The office is supposed to be a place for productivity and efficiency, but we are all aware that isn’t always the case. In fact sometimes, your workplace can become one of the least effective locations to get things done. As an employer, there are many things you can do and utilise in order to increase the productivity of your team. So, instead of succumbing to reduced productivity, read our top ten tips to improve your workplace…
1. Keep upto date with technology
It is incredibly important to maintain a current knowledge of new and advancing technologies. As social media is growing and developing, it is contributing significantly to work load and increased efficiency and so it is critical that your employees are aware of how best to use it. And, while printed copy still has its place, in an online world it is expected and demanded that you be able to access information and communicate quicker than ever before.
2. Provide access to plenty of water
It is widely documented that drinking plenty of water is vital to maintain good health. However, dehydration is also consistently correlated with reduced productivity. In fact, one study showed that a 2-3% drop in your hydration level will lead to “reduced short-term memory, cognitive ability and decision-making skills, increased fatigue and significant drops in physical output”. This alarming research shows how important it is to provide access to plenty of water and also to encourage your employees to consume water throughout their working day.
3. Encourage your employees to plan
It sounds simple, but planning your day in advance can significantly enhance your productivity. By setting out a realistic list of goals each morning you can plan exactly how you will go about achieving them. David Allen, author of Getting Things Done, suggests assessing how much time each task will take and then assigning and scheduling it accordingly. To increase workplace efficiency, encourage your employees to make plans at the start of each dayand suggest they break large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks.
4. Organize your daily communication
Emails are often considered as something we must react and reply to immediately. Some people are almost addicted to waiting for and responding to new messages and will stop whatever they are currently doing in order to do so. However, it is often not necessary to constantly check your emails and, instead, scheduling time to periodically review and respond to messages can curb distractions and enhance concentration.
5. Maintain good quality air flow
A hot, stuffy room can lead to lethargic employees who can’t think, can’t concentrate and, as a result, can’t work efficiently. Graham Eagles, from Productivity Australia, says that good quality, fresh air can make for a much better working environment and that it is “imperative” for companies to consider air flow and the building materials that they are using, confirming the materials they use have “low emissions”.
6. Clear away clutter
As an employer, when it comes to keeping staff desks tidy, the line between boss and mum is fairly precarious. However, it has been shown that clean, tidy desks promote increased productivity and can help enhance concentration. But, while some companies operate ‘lean’ environments, where employees are banned from using post-it notes or brining in personal photos, studies have shown taking away these elements can hinder performance and that individual touches can actually increase productivity by 30%. So it seems it is about balance; encourage your employees to keep their desks tidy but also let them customise their work space, creating an environment they feel comfortable in.
7. Provide access to a selection of snacks
Everyone knows how distracting hunger can be and when all you can think about is how far away lunch time is, rather than concentrating on your current piece of work, productivity can be severely affected. That’s why it is incredibly important for employers to provide their staff with a selection of easily accessible snacks. A ‘tuck shop’ style shop or vending machines are ideal ways of providing your employees with sustenance throughout the day, making sure they are not distracted by hunger.
8. Create an inspiring music playlist
Contrary to popular belief, working in silence isn’t necessarily the most productive option. Instead, music can be a great way to get into what you are doing and can inspire creativity. Suggesting your employees bring headphones to work can be an ideal way to get around radio politics and can help your staff block out distracting noise around them. Simply create a playlist and plug in!
9. Encourage a positive, social environment
It sounds like an obvious cliché, but happy workers really do enhance productivity. If you enjoy your job and are happy in your working environment, you are likely to be more focused and concentrated in your role, so making your staff feel valuedand part of a team can enhance their efficiency and effectiveness. Encouraging employee interaction, offering praise when someone does well and giving increased responsibility are all key ways to enhance staff satisfaction and are all things employers should actively attempt.
10. Make time for a cup of coffee
Aside from the nice taste and welcomed interruption, a coffee break can provide a significant mental boost, releasing a shot of caffeine which offers a host of cognitive benefits. Chris Chatham, author of Caffeine: A User’s Guide to Getting Optimally Wired, suggests that moderate doses of coffee or tea throughout the day can provide a perk in energy. As a result, making these drinks easily accessible and available to your employees can help them work faster and harder, benefiting productivity and efficiency.
Guest Author: Ami
Ami is a content writer on behalf of Express Vending, a vending machines supplier who delivers office refreshment solutions in the UK.More of her work can be found on the Express Vending Blog about different aspects of the coffee vending industry.