Friday 30th November 2018

As 2019 fast approaches, many of us are taking stock of where we are in our careers, and perhaps even undertaking a personal appraisal of our performance at work this year. What should we be proud of? What could help us achieve better results?

Just as much of the world makes resolutions for the new year, we should be making them for the workplace too. After all, a workplace resolution, with a clear strategy and key goals, is probably going to be easier to achieve than ‘lose weight’, ‘learn a new skill’ or any of the other most common resolutions, most of which are officially abandoned somewhere around late January…

Read on to discover four workplace resolutions for 2019, all of which can help you achieve a happier, more efficient workplace for years to come.

1. Streamline processes

No matter the industry we work in, or the size of our office, we all share some common experiences. One such experience is the idea of processes within the workplace – structured ways of doing things that allow us to document our work, manage our day-to-day participation, and collaborate with others; think everything from booking meeting rooms to chronicling finances. If you’re in a management role, perhaps you are the decision maker who signs off on how these processes are created. If you’re unlucky, the processes on which your office runs on will be outdated, clunky and pointlessly complicated.

By making it your workplace resolution to streamline processes, wherever possible, you can shave valuable time and energy from your daily grind, not to mention those around you. Whether it’s as advanced as implementing a new workplace management system, or as simple as re-labelling your digital files for better clarity, there will doubtless be ways in which you can re-establish better patterns, even in the most hardworking, organised environment. Try looking at the options available to you, and think about where you can make life easier for all employees. Good luck!

2. Invest in innovation

In our modern working world, can you afford not to be keeping up with the latest innovations in your industry? Business leaders take note: the rate at which technology is evolving is more impressive than ever before. With organisations competing for the top talent, and younger generations expecting slick, stylish and well-equipped workspaces, the offices which don’t stay on top of their software are likely to lose out. Investing might be a scary word to some (and not usually one that features in a new year’s resolution), but it doesn’t have to mean costly new solutions or state-of-the-art hardware.

Investing in innovation can mean hosting training sessions, so your workforce can get the most from their existing office products, or even simple updates to current software. Of course, you might know there is an innovative new product out there that will completely change everyone’s experience for the better, so in that case, take the plunge in 2019, and go ahead and deploy it. Employees will thank you with their improved productivity levels.

3. Ask for more feedback

Sometimes it is overwhelming to communicate what you really require at work. It’s also difficult to begin a dialogue when the opening opportunity isn’t quite there. Everyone could do well to ask for more feedback in 2019, but we’re focusing mostly on managers here. It’s easy to repeat “my door is always open” or similar platitudes, but it’s not always easy for employees to find their voice.

One of the most powerful things you can do in a senior position, is to encourage junior employees, as well as your peers, to feedback on their experiences; the good and the bad. Your job should be to listen to them fully, and take action where it counts.

It sounds like the simplest thing in the world, but a dearth of modern workplaces lack this kind of respectful, communicative relationship between employee and employer. Try starting small, and focusing your request for feedback on one particular area – it could be the most pressing issue your office is experiencing, or it could be a distinct process or responsibility that throws up questions or problems. Make it clear that everyone will be heard, and 2019 might just result in a more harmonious working environment.

4. Get to know your software

How many of us can honestly say we know the office software or solutions we use daily, like the back of our hand? It’s not our fault: often we’re taught about the functionality most relevant to us, and the rest is left by the wayside (particularly if the lessons come from our colleagues). The problem is that we’re probably overlooking a lot of really useful features that are pertinent to our daily working lives, and could possibly save us a lot of time and hassle.

So, for 2019, make it your aim to discover as much about your office software as possible. Whether that means booking training sessions, asking questions, or setting time aside to explore it yourself and play around with different features, we’re sure that you’ll probably discover some fantastically useful aspect that you previously weren’t aware of (or just weren’t entirely sure how to use).

It’s time to make the most of what we have at our disposal, and make the best of our time in the office, for 2019 and beyond.

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