The office as we know it is changing. In response to COVID-19 and the evolving nature of the modern workplace, companies are staggering employee work hours and even workdays as they slowly transition back to physical office spaces. With these changes comes the difficult task of figuring out how to increase productivity in the workplace under these challenging circumstances. 

Improved productivity in the workplace will be key if businesses hope to recover from turbulent times. The good news is that work management solutions like Wrike help keep details organized across all projects, and ensure everyone meets deadlines and remains on the same page. 

Learn more about how to choose the best solution for your unique business, why project management tools are great for boosting output, and what you can do to see improved productivity in the workplace.

How to increase productivity in the workplace with project management 

Project management tools help productivity by eliminating the pressure to multitask, overload on work, and manually keep up with all updates every step of the way. Here’s how:

  • Streamline the process. We already know that multitasking can reduce productivity by as much as 40%. Help your team prioritize their work with project management productivity tools like task timers that allow them to focus on one area at a time. Messaging apps are also beneficial for teams looking to streamline communication and troubleshoot in a collaborative way.
  • Reclaim the schedule. You may be facing an upheaval in your available resources, team size, or even the way in which you are used to doing business. If this is true, don’t rely on old patterns and systems to get you through. Instead, use Wrike to get a bird’s eye view of all open projects and reduce the amount of work overload your current team faces as they transition back to the office and make the most of their time in the space. 
  • Automatically update teams. Task dependencies trigger automatic notifications that alert teams about the next steps and deadlines. This can help reduce inbox overflow and decrease time wasted sorting through messy email chains, something which can cause employees to lose an average of 21 minutes per day. This adds up to 1.75 hours a week or 91 hours a year. 

How to select the best project management productivity tools

The best project management productivity tracking software for your business depends on the needs of your organization and team. Make sure you have a clear picture of what you need in each of these major categories before you begin your search, including: 

  • Price. Does it fall within your budget and are you willing to invest in a solution that’s right for you regardless? 
  • Features. To increase productivity, look for a tool with plenty of options for automation. 
  • Integrations. If you rely on Microsoft products, for example, you should consider a project management solution that directly integrates with it. 
  • Flexibility. Can the tool be personalized for each of your teams, projects, and clients? Creative businesses or any company that offers more than a couple of core products will need an elastic solution that supports a variety of views and needs. 
  • Ease of use. The more user-friendly it is, the better your user adoption rates will be. Look for solutions that don’t have a big learning curve if you want to get rolling sooner rather than later. 

Tips for unleashing that productivity factor in project management

Without further ado, let’s take a look at how Wrike increases productivity in the workplace and what strategies you should use today. 

1. When scheduling duration for individual tasks, factor in suggested break times 

Employee breaks are proven to boost productivity, plain and simple. Even though limited office time will likely make workers feel more pressured to perform, regular relaxation time is majorly beneficial for their mental and physical health. This is especially true under extreme circumstances like the kind we are all currently facing with the pandemic. Keep in mind that the best, most effective time blocks are about 50 minutes of work paired with 10 minutes of break time and 90 minutes of work paired with 30 minutes of break time. 

2. Redistribute the workload for improved productivity in the workplace

An economics professor at Stanford has been quoted saying that as much as 40% of the 20 million individuals laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19 will not have a job to go back to when the pandemic ends. So, if you find yourself with a skeleton crew, you’ll have to reconsider how you divide projects across your team. 

To do this, simply map out each employee’s tasks using Wrike’s color-coded, customizable workflows. Make sure to review the entire team’s assignments across all active projects to ensure that e tasks are evenly distributed and there are no foreseeable conflicts. Make sure to also include clearly defined success metrics and prioritize each task list so everyone knows what to focus on to get results. 

3. Have employees provide status updates on individual tasks 

Status updates are very motivating. Even Facebook knows this. Most project phases have complex steps within them that aren’t so cut and dry. So, at the end of the day, employees may feel as if they didn’t get anything done just because they didn’t cross off the entire line item from the list. Help them track their progress so they can see for themselves how far they’ve come.

4. Eliminate unnecessary messages 

The average worker spends 28% of their workweek on answering emails. They spend an additional 5.2% per day on group messaging platforms such as Slack or Twist. Most of these chats involve project updates, related questions, and notes. Instead of distracting your team with a barrage of emails and messages to keep up with, try keeping all of these details within the project step itself. They can reference it when they need to and keep track of all related communications in one place. 

Supercharge your productivity with Wrike 

Now you know exactly how project management solutions help productivity and what you need to look for in a solution. You also have some concrete tips for how to use Wrike's productivity tracking software to help support your team no matter what productivity challenges you face now and in the future. Try Wrike for free today to see how it can help you further streamline your efforts, get everyone on the same page, and make work easier for the entire team.