Three is the magic number

Three is the magic number

Ruthless efficiency. Always demanded in the boardroom but not always delivered day-to-day. It’s also the source of both ambition and anxiety for many of today’s office workers. Everything has to be produced faster but with reduced costs. And this mounting pressure is felt by IT departments as they’re tasked with helping employees achieve those (sometimes impossible) goals.

Improving productivity has always been a top priority, but it’s now becoming urgent as organisations are battling an ever increasing amount of information which is slowing their business down. Shockingly, workers are currently spending an average of 25 minutes a day locating historical documents! Multiply this by the number of workers in your organisation and the number of days in a week and the significant level of wastage becomes abundantly clear. So what can you do about it?

Agility, clear communication and providing workers with the right tools and infrastructure are often named by IT leaders as key factors to help achieve office productivity. But have you ever searched for productivity tips for businesses on Google? Endless lists seem to be the main solution. ‘Five tips to increase productivity in your office’, ‘Eight technology tips to help your business’ productivity’ and ‘Four productivity tips that will help any small business’…. It seems like all you need is to name your number! 

Our number is a very manageable, THREE. Workers across Europe tell us that productivity can easily be improved by addressing three simple factors: central storage systems, standardised processes and training. 

Having the right infrastructure in place should only be the starting point but it’s something that IT departments often get bogged down with. It’s crucial for tech leaders to remember the ‘I’ in ‘IT’ and focus their efforts on managing information.  

Why? Because almost half of office workers view their company as unproductive due to information not being shared effectively. Leading to needless duplication of work, it’s a massive and unnecessary waste of an organisation’s resource and budget. Waste that could be easily addressed by putting standardised processes in place. From agreeing on whether documents are stored in hard or soft copy to coming up with consistent file naming, different organisations will need different procedures.  

However, it’s not enough to have standardised practices in place – CIOs also need to make sure these are adhered to. On-going training is a key way to help workers master these methods and stop wasting time. Indeed, some believe it should be the main priority for improving office productivity as they recognise that learning more about the technology they use means they can get the most out of it and do a better job. 

Improving productivity is easy to achieve by introducing technology that allows for better communication and a streamlined workflow.  But there is always room for improvement. By 25 minutes a day on average….. And our rule of three is a strong start.