How to avoid a tiff and fall back in love with your IT

Photo by JÉSHOOTS

We all know the old saying that time is money.

Well, in business that is still true!

You are paying your staff to do a job. But if they are regularly waiting for the computer to catch up, trying to decipher IT error messages, or not working on the correct version of a file, this adds up to time wasted – and, more importantly, money down the drain!

Poor IT costs the average business 22 minutes per person, per day. <Cite source please

Assuming a salary of £25k, when you do the maths and realise that slow computers and inefficient IT systems cost you almost £1,000 per employee every year,  and a higher salary will obviously mean an even bigger loss.

There’s never been a better time to do something about it!

Talk to R&A today about improving your IT efficiency.

We are on your side and can ensure you are running the right systems for your needs.

What is the biggest waste of time?

Forbes magazine (https://www.forbes.com/sites/mikekappel/2022/06/15/7-biggest-workplace-time-wasters-and-how-to-handle-them/) recently wrote an article about the biggest workplace timewasters, stating that on average, every employee wastes at lease 30 minutes per day.They found the top 5 were:

  1. Unnecessary meetings
    67% of employees thought that meetings were a hindrance to productivity and a whopping 92% of employees said that they did something else during meetings anyway!
    Could that meeting be a quick email or a Teams/Zoom call?
  2. Multi-tasking
    We all do it, take a call, wreply to an email, check Facebook, all whilst we were writing that report – no harm done?
    Well in reality, multi-tasking like this leads to mistakes, reduced quality and eventually burn-out.
  3. Micro-management
    All senior staff want things done in a certain way, but you employed those people for a reason.
    Hovering over staff wastes both your time and theirs.
  4. Disorganisation
    Rochester & Associates Ltd bang on about this all the time, but it’s because we see it on a daily basis.
    Spending time looking for documents, images, templates, emails etc. all takes time when they’re not where they should be.
  5. Irrelevant emails
    Would you be surprised to learn that business leaders waste on average 3-4 hours per week on inconsequential emails?

In general though, tasks that are duplicating data unnecessarily or where you think “There must be a better way”. If you think this, chances are you are right!

Are your staff are working on old computers that just don’t have the spec to keep up with the everyday demands placed upon them?

Ask your employees what causes them the most frustration – they will hate sitting around, waiting for the system to catch up, especially if they have an impatient customer waiting for an answer.

Speeding up IT

Photo by Christian Thöni

There are lots of different things that can be causing slow IT, but if you action our checklist below, you should find that everything speeds up!

  • Are your devices up to the task?
  • Make sure there aren’t too many programmes opening on start-up
  • Clean out unwanted data such as cookies, temporary files etc.
  • Get rid of old or outdated software
  • Only use the software programmes you need
  • Make sure you have a system for securely archiving documents, and store archived folders separately.
  • Implement a robust data structure so time isn’t wasted searching for the right document.
  • Can you use automation where appropriate to save time?
  • Don,t allow your employees to download software themselves
  • Make sure you include proper IT procedures in staff training, so work machines are used for work
  • Ensure that ALL staff know how to look out for malicious emails.

Talking of Emails…

So much time is wasted every day going through emails and deleting spam. If emails are becoming the bane of your life, try:

  • Using a folder system so you only store emails you need to refer to later
  • Archiving older emails or deleting ones you no longer need
  • Unsubscribing from unwanted email chains
  • Adjusting your spam filter to catch more unwanted messages
  • Not using your email as a storage system – particularly file attachments!
  • Check emails at regular intervals throughout the day, to help minimise disruption rather than every time one arrives.

Collaborative working

Many of our clients find their biggest frustration is sending attachments to a number of different people, then receiving multiple versions back, which all need to be merged into just one document.

If this is a bugbear for you too, the Microsoft 365 platform allows multiple users to look at the same document in real time to talk through amendments and questions more easily.

Notifications

Photo by Torsten Dettlaff

Are you distracted by notifications pinging off all the time?

If you and your staff are distracted from what you are doing, it can take up to 23 minutes to refocus with the same intensity.

Turn off or limit notifications, so that they don’t cause a distraction.

Social Media

If your employees spend time on social media that they don’t need to in their role, it may be worth thinking about monitoring them or setting social media blockers.

Social media can be a time drain, so these actions will improve concentration and efficiency.

…and BREATHE

Fire fighting doesn’t get to the root of IT issues.

If you are coming up against the same issues repeatedly, then taking time out to look into this further can really pay dividends in terms of time regained.

Asking IT questions often raises other questions about how you can move forward and improve security and efficiency even more.

Or maybe, you aren’t sure where to start to make things better?

Making sure your IT works with your business rather than against it is our speciality, so why not call  R&A today to discuss your options?

Or you can book a free IT MOT to find out what is slowing you down and costing time and money!

You are paying your staff to do a job. But if they are regularly waiting for the computer to catch up, trying to decipher IT error messages, or not working on the correct version of a file, this adds up to time wasted – and, more importantly, money down the drain!

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