Busy work really is the killer of good, creative employee minds. It must be done, but no one likes doing it. Fortunately, there are options beyond simply muscling through it (although that always is an option). Here are a few of the best examples.
The availability and affordability of outsourcing is going to depend a lot on your market and what your business does. Some smaller companies or contractors are created specifically for the purpose of taking busy work out of the hands of others. Even just having articles written for a blog or having accounting work done can be handled by contractors – who, since they aren’t legally employees, might be helpful to you for tax or other reasons. You can also hire companies (who themselves hire contractors) to get things done that you might otherwise not have time for. HR, customer service, marketing, and IT support are all common services that are often outsourced.
Depending on the job, there likely already exists a program that can do the job in an automated fashion. Of course, employees or operators will have to be trained on how to input the relevant data, but that is a task that will take much less time, effort, and skill than the alternative. Speed is also a helpful factor here – for example, using payroll software is much faster than doing it manually. While some services cannot be automated, others (accounting, auto-adjusting ad revenue, or anything that requires calculation) can be with relatively little hassle. Even customers can be directed to an FAQ webpage to cut down significantly on calls.
Your field may have people who are looking to break into the field; they may be hard to find, but interns can be a valuable resource for your company. While you should absolutely try to pay your interns, the standard for intern wages is often lower than a normal employee wage. They are most often first and foremost simply looking to gain industry experience, so this makes them the ideal low-pay, low-skill employee that is perfect for busy work. Try to find a balance between the busy work that needs to get done and the training and industry insight they need.
There are lots of methods for getting busy work done, and the cheapest is to just get it done yourself. But if the busy work threatens to overwhelm the rest of your business, then you need to use the proper channels to get it done efficiently. Look into the numerous options available to the modern business owner and pick what’s right for you.
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