Boosting Your Employee Productivity: The Computer Edition

Could your workplace productivity be better?  Has your workplace been performing poorly?  If you need to boost the productivity and efficiency of your employees, then this is the article for you!  We’ve compiled some useful tips and tricks to improve efficiency on computers, so have a read and start implementing today.

 

Check Computers Regularly

Here’s a list of things you’ll want to check on each computer to ensure that your employees aren’t being slowed down by poor computer performance:

  1. Open task manager (press control + alt + delete and select task manager) to see if the computer is regularly at capacity. Check the resource manager as well (click on the performance tab then click on the Open Resource Monitor text at the bottom of the window).  Check how many programs and apps are loading on start up.
  2. Open and use a few programs at the same time to see if the computer can handle it well.
  3. Check available space on each computer (click on file explorer, This PC, and view C: Drive), if the bar is red there is too much on the computer and you’ll need additional storage space.
  4. Check how many apps and programs have been loaded onto the computer.
  5. Check the age and specifications of each computer.
  6. Also check internet connectivity and networks.

 

For further help on managing your computers and handling poor performance, see our other articles: https://aboutnetworks.com.au/2018/09/13/how-to-clean-up-your-computer/ and https://aboutnetworks.com.au/2018/09/20/my-computer-is-failing-what-now/

 

Dealing with Distractions

Unfortunately, we are all human and our employees are no exception to this.  Distractions are an enormous hindrance to workplace productivity and many of these distractions can be caused by the humble work computer.

 

Emails are an everyday part of working in most offices.  Check that work emails are not being cluttered with junk mail, spam, personal subscriptions, and other non-work items.

 

Internet use can impact the productivity of employees very quickly.  Using the internet to browse a few websites while on break is harmless, and provides a good mental break for office workers, however, there are websites that your employees should not be visiting at work on a workplace computer.  You can set password protected parental controls onto workplace computers and block certain websites from being accessible.  You can prevent employees downloading certain things and making unauthorised changes by altering the user set up on each computer. You can achieve this by making a separate user for the Administrator (with a different password) and changing all other users to Standard.  If you suspect inappropriate internet use, rearrange the office furniture set up to have computer screens visible to other employees, speak to the employee in question and view their internet browsing history.

 

Social Media can be a big distraction to your employees while at work.  Some businesses block access to social media sites entirely in an effort to crack down on employees using these sites on work time.  Other businesses have policies in place to allow use of social media on break times only.  Other businesses have no social media policies regarding use at work.  It is up to each business to enact policies which work for them.  For example, if you work in marketing, you may need constant access to social media, but if you work in accounting, you may not.

 

There are appliances and programs available to help you manage employee internet access.  Contact us for more information.

 

Phones and other personal devices can also cause many distractions for employees.  Many businesses enact policies regarding phones being placed on silent, phones not being accessible throughout the day, and phones only being accessible on break.  Discuss and enact a phones and personal devices policy that work for your particular business set up.

 

Ask and You Shall Receive

Check that your employees are using computers efficiently throughout the workday.  Are they using keyboard shortcuts (see our article here: https://aboutnetworks.com.au/2019/01/26/handy-keyboard-shortcuts-you-never-knew-you-needed/)?  Are they using programs and apps effectively?  Are they troubleshooting and solving problems they encounter, asking for assistance, or ignoring and hoping that the problem goes away?

 

If one employee in particular is having computer problems, it never hurts to ask them if there’s anything they need assistance with.  They may simply need some additional training, have too many responsibilities, too many distractions, or poor computer performance issues.  Be careful about how and what you ask in relation to a person’s work performance as you don’t want to cause upset.  As long as you word your questions carefully, you may be able to assist a struggling employee.

 

Additional Steps – Check the Work Environment

If the environment that your employees are working in is not conducive to work, then you may notice that many of your employees are struggling.  Here’s a few checks to run through to ensure that your employees are not being adversely affected by their work environment:

  1. Noise – loud noises, constant background noise, nearby construction work, a radio playing, other employees talking, and phones ringing can be distracting. Check that employees are not subjected to excessive and distracting noise in the workplace.
  2. Visual – if people are walking around in front of your desk all day it is hard to concentrate on your work. Ensure employees have some blockage from visually distracting conditions wherever possible.
  3. Temperature – ensure that your workplace has air-conditioning and/or heating if necessary. It is challenging to focus well if you are sweating or shivering.
  4. Cleanliness – ensure that the workplace is professionally cleaned at the end of every working week (or more frequently if necessary), and all kitchen items are cleaned and ready for use.
  5. Clutter – Clutter is hard to work around, so ensure that the workplace is as minimalist as possible.

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