Productivity is an important element of all businesses, but particularly within small companies. If your business is running at maximum productivity, it will become more efficient and profitable, enabling it to develop and grow. However, there are factors that can impact on productivity, so it’s important that you monitor efficiency and discover ways in which you can improve it.

Productivity in a business

Productivity within a business environment relates to the efficiency of a system, machine or employee in producing specific outputs. This can be measured by analyzing the average output over a specific period and dividing this by the overall costs or resources that were consumed to do so. When businesses are looking at costs and making them more efficient, productivity is a crucial factor and can help to reduce operating costs.

Reduction in productivity

Across a business a number of factors can damage productivity levels, meaning employees are working less efficiently.

Out of date technology

Technology can play a large part in a productive business, but it’s vital that you have the most appropriate systems and hardware for the role. If employees are using out of date equipment, which is time-consuming and unreliable, it will slow them down and cause frustration.

An unhappy workforce

Employees who enjoy their job and like coming to work will be more productive than unhappy employees. They will suffer from less stress, feel able to communicate with their managers and have a commitment to the company that makes them work faster and more efficiently.

It’s beneficial to build relationships with your employees and keep them informed of developments, so that they feel valued and part of a team.

Personal problems

If employees have issues in their private lives, these can often transfer to their work life and impact on their effectiveness when they’re in the office. This can be due to health problems, financial issues, a relationship breakdown or an addiction, such as drugs, alcohol or gambling.

As an effective employer, if you understand the needs of your employees, you will be better able to handle these issues and produce an efficient workforce. For example, you can impose an oral fluid lab test to check for substance misuse before it becomes a problem.

Measuring productivity

With the majority of office work focused around computers, it can be hard to analyze productivity effectively, as input and output levels can’t always be measured accurately. Productivity apps can be useful to assign tasks and keep track of work across a team, so that nothing is missed off.

The outcomes of projects are a big indicator of productivity and it’s important that you keep an eye on deadlines and budgets to ensure these are met. Maintaining communication with your employees will ensure that everyone is working to task and you can manage the expectations of your client.

With a small business operating as productively as it possibly can, your clients will be impressed with the standard and speed of your work. This will lead to them commissioning more projects with you or referring you to new customers, which will make the business more profitable and successful.

By Eddy

Eddy is the editorial columnist in Business Fundas, and oversees partner relationships. He posts articles of partners on various topics related to strategy, marketing, supply chain, technology management, social media, e-business, finance, economics and operations management. The articles posted are copyrighted under a Creative Commons unported license 4.0. To contact him, please direct your emails to

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