By Vedang Khetawat, Founder and CEO, 999Services.com
For business owners, having too much work is one of those “good problems.” It means that people are hungry for whatever product or service a company is offering. The downside is that having more work than a team can handle can quickly lead to burnout and make the team less productive than usual.
In some cases, the answer might be to hire more staff. However, many companies, especially startups, may not be in the financial position to bring additional people on board.
That’s why taking time to evaluate how a team operates can be more beneficial than merely throwing more people at the problem. Here are three ways business leaders can improve their team’s output without extending hours or overworking employees.
- Figure out how long a task really takes.
Often, managers unknowingly overwork their employees because they don’t know how long specific tasks or projects take. They might assign one task assuming it takes less than a half day, when, in reality, it can take a full day or longer to complete.
Time tracking software can be useful for helping employees track the amount of time their tasks take. Use this for a period of time to better understand how much time each employee is actually spending on specific tasks. Make sure to explain that the purpose is to gauge time management for the team more accurately, not to assess employees based on how quickly they can complete a task.
From there, managers can figure out who is the most efficient at specific tasks and how long, on average, certain tasks take among the team.
- Set expectations that people can say “no.”
Employees will often say “yes” to everything and then refuse to ask for help when it turns out that they have too much on their plate. This sort of attitude can quickly bring down a team. Make expectations clear by stating that an overworked team member is not useful for the group as a whole.
When asking if someone can take on a particular task or assignment, make it clear that employees can say “no” without repercussion (provided they have an already full schedule). If team members feel like they have to say yes, no matter what, they will reach burnout faster and end up feeling dissatisfied with their job.
- Schedule and protect uninterrupted work time.
An already-overworked team doesn’t need further distractions in the form of meetings, unnecessary emails, or calls. Schedule uninterrupted work time every day for the team in which every team member knows they will not need to check emails, attend meetings, or be available for an urgent call. This allows them to put their phones away, shut down their email and messaging channels, and focus on their work.
Just one hour of uninterrupted time a day can be what a team needs to focus and get back on track. Protect this time for the team by blocking off everyone’s calendar so that other departments can’t schedule meetings or calls during this time of day.
Getting through a significant project or a busy season can be taxing on everyone. For teams starting to feel overwhelmed and overworked, having a leader who understands how they are feeling can be a game-changer. Try these tactics to improve productivity while decreasing employees’ overall workload.
About the Author and his Company
Vedang Khetawat, Founder and CEO, 999Services.com studied business and filmmaking before getting my hands dirty in the telecom backhaul integration domain.
Vedang founded 999services.com because he believe there is a better way to service air conditioners—a quicker, less invasive process that gives customers value for their hard-earned money. He is obsessively passionate about customer transparency, and my mission is to help people purchase reliable AC services faster.
Air conditioning service is one of the least understood and least transparent domains, which 999services.com see as an opportunity. 999services.com is excited to simplify the process of getting AC services for everyone through our exceptional service capability.