In any application development project, there's a lot to keep track of. Developers can get stressed. Product owners can get stressed. At SmartLogic, we've got communication and coding systems to keep stress to the minimum. We also do many small things to keep productivity high and stress levels low. While we've tried and tested our productivity boosters for application development, these tips can apply to all projects.
This is how we do it:
1. Schedule the next meeting at the beginning of every meeting
Don’t ever leave a meeting without everyone knowing when the next meeting will be and what needs to be done by then. Too much time is squandered in lengthy email chains to lock down a time and date for the next meeting if you do it after the fact. Pin it down while everyone is in the same room and it will only take a minute.
2. Hold standup meetings every day
We physically stand up for a morning meeting every day. Standing gets the blood moving and keeps the meeting brief. These meetings help eliminate the first groggy hour of contracted productivity. After standup we all engage in a physical activity (pushups, situps, etc.) to get amped up for the day.
3. Work remotely every other Friday
Fridays can be tough. A semi-regular day of remote work can recharge the group, and time away from the office can boost productivity. Some of our employees even like to come in on our remote days just to enjoy how quiet the office is.
4. Allow flexible office hours
No one wants to start the day sitting in traffic. At SmartLogic, we have core hours when everyone is in the office (10am-3:30pm), but offer flexibility beyond those. This keeps stress levels low and allows our employees to maximize the hours in a day by spending less time in the car.
5. Develop and implement efficient processes
The most successful people are adamant about avoiding distractions, menial tasks, and mundane decisions. Focus on the best use of your time to maximize productivity, and delegate the rest. The President doesn’t waste his morning picking out a suit for the day. We make sure that our developers have a set process so they don't waste valuable decision capital either.
6. Provide the right tech resources
Get your employees access to the right technology to help them do their jobs as efficiently and effectively as possible. This means providing the right software, multiple monitors, high quality computers, intuitive time-tracking software, and any other tools that can enhance productivity. The money invested in the right resources is peanuts compared to the time wasted using the wrong tools.
7. Talk with your mouth full
You have lunch every day—you might as well use that time to hold a meeting while you eat. We do this one day a week, and the meeting is social as well as productive. Lunch on the company makes up for the loss of the freedom of lunch hour.
8. Keep snacks nearby
Keep healthy snacks and food on hand for everyone. Empty stomachs make for a grouchy team. This perk will boost everyone’s energy. It’s also a good way to keep people in the office instead of trekking down to Starbucks in the middle of the workday. It boosts productivity and your team member's wallets.
9. Campfire and chat with each other and clients
Delaying a project while you wait for an email will kill your schedule, and sometimes a face-to-face meeting isn’t an option or is too time consuming. Instead, we rely on quick, real-time chats with each other or with clients to get clarification or updates. It’s the fastest way to get information and ask follow-up questions without a lengthy meeting. Sometimes, even when you're in the same office, it's better to send a chat that can be answered at leisure instead of interrupting in-person.
Before you get skeptical…
These tactics may sound suspiciously like evil HR-type tricks to keep employees in the office, but these aren’t just gimmicks. A truly productive employee with stress stripped away will be happy performing at their peak. Anything you can do to get closer to that standard is a win for everyone.
What does your team do to minimize stress and stay productive? Comment and join the conversation.
Check out our other articles on how to stay productive and organized:
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