7 Tips to Boost Productivity in the Workplace
Research has shown that if your employees are happy, they are much more likely to be productive. In fact, Towers Watson found that more than half of employees who said they were stressed at work felt less productive. But employee wellbeing may not be the only reason that productivity is suffering. It’s important to understand why productivity is suffering to ensure you offer the right solutions. Making small changes (which often cost very little or no money) will drastically improve productivity levels and efficiency in your business, which will in turn result in higher quality work being completed in a shorter period of time.
Focus on Communication
Without effective, two-way communication, a business would fail. The number one tip for increasing productivity among a workforce is to create an open environment where communication is key. Managers are able to communicate expectations and employees are able to share, both with their colleagues and with management, when they have any concerns.
Promoting clear, effective communication could nip small issues in the bud before they become major problems.
Feedback can act as a great motivational tool. Employees want to know how they’re doing, and crave both positive and constructive feedback, which will help them know where they stand in the team, what they need to focus on and where they’re doing well.
Employees receiving little or no feedback from their manager are more likely to feel disengaged, which can result in a loss of productivity.
Recognise and Reward Accomplishments
Similar to giving regular feedback, recognising the accomplishments of your team can be invaluable. An astonishing 69% of employees say they would work harder if their efforts were better recognised (click here to read more). A simple “well done” can really make a difference.
Offering a reward for their achievements can help take this to the next level. Lots of people think that these rewards must be financial, but 70 percent of respondents in a 2013 study said the most meaningful recognition has no monetary value. It could be something as simple as offering an early finish in recognition of an employee’s hard work.
Encouraging autonomy amongst employees can help promote a culture of trust and responsibility. There’s a fine line between being a good manager and micro-managing. With micro-managing, there comes a risk of your team becoming dependent and being unable to make their own decisions. By backing off and trusting your team, you enable them to grow and become more confident and independent. After all, they passed the screening process and possess the skills to do the job; believe in them.
Promote self care
Poor employee wellbeing can have a massive impact on productivity (see our recent blog post to find out more), so it’s important to encourage your team to take care of themselves. Even if they’re not taking sick days, working when you are struggling with either your mental or physical wellbeing can result in a massive drop in productivity and lead to your team feeling less engaged.
A work environment where self care is encouraged will be much more productive. When your team is stressed, their work will suffer!
Remote & Flexible Working
Remote or flexible working arrangements are becoming increasingly popular both in the UK and worldwide. On the whole, remote workers are more productive, work more hours, take fewer sick days and are, in general, more engaged at work. As well as saving company money by not having to pay for an office space, a remote work force can lead to big increases in productivity.
If fully remote working is not possible in your organisation, consider allowing a more flexible approach. Whether it’s flexibility in terms of the hours worked, or allowing employees to work from home once a week, this will help increase engagement and productivity.
Crack Down on Long Hours & Encourage Breaks
Your employees are not robots. They cannot work effectively and productively for 8 hours straight. The brain can only do so much before it needs a rest. Studies show that the optimum balance is to work for 52 minutes and then break for 17 minutes. Whilst this may not be ideal for every working environment, it’s vital to encourage your team to take regular breaks away from their desk. A short walk around the office or trip to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee will help the brain “reset” and help you feel refreshed and motivated to get back to work.
Creating informal breakout spaces, or ‘third spaces’ will give employees a place to go to get away from their desks and encourage social interaction.
Similarly, working long hours is becoming increasingly common in almost all industries across all job levels, but it is vital to differentiate between long hours and productive hours. Working 14 hour days might seem impressive on the surface, but scratch a little deeper and you will often find that only a handful of those hours are productive. More and more companies are understanding that it’s not the number of hours spent at work that matter, rather it’s the amount of time spent being productive. Encouraging your team to leave on time will result in a better work-life balance, which in turn will improve their wellbeing and increase their productivity.
“Investing in a TopBrewer for our office refurbishment has shown our employees how much we value them. It has also encouraged them to utilise the new breakout space, promoting social engagement in the workspace.” Lorraine Broun, Facilities Supervisor at Autodesk.
“The app makes it so easy to use and customise drinks and we have seen a massive increase in staff staying on-site, rather than leaving the office in their coffee breaks.” Steve Arnold, Facilities Manager at Zaha Hadid Architects.
Click here to learn more about the TopBrewer and how it can help improve employee wellbeing and increase workplace productivity.