Many employers actively seek out ways to improve office productivity only to run into unhelpful and unscientific advice. Suggestions like providing coffee and candies to your staff are not helpful and can even result wasting company money. Simple advice may work for some, but is not guaranteed to work for the majority of your staff. Employers want more than conjecture and guessing, they need suggestions backed by scientific evidence. Take a look at the following tips if you are seeking ways to improve productivity in the workplace effectively.
1. Promote Organized and Clean Workspace
Keeping your office clean has multiple benefits, including boosting the productivity of your staff. Clean offices have fewer contagions in the air, resulting in a healthier and happier staff. Cutting down on the number of sick days your employees take boosts productivity office-wide. A clean office also runs better than one covered in dust. For example, an office printer runs much faster when it is clean. Concentration levels also improve with a clean work space. The mind is much less distracted by order than it is by chaos. In one recent study, nearly 90 percent of office workers indicated that a dirty or unkempt office resulted in poor concentration, lower productivity, and a decreased ability to acquire new skills. You should also let your staff take part in creating a productive workspace by encouraging them to keep their office desk clean and organized.
2. Provide Natural Light
A recent study conducted by Northwestern University found a strong correlation between daylight exposure and workplace productivity. Increasing the amount of natural sunlight in your office is one of the best ways to increase employee productivity. Exposure to natural light during the workday can decrease negative physical and mental issues, and boosts employee vitality. Employees with ample access to daylight call in sick less often, and are less affected by mental health problems such as insomnia, depression, and seasonal affective disorder.
3. Break the Workday Down Into Chunks
Another one of the best ways to improve office productivity is to break the workday down into smaller, manageable chunks. A person is far more productive if they break single tasks down into smaller segments. A 90 to 20 ratio is ideal for most people. Recent research found that the human brain goes through what is known as a flow state for about 90 minutes at a time, but no more. During the flow state your employees are at their most creative and most productive. However, after 90 minutes the brain requires a break. Experts suggest that a 20-minute break is sufficient to relax the brain and help you refocus.
4. Examine the Temperature in Your Office
No one enjoys working while sweating. Offices that are too hot can be stifling, uncomfortable, and provide environments where concentration is difficult. However, it is equally as important to be sure that your office is not too cold either. A cold office often results in unproductive employees. The human body uses a lot of resources to keep itself warm, leaving very few remaining to aid concentration and focus. In one study, workers made almost 50 percent more errors when working in a colder office than a warmer one. Examining and re-adjusting the temperature in your office is a quick and easy way to boost employee productivity.
5. Introduce Plant Life
This particular suggestion may seem strangest of all, but is proven to work. In fact, offices with plants are 15 percent more effective than those without. Investing in a shrub or plant is significantly less expensive than hiring additional staff and can often have the same effect. Introducing plants and flowers to your office can also dramatically improve employee morale as well as visitor’s perception of your office space. In addition, staff members who are allowed to have plants at their desk call in sick less often.
6. Offer HEALTHY Snacks
Almost all office workers struggle to remain focused and on task in the afternoon. Many seek solutions to this mid-day sluggish period by ingesting sugary foods or drinking coffee. Unfortunately, these solutions are only temporary leading to an eventual crash. In a long run, consuming these sugary snacks and drinks everyday also adds a health risk. Instead of offering your staff members nothing but caffeinated beverages with no sugar (use stevia for alternative) and water, offer nutritious snacks as well. Stocking the break room with a bunch of healthier choices like whole grains, nuts, seeds, veggies with hummus, string cheese, Greek yogurt, cold-pressed juice and baked veggies leads to better productivity and a healthier staff. Offering these items for free encourages your staff to take advantage of those healthy options rather than heading straight to the vending machine for a sugar quick fix.
7. Give Your Employees Some Space
Another way to boost productivity is to offer your staff members a variety of worksite options. Depending on their job description and work style, some may prefer to find quiet spaces while others prefer a more social atmosphere. By providing both options for your staff you can increase everyone’s efficiency regardless of preferred working environment. Adapting the Google method of office planning gives your staff members greater flexibility in terms of workspace, resulting in a more productive office.
Busy managers and supervisors wondering what are some ways to increase productivity should keep these tips in mind. Unlike other well-meaning, but ultimately unhelpful, pieces of advice, scientific research backs up each tip mentioned above. These tips increase productivity without negatively affecting office morale.
Author: Phil Ward is a serial traveler, writer, and stargazer. He enjoys writing about remote working, productivity, self-improvement, lifestyle & travel. Lately, he has become interested in blogging, WordPress, web design and web development. Connect Phil here on Facebook.