Even before the realities of a global pandemic introduced new unforeseen challenges to the startup scene, businessmen and women, as well as entrepreneurs, have always had to overcome a myriad of obstacles when managing a startup. Not only are “big picture” and long-term goals important, but solutions to day-to-day challenges like employee productivity equally so.
One of the most important aspects of any startup’s success is the efficiency and productivity of its workforce. This is accomplished not by wearing down your employees to the bone, but by ensuring they have the most comfortable and ergonomic environment possible. That environment should be one that encourages collaboration, creativity, and innovative thinking.
Fortunately, we can look at startups who have been successful now and use their example to look to the future. These are the top 10 ways startup companies are boosting employee productivity.
1. Keep it simple, keep it efficient
There are many traditional workplace practices that are rapidly losing favor as more efficient solutions come to replace them.
Though many may prefer face-to-face meetings whenever possible, it is often unnecessary to interrupt everyone’s workflow for these meetings as they can prove to be time-consuming and distracting.
If the primary purpose of the meeting is to deliver information, using modern tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack can be great replacements that get real-time information to your employees as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Of course, if it’s something quick, a face-to-face conversation may actually be the quickest and simplest way to convey information, rather than waiting for emails or messages to be sent back-and-forth.
2. Use digital solutions whenever possible
Closely related to the first point, using digital solutions is a non-negotiable when it comes to streamlining your employees’ workflow. Especially now when many employees work from home, using digital collaboration tools like Trello or video conferencing to replace meetings via apps like Zoom can be a game changer.
Digitize and automate as many business tasks as possible with software solutions. Take some time to examine which tasks take the most time. Break them down into steps to see if any of them can be accomplished via software or digital solutions.
3. Get linked into an Accelerator
An accelerator is a specialized organization that allows your startup to gain access to tons of valuable networking resources, as well as investment sources, office spaces, and even personal mentoring from some of the startup industry’s most successful entrepreneurs.
This is a great way to supercharge your startup and get it off the ground, especially in today’s challenging market.
Most accelerator programs require a small amount of equity in exchange. We think, however, that the potential for growth and expansion would far outweigh this small initial investment.
4. Find the right location
Not only is your physical location of operation important to consider, but also your position in the market. Is your product cost competitive? Do you have access to the right talent? Can you reach your customers easily?
Answering these questions is just the beginning of establishing the criteria you have for your startup’s unique needs. Though you need many tools to achieve success, your location is a critical component that should not be overlooked. It may seem like a difficult task at first, but settling down in the right location will secure your future in the right place so you can expand and grow to your greatest potential. Comfort can play a major role in employee productivity.
5. Maintain a structured environment
This is critical to establish, as many startups tend to prefer to avoid a clear hierarchy. While it’s important to maintain a collaborative environment where all contributions and ideas are valued and considered, there still needs to be a clear direction and core motivation for the team, and that should be maintained and directed by team members with clearly-defined roles.
This boosts productivity by providing not only a sense of togetherness and camaraderie, but expectations and accountability as well. Make your employees feel like they are a part of something greater, with a clear mandate for what’s expected of them, and you’ll have a thriving workplace.
6. Cultivate your company culture
As much as it’s important to maintain friendly and cordial working relationships, it’s also important to encourage a safe and open environment that promotes trust and easy access to important information.
It’s important to have a central theme and motivation for the work you do.
For example, are you providing a technological solution that makes people’s lives easier? Make this your company mantra, and encourage your employees to see their work as making the world a better place. This will increase their employee productivity and put their very best work into everything they do.
7. Market yourself in the right places
Knowing how to market yourself is one thing; knowing where to market yourself is an entirely different challenge. Both of these components are critical for any successful marketing budget to pay off. It doesn’t help to have an idea with a great marketing slogan, if you’re advertising it to the wrong people.
Choose targeted channels so the right people notice your product. This will require some research on your target market, as well as how marketing is most effective within that demographic (online ads, word of mouth, social media outreach, videos and photos, etc).
8. Delegate tasks whenever possible
Giving your employees autonomy over their work is the best way to engender a sense of teamwork as well as mutual trust between employee and employer. When people feel that they can truly take ownership over their work, they will take pride in doing it well as it is a reflection of their own work ethic and talent.
Reducing micromanaging is a great way to encourage your employees to grow and take on more responsibility. This gives you the time and energy to focus on long-term goals and the bigger picture. Remember, promoting good employee productivity increases your freedom.
9. Invest in smart tools for your office
Employees that work comfortably and ergonomically will have more energy, more focus, and more motivation.
This is why so many companies are investing in ergonomic office tools for their offices, and many more employees now are investing in ergonomic furniture for their home offices as well.
At the forefront of the industry is Autonomous, which strikes a balance between affordability and mass market appeal with sturdy, durable quality and long-term warranties.
10. Look ahead to future smart trends
It’s not just now, but the future, that matters to startups as they navigate the uncertainty of what lies ahead. That’s why it’s best to look for the latest products and trends on the market. This helps ensure success and keep your company one step ahead of the competition.
For companies with a distributed workforce, the Zen Work Pod from Autonomous is a futuristic and affordable, cutting-edge home office solution. Now anyone can invest in an affordable, totally private and minimalistic office space that uses the ErgoChair 2 and SmartDesk 2 so your employees have the very best workplace tools in a dedicated home workspace.
The upcoming SmartDesk 4, set to launch in November, includes even more new exciting features, including an all-new app that allows users to fine-tune their control over every aspect of their standing desk. It also works like an assistant by keeping track of your working routine. It ensures you get the best possible balance between sitting and standing, as well as working and taking breaks. Plus, it features a free library of exercise guides and videos that help you stay active throughout the workday—without leaving your desk!
These days, startups face more challenges and uncertainty than ever before. But on a more encouraging note, they also have access to more resources and smart office solutions.
Taking advantage of these tips and looking ahead to future smart trends will keep your startup on the cutting edge. What are some of your tools and tricks for managing a successful startup? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!