In order to run an effective business, productivity should be top of mind. Productivity stems from many different aspects, with the most impactful being employees and systems in place. It is vital to ensure employees are happy, fulfilled and encouraged to effectively improve the workplace environment and collaboration. It is also important to have the right tools, systems, and applications in place to enable employees.
In this blog, we will cover 7 simple, yet effective ways to increase productivity in the workplace.
Coming up with ways and strategies to increase productivity within the workplace can seem like a daunting task at first -- wondering where to start.
However, it’s important to start by looking at current operations, trends, and inefficiencies to see where your business is needing improvements. It is equally important to be open to change and encourage employees to share their opinions. Try discussing ways you can improve employee performance or whether priorities need to be replaced.
Delegation of Duties
Delegation is important when it comes to productivity because it ensures one individual will not be left with “too much on their plate” leading to inefficiencies, errors, or missed timelines. Delegation enables your team to determine what their purpose and top skill are, and how they can apply these to reach a common goal. Increased responsibility is also an effective way for encouraging people, improving morale and job satisfaction.
If you enable your staff to gain skills and leadership experience, it will benefit your company and provide your employees with a sense of achievement and direction in their careers. In the long term, this will help to establish a process, with simple problem-solving tactics in the case of a sudden change, or increased workloads.
Studies show that only 60% of work time is spent being productive. That’s mostly because the average employee is interrupted 56 times over the course of the day.
Utilize Tools and Equipment
Enabling employees with efficient tools and equipment allows them to perform their duties productively. There are various tools available to help improve collaboration and communication within the workplace, such as Microsoft Teams giving both a communication platform with the ability to upload and edit files directly through other Microsoft integrated products.
Equipment within the office also holds high importance, such as printers or filing cabinets. If these things are unorganized or continue to have errors, it will take away time from an employee trying to fix a problem or look for a file rather than complete the task at hand.
Employee training is beneficial for both employers and employees, and can significantly improve productivity. Providing opportunities for progressing careers will help to keep your workforce engaged and make their job more interesting. While training on current systems, tools, and applications will help to ensure employees know how to properly and effectively utilize what is available to them.
There are numerous distractions within the workplace that can interfere with productivity; especially working from home. Social media and other mobile device applications regularly impact productivity, but in most workplaces, it is unrealistic to ban these devices. Instead, encourage employees to turn off their phones, and take regular breaks during which they can be free to check their notifications. This will ensure that the time spent at their desk is more productive.
Working remotely there are more distractions than ever, including family, pets, television etc. Although as an employer you are unable to see how an individual utilizes time, it is important to ensure work is getting completed on time at the same quality. Having touch-base meetings or emails to communicate progress in tasks can be helpful to ensure productivity.
Research shows that on average it takes 23 minutes for employees to refocus after a distraction.
The overall work environment is important for keeping teams productive; things like office temperature and organization can significantly impact this. A temperature too hot or too cold can distract an employee; spending more time warming or cooling down than completing the important work at hand. Organization can also impact the productivity of an employee; knowing where things are when they need them vs. being unaware of where to search -- whether that be a pen or important customer documentation it leads to wasted time.
Reviews are common in companies, however, they are not completed regularly. It is important to give employees feedback as encouragement of what they are doing well and where they could improve or work towards moving forward. Hearing appreciation and helping to set personal goals encourages both employee productivity and employee engagement.
Positive reinforcement and support of employers also help to build a relationship and encourages communication by both parties. This allows for an open and comfortable work environment to discuss issues and problem solving rather than hiding potential errors or problems.
A stressful workplace will not yield results. It is important for employees to feel happy and fulfilled within their roles to enhance productivity and quality of work. Although many of the other tips we have discussed in this article can in turn help to reduce stress, it is important to encourage your workforce to talk through any problems and work together to find a solution.
Incorporating fun aspects into the work environment can also help employees to get excited about things, such as trivia, workshops, lunch and learns etc. These can help to take employees out of the stressful mind space and encourage them to enjoy their time spent with other colleagues and build relationships. If there is something for employees to enjoy for instance every 2nd Friday of the month, this gives them something to look forward to.
There are many ways to help boost productivity within the workplace, it is important to start by looking at current processes and employees to help understand where things can be improved. The tips above will help to encourage team members while enabling them to complete their tasks to the best of their ability with the tools and equipment available to them.
The work environment is an important aspect and should remain calm, positive and collaborative to reduce stress and encourage relationships. Showing employees how much the company appreciates, respects and values them on a personal level is gratifying – and often overlooked. Always give feedback and work together towards a goal for the best results.