Tips to Boost Productivity at the Office – Keeping Employees on Their Feet

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If work seems more like a drag to your employees lately instead of a medium for them to develop and use their resources for greater things, you may have a productivity problem in the office. It isn’t enough to suppose that your employees are lazy and start making cuts on their bonuses and paychecks. In fact, this can lead to frustration and an even bigger decrease in efficiency.

The problem can have different sources, and, thus, diverse approaches are available. While some employers try to ensure the most advantageous conditions for their personnel and are always on the hunt for the best water dispenser or the most reliable coffee machine that can increase comfort and convenience, others tend to focus on their staffs’ wellbeing, offering them gym subscriptions or healthy snacks.

This article explores the main causes that can lead to inefficiency at work and offers a few useful tips that can make a huge difference. Moreover, we have some advice for employers who have their employees working from home, so stay with us to learn how to motivate your staff both at home and at the office.

What are the Reasons for Low Productivity?

Before trying to find the best solutions, you’ll want to identify the main factors that can cause the personnel to be inefficient. Here are the most common reasons:

  • Lack of recognition
  • Lack of sense of belonging
  • Multitasking
  • Stress
  • Toxic workplace behavior
  • Unwelcoming workplace
  • Too many meetings
  • Occupational burnout

How to Solve this Problem?

While some causes have to do with an employee’s way of being and should be addressed individually, if you are noticing this problem at a collective level, you can try to correct it through a series of measures. Some of them are simple and at hand, while others may require some investments in both equipment and time.

This being said, let’s see how you can bring your stuff back to life.

1. Switch from sitting meetings to standing or walking meetings

Sitting is associated with relaxation and leisure, so the mind tends to enter an idle state instead of focusing on what is being discussed. If you keep your staff standing, they become more active, as the brain tries to come up with a solution faster and reduce the time spent in the meeting. If you are holding the meeting with a smaller group, get them walking. Remember how much walking was done in Doctor House? It encourages employees to express their ideas. Plus, they get a bit of exercise that will help them stay in shape.

2. Invest in adjustable desks

Standing seems to be the trend when it comes to improving productivity. This posture lends a sense of urgency to the employees, making them stay more focused on their tasks. Plus, it reduces the side effects caused by sitting on a chair all day. Nonetheless, you cannot force your staff to stand 8 to 10 hours a day. This is why we recommend acquiring adjustable tables, so they can alter between sitting and standing.

3. Ergonomic is the word of the day in every office

One of the main reasons your employees don’t make the best of their time is because their attention is focused on their health problems. Provide them with high-quality adjustable chairs that can offer great lumbar support. Thus, they will have lower chances to develop back pains or injuries that may require medical leave.

4. Check if the room is properly lighted

This is an essential condition, although it is often overlooked. Even if the effects may not show immediately, poor light can lead, in time, to tiredness, sadness, and even depression. A study performed in 2002 by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory showed that people who are exposed to natural light concentrate better and have better levels of creativity and energy. Thus, make sure that the office gets enough natural light, and, if this is impossible, at least ensure proper artificial lighting.

5. Offer family-care programs

As we have detailed below, most employees experience high levels of stress. This can be caused by a cluttered program, but can also be a result of them trying to cope with tense situations in their personal lives. The program can include seminars on relationships, workshops on coping with stress, or seminars on financial planning.

6. Set daily tasks

When people know what they have to do, it is easier for them to focus on their tasks. Summon a short meeting at the first hour in the morning or send each employee an email with what they have to do for the day. Setting deadlines can also make your staff more productive, as long as they are realistic and allow them to do their job without adding extra stress.

How Do You Ensure the Productivity of Employees Working from Home?

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemics, more and more companies have sent their employees to work from home. This has proven pretty convenient for both parts. The employers saved a lot in power and heating expenses, while the employees found it more convenient to avoid commuting to and from work, and some of them reported feeling more creative in their home environment.

Nevertheless, this period offered the occasion for the drawbacks to be highlighted, and many companies noticed a decrease in productivity. The main reason was the lack of supervision along with the many distractions that may occur at home, like pets, kids, or other members of the family.

The good news is that, even in this situation, there’s plenty to do to get your employees more focused and active. Here are some suggestions:

  • Encourage communication – it is essential to keep in touch with your team, as the lack of it opens the path to misunderstandings and mistakes. Make sure everybody keeps their email open and responds promptly to their coworkers’ email. To facilitate communication, you can even use an instant chat so the messages are transmitted quickly, and the responses arrive quickly as well.
  • Keep track of your employees’ working time – ask your employees working remotely to make a detailed Excel sheet in which to note the tasks they’ve performed throughout the day. This will motivate them to shorten their brakes.
  • Trust your team – you will need to do it, as it is impossible to supervise all your employees working from home. Plus, if you constantly check on them through video meetings, emails, or calls, you may even end up being the source of their low productivity.
  • Make sure your people have all they need – this implies providing your staff with the necessary equipment so they can do their job. For instance, make sure all the computers are working and all the software is updated before they take them home.

Conclusion

You may need to take some time to analyze the situation at your office and determine what makes your staff seem a bit off lately, but once you’ve discovered the cause (or the causes) and got the right decisions, it won’t take long until you see the first results. Sure, the motives can be complex sometimes, and, in this case, it is better to combine observation with dialogue, asking your employees directly what makes them feel out of shape, but most of the time, a slight change regarding the work conditions can make a huge difference.

January 2021
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