We live in an age when we work more hours and feel more stress trying to get more done. Technology, meant to simplify our lives, saps our attention and steals our time. Has the need for a more efficient operation ever been greater?
Thankfully, we can learn to become more efficient at work, individually and collectively. Management consultants and business professors have long debated the relative merits (and even the definition) of efficiency as it pertains to the business world. In highly simplified terms, efficiency concerns the cost of input for the output produced–in other words, the best use of resources and the least waste of time and effort.
One of the areas where efficiency can be optimized is the work force, through increasing individual productivity–defined as the amount of work (products produced, customers served) an employee handles in a given time.
In addition to making sure you have invested in the right equipment, environment and training to ensure optimal performance, you can increase productivity by encouraging staffers to put an end to a modern-day energy drain: multitasking. Studies show it takes 25 to 40 percent longer to get a job done when you’re simultaneously trying to work on other projects. To be more productive, says Andrew Deutscher, vice president of business development at consulting firm The Energy Project, “do one thing, uninterrupted, for a sustained period of time.”