Luckily, as creating a "lean office" is such a hot topic at the moment, there is a lot of information out there, and there is no right or wrong answer. We encourage you to take a look through the following tools and best practices before choosing which will be the most practical and effective to use in your company.
So without further ado, here are our top eight tips for optimizing work processes in the office.
If your company is not using the cloud yet, this is a very clear step one.
As you grow as a business, you simply cannot rely on local servers to store your key documents, which are likely named things like "NEW" and "FINAL VERSION".
Optimization of work processes in the office starts with well-organized cloud storage. By storing all your key documents in one place, you reduce the risk of sharing an old format invoice or a presentation from the late 1990s.
The added bonus here is that, with a bit of training, your teams will know what information is where, and will be able to find it quickly, rather than checking through emails looking for those brand guidelines they were given during onboarding and haven't opened since.
Speaking of onboarding, you can create a go-to guide for all employees in your cloud, such as a Bitrix 24 company wiki that you can keep up-to-date.
Once you've got your staff onboarded, it's a good idea to keep their records in an easy-to-use place.
Whether it's for contract information, complaints or suggestions, or even just for birthday surprises, the optimization of structures in HR will benefit your company.
Save time—and nerves—by creating an organizational chart, so everyone knows who to contact about what. Keep an up-to-date employee directory, with email, work phone and instant messenger information and save hours searching through paper copies that might have old information. All of this can be found in Bitrix24's HR tool.
When it comes to office organization, automation should be high on the agenda. By connecting apps, and creating "if, then" workflows, you'll save yourself a lot of time on simple and not-so-simple tasks.
For example, if you're lucky enough to have new leads flowing freely into your CRM, set up an automatic welcome email, personalized to each contact. If they open it or reply, you can automatically put them in the "interested" camp, and you'll see you've made a lot of progress without lifting a finger.
With automation, you can set these processes running in the background, so your teams can work on tasks that require a more human touch.
Although calendars and reminders are nothing new, it's surprising how few people take full advantage of them.
With Bitrix24's calendar, managers can update their employees' schedules with reminders about meetings, priorities and deadlines. Add in notifications, recurring reminders and more for a sleek tool that optimizes your work processes in the office.
Your teams can also use calendars to block out times when they need to concentrate on solo tasks, and you can even set them up for meeting rooms. Can't book out the room? Looks like somebody got there first.
Make good use of calendars and reminders a core part of your company culture for a super-efficient working environment.
Set up your CRM in a way that favours optimizing work processes in the office.
Say you've hired a new account manager. Everything will be new, and you don't want to waste time getting them up to speed. A clean, easy-to-use CRM will cut down on onboarding time and reduce mistakes.
Bitrix24's cloud-based CRM allows you to upload all kinds of data to the cloud and keep detailed records of your clients. This comes in very handy with customer service. During a call, your entire team will have access to their customer journey, even if they have never spoken before.
Not only does this optimization make life easier for your team, but it keeps your customers very happy too.
Clear, effective communication is critical to optimizing work processes in the office.
With a 360-degree communication tool like Bitrix24, you can choose exactly how you want to communicate. An urgent question for your boss? Fire an instant message. A company-wide team meeting? Link up that video conference software.
People generally create their own unwritten rules on communication tools, but if you want an ultra-lean office, you could create some guidelines such as when to use reply and when to use reply all, or what times of the day you have your notifications turned on.
Project management is one of the key areas where not optimizing work processes in the office can be disastrous. With so many departments and individual tasks to keep tabs on, a lack of organization can lead to wasted money and lost clients.
With Bitrix24's task management tools, your project managers can easily monitor deadlines, reports, and the actual time taken for tasks. It's also useful for the employees themselves, who can keep an eye on their to-do lists, with each task assigned a priority.
Office organization tools like this contain a vast range of features, so whatever your industry, it's worth including task management software to keep a hold on things.
Now you've got your basic structures in place, it's important not to get complacent. There are always areas for improvement that you need to keep an eye out for.
One optimization buzzword of the last decade or so is Kaizen, but it's much more than office jargon. This Japanese word, roughly translating as "continuous improvement" is the technique of making small, frequent adjustments with the goal of optimizing work processes in the office.
Don't be afraid of taking an hour or two per week to look for ways to improve. You could also set up a survey for employees to fill in when they spot a potential improvement.
By using Kaizen in the office, you will boost productivity and employee satisfaction, so there's really no downside.
When it comes to optimization of work processes in the office, the list of possible tweaks is endless. However, the seven top tips we've laid out here are those which will really give you some bang for your buck.
By combining dedicated tools, in-house rules, and best practices, you can trim away time-consuming tasks and streamline your workflows. You'll soon find that productivity isn't the only thing that improves. All of these points help to build a positive working environment for your staff, and a happy employee is a good employee.