Analyze any successful company and you’ll likely find among the leadership a strong commitment to keeping employees happy and productive. After all, time is money, so any time that’s wasted and unproductive is leaving revenue on the table. Maximizing employee productivity also maximizes profitability. A company is nothing without a strong workforce engaged in the future of the business and how they can contribute to its success.
So how do you encourage that kind of team productivity? You may need some office layout reconfiguration. There’s no doubt that discussion is often easier than implementation. There’s no one approach that works like a silver bullet. It takes a multi-pronged approach because your office workers are multi-pronged.
Want to know how to keep staff happy? You need to keep in mind that every employee is different, and how they respond to different methods will be as individual as they are. That said, below are a few ideas to improve office productivity that may work better with some office workers than others. Experiment and implement what works best for your company culture!
Create an Atmosphere Conducive to Productivity
Good health is wealth. Encourage the overall health of your workplace by offering them opportunities to work remotely on occasion to cut down on commuter stress, by providing healthy snack and drink options, by giving out perks like group fitness classes after-hours, and even investing in office furniture like a standing desk or a yoga ball instead of office chairs. Anything that will encourage employees to move more, stand more, and engage in healthier habits is a win for increasing overall productivity in the workplace.
It’s a common misconception that multitasking is more productive than focused meaningful work on one task at a time. But the reality is that multitasking splits your focus. When your attention is split, you might ‘do a lot of things,’ but you may not ‘finish a lot of things’.
Instead, train your productive employees to focus on one task at a time. Not only does it improve satisfaction and up the chances of achieving a flow state, it improves team productivity, too. For team members that truly have difficulty focusing on one thing at a time, try seating them at a Mobile Think Desk. They can move around, which could help them better focus on one task at a time.
You could even create a system of perks and rewards for task completion based around this idea of focusing on one thing at a time during work hours.
Streamline Everyone’s Email Habits
Hours upon hours of time can be saved by optimizing how your team handles email. Train your work environment to create time blocks dedicated to emails and ensure they stick to those time blocks. That means no other email communication during working hours, except during the designated time blocks.
Train your productive employees to keep emails brief and targeted. Brevity goes a long way, yet can still communicate effectively. Of course, don’t sacrifice being polite, but you can be both polite and to the point. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Cell phones can be a huge distraction in the office. You don’t want to nanny your team and create a ban in the office, but you should have a policy to strongly encourage cell phone use to be limited to breaks and after hours unless it’s an absolute emergency.
Short, brief breaks scattered through the day can give them time to catch up on any missed messages without sacrificing workplace productivity. Set up a break room with small round tables and chairs for team members to sit and chat.
You can also implement policies like encouraging the use of headphones to help get them into a flow state, and speaking at low volume during in-office communications, whether that’s with a coworker or on a phone call.
Ditch Tedious Meetings
Most meetings, especially in larger companies, are not conducive to productivity or, in many cases, even necessary. After all, why communicate in a meeting that could just as easily be communicated through an email. The larger the meetings become, the less targeted and efficient they are.
When you do have to have meetings, create a meeting plan beforehand, so that everyone stays on point and all can get out of there and back to work as quickly as possible. For smaller team meetings and one-on-one meetings, you could encourage both health and fitness, and productivity by scheduling walking meetings!
Require Time Tracking Software Be Used
You can’t really know how best to help your team improve if you don’t know how they are spending their time. Some employees may need more training to stay on task and maximize productivity than others. You won’t know which ones unless you are monitoring how they are using their time in their workday with some kind of time tracking software. Then you can create strategies to solve areas where productivity is bottle-necked.
Good time management is necessary for the success of any business, but sometimes improving it in your team is easier said than done.
Hopefully, these ideas to improve office productivity are helpful as you use them to shape and form a stellar work team that gets stuff done!Sources: