Interruptions at work, even seemingly minor ones can be a big productivity killer. Whether it’s being asked the same question for the 5th time in a row or being forced to halt a phone call with an important client, there’s a whole range of unique issues that arise when there isn’t clear communication in the office.
While there are many strategies you can employ as a manager to improve office productivity and communication, one solution that many overlook is the use of productivity solutions like busy lights. A busylight is a small LED indicators that is hooked up to a desk’s phone and computer system so that it syncs with what the worker is currently doing and allows them to easily flag to their colleagues whether they are available or not.
They are especially useful in environments where workers are using headsets to make sales calls as, unlike a regular handset, it can be difficult to know whether or not they are actively in a call. A busy light can easily let other employees know with a simple red or green light the availability of the person at a particular desk.
While these kinds of accidental interruptions may seem minor, when combined over the course of a work day a great deal of productivity can be lost. Let’s take a look at some reasons why you should install busy lights in your office space.
Alerts others of your availability
The first and most obvious benefit of busy lights is that they act as a traffic light for your desk, letting others known when it’s ok to ‘go’ with their question or when they should ‘stop’ and not interrupt you. This can be essential in workplaces where employees make routine sales calls and an untimely interruption by a colleague could queer their rapport with the prospect.
This is because sales calls are already asking a lot of prospects to sit down and listen to the pitch, so if they hear you address a colleague during the call they won’t feel very important and are unlikely to be convinced by the rest of the pitch. These little things become incredibly important the more high profile the prospect is as key decision makers are unlikely to have the patience for interruptions on your end.
Increase work efficiency and productivity
The subtle benefit of busy lights is that, when employees know they have them, they are more likely to make calls confidently because they know they are unlikely to be interrupted. This means that they won’t need to look over their shoulder or make sure that nobody else needs them because the indicator will clearly show if they are available or not.
Having the knowledge that they won’t be interrupted in the back of their mind means employees will pursue tasks at a faster rather and with more confidence in general. While this benefit is largely an unspoken one, it is very powerful in terms of improving office productivity.
Improve employee morale
As a manger, there are many little things you can do to make the workplace more hospitable and generally more enjoyable for employees to work in. Happy workers are productive workers and busy lights are a great investment in your employees that adds a nice touch they will appreciate.
It’s a way of saying to your employees “your personal productivity matters and we are willing to invest in solutions to make sure you aren’t interrupted”. Workplace interruptions make employees feel like they’ve accomplished less at the end of the day and may lead them to feel dissatisfied with their job.