As a rule, entrepreneurs want to focus on their key goal. They don’t want any distractions, nor do they want to waste time doing things that are irrelevant to their growth. However, in reality things are different. Small to medium businesses are coming face to face with the unpleasant fact of administrative work. According to a US-based survey published by West Monroe, 36% of 500 surveyed managers spend 3-4 hours a day on administrative tasks, like tracking time, submitting expenses, responding to emails, etc.
Although doing administrative work is essential for your business, it can be daunting and may even lead to a waste of valuable resources that you can deploy in something else. After all, time is the most valuable resource, and you can’t risk losing it. Thanks to the technology of today’s world, there are helpful solutions for this issue. This article will talk about productive ways to reduce admin work and efficiently keep everything on track.
What is admin work, and how much time does it take?
Admin work represents the “non-profit generating” tasks you have to do. These tasks are essential to keep things organized and running. But at the same time, they take up the hours you need to be spending on your core goals. Admin tasks vary from one business to another, like communication, scheduling, bookkeeping, running an inventory, and other similar fields. The Independent surveyed over 2000 workers and found that an average worker spends over 2 hours on admin tasks. Below are a few examples of admin work and their time cost:
- Email communication, for example, is a sort of admin work. According to a study published by Mckinsey & Company, the average professional spends 28% of the workday reading and answering emails.
- The same study found that internal communication and collaboration take 14% of the workday. The shocking fact in the study was that only 39% of a professional’s time is dedicated to role-specific tasks while the rest is occupied by various admin work.
- Scheduling calls and meetings is another form of admin work. Time surveyed 1072 working Americans about this topic. Nearly half of them reported spending up to 50% of their days on calls and meetings.
- Payroll is an integral part of any business, but it comes with much admin work. A study conducted by QuickBooks found that business owners spend almost 5 hours managing taxes and payroll documentations every pay period. To put that in other words, that would be around 21 days each year.
The benefits of reducing admin work
Save working hours: Time is a critical factor you should be leveraging to overcome your competitors and provide better services and products to your clients. When you reduce admin work, you allow for more time to be invested in better directions. For example, research & development, internal structure enhancement, finding other markets, launching new products or services, and others.
Reduced costs: When there is too much admin work to do, your team will end up working extra hours to cover the necessary job-related tasks, or you might need to hire more people either to cover the admin work or to assist their colleagues with their duties. In both cases, you will end up spending more money than you are supposed to. Reducing admin work results in reducing these costs gradually, and when you implement a productive solution to minimize admin work, you will start reducing expenses.
Easier for the clients – less bureaucracy: Clients always want to receive services as fast as possible because no one likes organizational processes and routines. This has become a competing factor for some companies because clients are starting to compare businesses based on their responsiveness. Your clients will notice the difference when you reduce the amount of admin work and keep your workflows structured and organized.
Happy staff: Productive professionals hate wasting their time doing distracting tasks, and they prefer to be focused on their main domain of work rather than getting busy with admin assignments. When you reduce the admin work in your company, you ensure a better opportunity for innovation and creativity, and your team members will become more productive and happier.
How to reduce administrative work?
While getting rid of admin work is impossible for any company, reducing it efficiently is feasible. Analytical thinking and computer-aided technology will help you maximize your company’s performance and eliminate the unnecessary administrative work or automate it professionally.
Evaluate and plan
When you decide to reduce administrative work, the first step would be evaluating your current status. You have to review the ongoing business processes and analyze their admin tasks. The next step would be separating the unnecessary admin tasks and dropping them off your current workflow. At the same time, you need to keep and improve the essential administrative work. You might also consider outsourcing some of your admin tasks to optimize the outcome.
Outsourcing allows you to focus on your goals and involve someone else doing administrative work for your company. You can make multiple outsourcing contracts at once for different admin tasks. For example, you can outsource the payroll work to an external third-party accountant and outsource the email and meeting arrangement work to a part-time virtual assistant.
Integrate tech tools to increase productivity and eliminate wasting valuable resources on admin tasks. Using proper software helps you organize your work and gives you more control over the processes, which leads to faster and more assured execution. When you switch to the digital world, you will redefine your processes entirely.
No software can do all the admin tasks together. Still, cloud-based software solutions and integration features made it possible to work under the umbrella of one platform and get the benefits of other tools simultaneously.
For example, you can use a collaborative environment such as Microsoft Teams to organize communication and arrange meetings with ease. You can also use some of its native apps like Planner, SharePoint, etc. and third-party apps like Asana or Trello.
ServiceNow available on Microsoft, for instance, can help the HR department to manage recruitment and onboarding processes from job interviews till the day one activity.
You can also take advantage of the Approvals app, which allows teams to receive and manage all project-related requests from one place. It can come in handy in many cases, for example:
- Submitting complete tasks for approvals
- HR purposes such as vacations, days off, etc.
- Approving budgets and/or expenses, and much more
Implement an accounting app like QuickBooks for managing your payroll, expenses, and business costs. Instead of being paper-dependent, go digital and replace paper with electronic documents and cloud-based storage. You can even use a digital signature software like DocuSign to help you organize signing contracts and receiving documents.
You may ask – but doesn’t managing those digital solutions also become an administrative task? Yes and no. It is an admin task but by doing it you spare yourself from doing 10 other such tasks, so it’s worth it. And no, because there are solutions in place that help you minimize the tasks related to those solutions. In case of the collaborative workspace, the solution is Collaboration Templates.
The concept of Collaboration Templates is rather simple yet revolutionary for your work. They allow you to create and configure the settings of your digital workspace once and then replicate it as many times as you need. Additionally, the template solution by SalesTim help you automate other aspects of your workflow hence helping you achieve operational excellence.
By employing Collaboration Templates, you spare yourself the trouble of creating a brand new workspace every time a new project, deal, campaign, or any other process comes in. You no longer start from the very beginning. Instead, you create a template once and then use that template to create new workspaces. That way all you need is added automatically – documentation, tasks, apps and even people.
Automating your workflows means engaging your team in higher-level and more targeted tasks. Instead of having them fill the gaps of administrative work, leave that part to the systems, and take your business to the next level. Automation comes hand in hand with going digital and using collaborative solutions. These approaches cover lots of important work that your team has to do.
Nowadays, productivity approaches give you the option to achieve better results with the same resources you already have. All you need is to deeply analyze your business and look for the perfect software to assist you.