cost-effective for many. Using apps like Breather and SpareChair, you’re able to track down available professional spaces that are nearby and pay for them on an hourly basis. If you’re looking for a semi-permanent arrangement, Regus lets you rent space by the month.
This flexible working movement, known as co-working, is gaining a lot of momentum around the world. When you reduce your rent expenses, you’re able to invest it in other areas of your business—like hiring more staff. Your output increases as a result.
Equip your workers with modern tech.
By making smart investments in technology, your business is bound to be more productive as processes become more efficient. In fact, the right IT investments can give you the edge you need to gain a step on your competitors.
When you invest in the tools your employees need to thrive in their positions, they’re almost certain to return that investment and work harder. Who doesn’t like using the latest platforms, particularly when they make work easier?
Case in point? Chili’s recently installed tablets on all tables at its restaurants. Customers are now able to pay their bills and order drinks without the help of waiters who are busy serving other tables. In this example, modern technology addressed one of the company’s biggest complaints: slow service. Customer experiences improved as a result.
When you reward your employees for their hard work, it positively reinforces good behavior and encourages other employees to go the extra mile, too.
Over half of American companies understand this logic, which is why they collectively spend over $100 billion on incentive programs each year. Don’t think of rewards as expenses; they’re investments.
If you want your business to be more productive, you should adopt programs that encourage your employees to realize their full potential. While all employees will certainly appreciate financial awards, you could take other routes as well. For example, Zappos feeds its employees every day and also offers them 40 percent discounts on all the products they sell, among many other benefits.
Eliminate the dress code—or at least tone it down.
If your employees come to work every day and sit down in front of their computers for eight hours, do you really need them to be wearing suits?
Your staff will feel more like adults and less like children when you allow them to dress appropriately for work without focusing on the minutiae.
And at the end of the day, the more comfortable your employees are, the more productive they’ll be.
Is it time for you to reevaluate the way you run your business?
By being creative and looking at things from a new perspective, you’re certain to find an inexpensive tactic to employ that will boost employee morale and increase output. Now, it’s up to you to decide what makes the most sense for your team. Good luck!