Our top tips for getting more done in less time
Managing a business is no small task, with the weight of success landing almost exclusively at your office door.
Making your way through the huge volume of work can be a challenge.
Managers are working an average of 29 extra days each year.
This overtime is causing anxiety and stress, which can significantly impact how effectively you run your company, how your employees see you and the profits you enjoy.
Exploring different ways to reduce manual workload is vital to getting back on-top of your tasks and preventing burnout. Here’s how to automate and streamline some of your tasks.
What is manual workload?
Manual workload is the collective name for the tasks you do by hand. These are tasks requiring a manager to complete an action: whether that be adding data to a spreadsheet, writing a note or organising employee pay.
What are automated tasks?
Automated tasks are those which require substantially less manual work. While most automated tasks still require moments of manual input from managers, such as sign-off, much of the job is completed automatically by an online system.
Ways to reduce manual workload for managers
A time clock
It’s laborious for managers to monitor who in their team is starting work late, finishing early or not working at all.
Operating manually, you would need to go from desk to desk identifying who was and wasn’t there. You would need to do this at the start and end of the day, as well as additional times during working hours.
Get some of your hours back with an online time clock-in system. Employees simply let the program know when they arrive at work, go to lunch, return from lunch and leave for the day.
As a manager, you’re ultimately required to manage grievances and complaints. Traditionally, a disgruntled person would have asked to ‘speak to the manager’.
Speaking with customers is important for public relations, but it’s time-consuming. Automated systems can reduce the number of customers that reach you directly by providing support.
A chatbot is an AI customer service tool which you can direct existing online customers to. Chatbots can be programmed to answer the most common queries that people using your website may have.
Likewise, an automated phone system—press 1 for X and so on—would complete the same job of supporting customers and finding solutions to their concerns.
Answers provided by these systems may be sufficient enough to avoid customers needing to speak with you, reducing your manual workload.
If you manage a medium or large workforce, monitoring absenteeism manually can be challenging.
Investing in a digital program will automatically notify you when staff are absent. This is based on their use of a time clock system.
Automatic notifications will reduce your manual workload, enabling you to note absenteeism from the comfort of your own desk.
For stress, depression and anxiety sufferers, the average time taken off work per year is 18.6 days. Identifying trends through an automated notification system will reduce your manual workload, freeing up time to support vulnerable staff.
Find out how to get notified when staff don’t show up to work.
Providing your employees with a company handbook is a great way to reduce your manual workload. A document which lists the guidelines, rules and processes for your business will be able to address many of the questions you’ve traditionally had to answer face-to-face.
Providing every staff member with the handbook, and making this available on your staff intranet, encourages employees to consult the document before approaching you.
Any questions your staff have about dress code, holiday pay or sickness policy can be found in the handbook, alleviating pressure on you and reducing your manual workload.
Creating a set of shared templates will save you time by moving you from a hands-on to sign-off role. Think about all the documents you regularly create from scratch and design a template for these that all your staff can access.
To go a step further, make templates for reports and invoices to speed-up your company processes and reduce your manual workload. You can even use email auto-responses to speed up your response time.
New digital systems could be the answer
Whether you manage a small or large business, the pile of tasks on your desk can be daunting. This manual workload can limit your ability to work effectively, which ultimately poses a risk to your business.
Reducing your reliance on manual working by investing in new digital systems and providing documents that employees can reference is worthwhile.
With the additional time you’ve saved by reducing your manual workload, you can meet stakeholders more often, promote your company to potential clients, better support your staff and more closely monitor neglected aspects of your business.
It’s a win for your mental health and a win for your bottom line.