“Time is money”
It’s a core tenet passed on by entrepreneurs from generation to generation. Yet, we often find ourselves struggling for deadlines and ultimatums that we either set on ourselves or are imposed on us by venture capitalists. This is especially true for struggling start-ups.
Due to the pandemic, reports show that 41% of startups globally only had three months or less of cash runway left, which is a sobering statistic considering how start-ups are the lifeblood of an entrepreneurial economy. This makes the markets even more competitive, with only the lean and efficient having chances of prevailing. Cutting down the biggest time sucks in your processes can definitely help in significantly boosting your enterprise’s chances of survival. You can no longer afford to continue dealing with things that can be detrimental to your productivity, especially if it would mean losing more revenue.
To help your organisation reach peak efficiency, here are the biggest disturbances at work you should be taking note of:
Business meetings are vital to any company, but nobody likes them. At best, a meeting is a constructive forum of ideas where you and the team can catalyse change and brainstorm for breakthroughs. But at worst, it’s just an elaborate email that’s wasting your time and the company’s money. Avoid this by making the meeting relevant: send out preparatory emails, ensure the direction beforehand, and invite only those who are absolutely crucial to the gathering. And even though most meetings these days are held online via platforms like Zoom, it doesn’t mean that they are no longer a time suck. Just like in-person meetings, you have to ensure that your virtual huddles have a clear agenda so as not to waste time. It would help if someone took charge to steer the meeting in the right direction.
In this digital-savvy world, the biggest distraction in any setting is the all-powerful smartphone. Nothing is better at taking your eyes off your work computers than a buzzing notification. Business News Daily even says that transition rituals, often involving our phones, are almost always a waste of time. Looking through socials for 10 minutes while waiting for your next meeting can rack up to hours lost in a day. Simply instilling good phone hygiene in the workplace can elongate your productive hours. Doing this and monitoring employee phone usage can be hard in remote work setups, so you have to instil self-discipline and help others do the same. Make it a practice to put phones on vibrate and turn them facedown so as not to get distracted by notifications. That way, you’re still available for calls without being tempted to scroll.
Our previous post on ‘Could This be the Worst Employer in the World?’ notes that failure to plan and delegate can lead to additional setbacks. Many companies have gone down this same bumpy road, failing to administer a streamlined production process. It ultimately leads to a dead end. While taking ownership of tasks is normal in business, leaning on your colleagues can minimise delays and errors in production, and may save you time – and therefore money – in the long run.
Entrepreneur highlights that affording your employees the flexibility of remote work can unlock their full potential. The elimination of facing the morning and afternoon traffic alone frees up much needed time for your employees. Rush hour traffic in the UK has gotten so bad that drivers spend an average of more than one day per year stuck on the road. Verizon Connect’s Sergio Barata outlines adds up to £1,168 per driver in wasted fuel. Apart from being especially costly for start-ups that rely on transportation logistics, traffic is also a huge waste of time for just about anyone. The shift to remote work has made employers realise this. So, it won’t be surprising if there is an uptick in companies offering flexibility to their staff. Plus, given how Britain’s roads are returning back to normal, businesses would benefit from carrying on with remote setups to ramp up productivity.
Checking and answering emails can also add up to hours of your time. From vendors to customer relations, your prompt replies might be costing you more than you think. Production company Ten Alps banned emails in the morning precisely because of this. Having a narrow window of time for emails, can maximise the other hours of your day.
Post Press Mag calls administrative duties the sludge of the business world. And rightly so. Filing your taxes, compliance reports, human resource services, and other tasks in the administrative side of business can slow you down big time. Deploying efficient and lean administrative systems help keep this time suck in check as it has the tendency to pile up.
In the end, time efficiency boils down to good management. Companies can benefit greatly from regularly assessing the allocation of their precious time and rethinking strategies to attain business goals. A truly agile, flexible, and lean company is key if you want your start-up to survive and succeed.
An article by Amanda Cruz
Exclusive for Thehrbooth.co.uk