Have a seemingly never-ending to-do list? Projects that span weeks, months and even years run alongside each other, teams from offices in all four corners of the world are collaborating across time zones and as the wheels keep turning on your business, the workload keeps on piling up.
That's why workplace efficiency is so important for businesses that have a need to succeed - keeping on top of the endless workload is no mean feat, but it's key to your success.
We hear the term 'workflows' a lot in the business world, and rightly so. Your business workflows get you from A to B - they ensure your projects are being tackled efficiently and productively, and keep your team on task in the fast-paced world of the startup business.
Workflows that slow down modern businesses include tired heritage workflows like manual note-taking and documentation of brainstorms, as well as workflows that don't account for the ways new technologies have revolutionized the working world. Why should your project management workflow include in-person briefings in an age of conference calling and remote offices? These older workflows are simply inefficient and need to be updated.
How can a business improve its efficiency? Business workflows are your company's secret weapon when it comes to staying on top of things, but they have to be done right. You'll often feel like you're juggling several tasks at once, and that's pretty normal, but there are ways to make that juggling act easier. Increasing productivity is a great way to embed growth into the culture of your organization, so putting efficient workflows in place will help you make more money, too. Prioritizing productivity, teamwork and organization is the key to creating effective workflows.
If you plan to get your business efficiency workflows right, it's best to look at the ways so many businesses are getting it completely wrong. Learning from others' mistakes is a surefire way to up your game without falling foul of easy mishaps. Work smart, not hard, and watch your business flourish.
Make sure these workflows are not part of your strategy for business growth - you'll never run an efficient business if you're making these mistakes.
Let's say you're submitting a freelancer invoice to the finance department of your business for processing. Your current workflow might look like this:
- Invoice sent electronically to finance department
- Invoice printed by finance department
- Invoice manually documented for records with financial documentation
- Invoice scanned for electronic documentation
- Financial details inputted into system manually for payment
- Invoice processed and payment distributed
While this definitely gets the job done, there's room for increased efficiency with the help of automated systems. There are way too many steps in this process and not all of them are needed. Manually inputting financial information and processing payment is time consuming and increases the risk of human error. An automated tool can transfer the important information over to your systems for automatic payment, saving you time and resources.
Almost every project your business tackles will kick off with a brainstorm. This is your opportunity to lay out how the project will be taken on from start to finish. To boost business workflow efficiency you'll need to tidy up your brainstorming workflow, optimizing to get the most from your discussion. For example, it's important to have leadership in the room to guide the conversation so valid ideas are heard by everyone in the group. This keeps your team on topic and cuts out any unwanted noise.
Once you have your structure in place, you'll need effective note-taking to document each brainstorm. The days of doing this manually are over - don't waste anyone's time by making them take minutes in your important meetings. Use Trint's intelligent platform to transcribe electronic recordings of your brainstorm, creating searchable, accurate transcriptions of these essential meetings.
Business workflows are at their most efficient when they're powered by team collaboration tools. Most of today's workflows and business projects involve team members from across your business - from ideation with the creative team to distribution via development and high-level sign off. Without effective collaborative tools to keep everyone aligned on their respective involvement in workflows, progress is stumped, time is wasted and efficiency is compromised.