Reduce injuries and downtime
In 2018, there have been many reports about the stagnating productivity in the UK and the effect this is having on the economy. But productivity is about far more than just money. Improving productivity will get more work completed but also improve staff morale, reduce injuries and downtime, and help retain staff for longer.
There are many techniques and tools available which can improve productivity in the workplace, and matting retailers First Mats have found a few that could have a positive impact on your workplace.
So, without further ado here are 9 ways to improve productivity at work.
The easier a task is to complete, the quicker it will get done. Lengthy and convoluted processes will exhaust and irritate your employees, so you should look at ways you can streamline your working processes to help make projects simpler to complete.
Introducing ideas such as a Scrum Board to give visual aids to projects or other methods to help your employees prioritise tasks could help increase efficiency and thus productivity.
If you have a large office, then this might be a more expensive option, but your staff will be more productive if they are comfortable at their desks. An employee who is uncomfortable or in pain due to their chair will be distracted and are less likely to work to the best of their ability.
Investing in ergonomic chairs for your staff will ensure that they are comfortable at their work stations so that their minds can stay on task. Taking this step will also show your employees that you are concerned about their welfare and comfort; making them more likely to want to perform well for an employer who shows concern for them.
Taking regular breaks
While having your employees away from their desks and having a break may sound counterproductive when you are trying to increase productivity, studies show that taking regular breaks actually improves concentration.
Make sure your office has a break out area where employees can grab a drink and encourage staff to take short, regular breaks to stretch their legs, get some fresh air or grab a snack rather than staring at their computer screens for hours at a time. Your staff will be more energised and focussed by taking short breaks and you will see productivity rise as a result.
For workers who are on their feet all day then you should consider investing in anti-fatigue mats for your workers to stand on. These mats come in a range of sizes to suit any floorspace and they help reduce fatigue and aches from spending long periods of time standing.
An independent study performed by Coba Europe found that 44% of those who used ant-fatigue matting considered it to have a direct impact on increased productivity levels. Similar to investing in ergonomic chairs in an office, these mats will improve comfort and employee morale which will have a direct impact on productivity amongst your staff.
Turning off notifications
The constant pings and pop-ups from apps, emails and computer programmes are a constant distraction for employees. While it might not be to everyone’s taste initially, turning off notifications could make a big difference.
Distracted employees are much less likely to be productive as their attention and focus is split and these notifications will break concentration and ruin an employee’s train of thought. Find a way to turn off pop-ups on your computers and ask employees to do the same with their mobile phones whilst they are in work to help keep them focused on the task at hand.
Do you really need that meeting?
According to a study by Atlassain, the average employee spends around 31 hours every month in unproductive meetings.
Meetings often take up the most amount of time in any project and yet employers insist on holding them and ensuring all of their staff attend them, taking them away from the jobs they should be doing. Before you call another staff gathering, stop and think; do you really need that meeting?
When meetings really are unavoidable, you may want to shake up the mundane and try standing meetings.
There is evidence to suggest that standing meetings, where literally every member stands rather than sits, can result in increased group involvement and increased group performance. Standing meetings usually end quicker as well so that your team can get back to their tasks feeling energised, rather than tired and demotivated from sitting around a table for hours.
Praise and rewards
Everyone responds well to praise and rewards, no matter what position they hold. Many employers can be guilty of not giving credit where it is due and rewarding their staff for a job well done.
Show your team that you appreciate their hard work with small rewards such as vouchers or a few hours off for a job well done and you will see that your employees will want to work harder for you again in the future as they can see that their hard work is appreciated. This will also boost employee morale, again increasing productivity within your staff.
A happy workforce is a productive workforce
An over worked and over stressed workforce is not a productive workforce. The effects of stress on a person’s mental wellbeing have been well studied and publicised, especially recently. It is beneficial for all employers to ensure that their staff are happy within the workplace and are taking care of their own mental health.
Ensure that your staff feel comfortable coming to you or their supervisors with any concerns they have and be mindful of overloading employees with stress and responsibilities, especially around deadlines for projects. A happy workforce is a productive workforce and your attention to the wellbeing of your team will be rewarded by their loyalty and hard work in return.
Whether you choose to put one, a few, or all of these practices into place, you should start to see productivity in your office improve. Which one would you put into place first?
Marketing & Strategy Director