Administrative tasks can take up a lot of our working time. According to studies, the average amount of time spent on admin tasks can be as much as 16 hours per week. This time is a lost opportunity for revenue growth and business advancement.
There is also a huge cost for businesses that put too much emphasis on manual administrative tasks. In the US, it is estimated that companies spend just under $600 billion a year on administration. Automating, or removing, some of these tasks could yield savings of about 10%.
If workers are able to cut down some of their manual administration, they can see the growth of more than 15%. This is mostly done by freeing up time to service customers and clients and being more productive.
Yet so many business leaders, small business owners, and workers don’t see the benefit of reducing admin or how it can improve productivity.
So, here are 10 reasons why dropping, delegating, outsourcing or automating some admin tasks can help with productivity.
1) It creates more time to service customers
The number one benefit of removing administrative tasks from your workload is that you can spend more time on revenue-generating tasks, i.e. servicing current customers by completing more work for them, or by finding new clients.
This is a benefit that you should start to see almost immediately. The actual value of the return depends on your value per hour and the number of hours of administration time you can free up.
If you have a value of £20 per hour and you free up six hours per week, your new productivity time will be worth £120 per week, or £6,240.
2) Less administration can improve the quality of work
You might not want to find new work but rather offer a higher level of service to the customers/clients you already have. This can offer productivity benefits because you can complete work to a higher standard. This reduces the rejection rate and re-work rate.
This makes you more productive because you aren’t wasting time redoing work that you should have got right the first time around.
A higher quality of work also has a knock-on effect. Customers who are happier with the work received will return to your business and potentially spend more money with you on future orders.
It goes without saying that the cost of acquisition of these customers is much lower than for completely new customers, and another advantage is that they are more likely to recommend your business to their peers. Great word of mouth marketing.
3) Staff can have less stress in their daily work lives
Some levels of stress are good for the body. They push us to work hard and complete tasks. However, there is also bad stress, and this can be a challenge and a barrier to a productive working day.
Administrative tasks can be fairly stressful, especially if there are deadlines attached to them.
When staff is feeling negative stress they become distracted. Or they might get ill. There are studies that link high levels of negative stress to headaches, stomach aches, absenteeism, and even death.
Removing administrative tasks will, therefore, avoid these problems. This will lead to more time in the office which can be spent servicing customers.
It can also help reduce other administrative tasks like staff absentee reports and other associated documentation.
4) You can create more of a rhythm with work
When you have administrative tasks, they are often associated with a specific job you’ve got to do, e.g. making purchases for the business. This can produce numerous further tasks like completing documentation (i.e. expense records, purchasing details, delivery records, etc.).
Studies have found that on average, workers will spend 20 minutes recording an expense. Just three purchases a day and an hour are wasted.
While this is costly in time, it is also disruptive to the flow of work. Workers often find that when they are doing a task on repeat they are more efficient and productive. This can increase the value per hour for you or your team.
However, if you have to stop your current rhythm to complete administrative tasks, then you might find that the task takes longer to complete.
5) Less administrative tasks can improve memory recall
The more tasks that a person has to do, the harder it is for them to remember it all. The average person takes in enough information to complete more than 174 newspapers per day. This information is separated into different categories and organized in priority. The level of priority is different, dependent on the person.
If you, or the worker, don’t rate some administrative tasks highly, then they are likely to forget this information quickly. If you’re trying to remember something that happened more than a week ago, then you’ve only got a 10% chance of remembering that information.
Doing less improves the recall rate of important information. And it stops you from searching through records to retrieve information. Therefore, you gain more time by not consuming too much information.
6) Your business can reduce costs
Another major benefit that you will see by limiting the amount of administration time taken by workers is that you can reduce costs. This money can be spent on investing in technology or outsourcing tasks that will allow you to improve the quality and quantity of the work of you and your employees.
Many businesses find that outsourcing basic administrative tasks to be the most cost-effective way. This is because outsourcing partners are experts in these tasks, whereas your staff aren’t – they’re experts in servicing your customers.
Therefore, they can do the job more quickly and for a lower price. It also makes your productive time more valuable, so the business becomes more profitable.
7) Staff can improve useful skills
When staff spends less time completing paperwork and other administrative duties, then they are completing tasks that are more valuable to the business. The longer they are completing these tasks, the more competent they will get in them. This will lead to faster processing times with fewer mistakes.
This can be especially useful for new members of staff who need to adapt to their new working conditions quickly.
According to studies, new employees can take as much as six months before they reach full productivity levels in a new workplace.
If you cut down on the amount of administration they have to do, they can learn the productive tasks quicker and reduce the time it takes them to be more valuable to the team.
8) You can offer staff more flexibility
One of the biggest problems with administrative tasks is that they are often time-dependent. For instance, reports need to be done at a specific time of the month or they aren’t valuable to the decision-making process.
Yet, if you remove these time constraints from employees, you can offer staff more flexibility in how they work.
Flexible working conditions are a way to improve staff morale and productivity at the same time. It also helps to improve staff retention and reduce costs.
9) You can attract better staff
When you’ve created a culture where there’s less administration to do, then you can create an attractive workplace for top talent. The top talent will have higher skills and probably be more productive in their work. Therefore you can build a stronger team of workers who are more valuable to your business.
Those who are more skilled will improve your business’s reputation as less work is returned. Finally, recruitment costs can be less as these staff members tend to stay in the job for longer.
10) Staff can focus more on what is important during the day
When you have a list of administrative tasks to do, it can be hard to focus on the right tasks that generate your business revenue.
By removing administrative tasks from the daily routine, you and team members can refocus efforts on activities that actually make money.
As you refocus, you might learn what activities are really important for your business’ operations. So you can learn more about your business, its processes and how to optimize that productivity.
UK businesses can increase the GDP of the country by£3.8 billion with just a little push on productivity. There are many ways that productivity can be improved; however, one of the best ways is to remove administration tasks from your daily routine and that of your employees.
Technology or outsourcing can help. Both of these methods are a great way to cut the cost of admin tasks as well as adding products to your business. At the same time, it can help staff to be happier in their current positions and less likely to leave your organization, which can be another knock to productivity.
So, will you take the step to improve productivity by doing an admin audit and discover what could be removed or not?