During these troubled financial times it can be hard to keep your profit margin high. One way to do it is to get more work done without adding more labor costs. This can be accomplished by merging jobs. Train your employees to do more than one task. This way, when they are finished with their current task, they can help out in a different area. This is a small part of what is called lean manufacturing, and it's becoming an important businesses asset for accountable care organizations, consulting firms, and manufacturers.
Consider for a moment a machine that needs some work done to it. Normally, the people who need that machine to perform their duties get a break. They are still on the clock and being paid, but not producing anything. Teach them to work with other machines or even in different departments and they can continue to be productive. You could even have them doing some cleaning or janitorial work. anything that keeps them doing something so they are not being paid to do nothing. And modern VoIP technology means that it's easier than ever for employees to work remotely.
Many employees will enjoy being able to be trained elsewhere. This gives them more to put on a resume and more experience if they should ever need to look for work. Some may scoff at the idea of doing something they feel is beneath them, but you can gently remind them the reason they are needed elsewhere is because the person that normally does that has been laid-off.
In the office, there are many jobs that can be accomplished by one person. A receptionist can file or type up correspondence when not busy on the phones.
Make sure payroll is handled as much as possible by supervisors so the payroll department can save time and possibly help out in another accounting area.
Having people trained to do more than one job does not mean you will have to be letting others go. It just means that you will be able to shift around your employees to where they are most needed at that time. This will save time and money in the long run. it will also increase production and allow for larger and more sales. That will mean more job security for everyone.