Every business owner, director or manager wants to increase office productivity. The more productive the ground staff are, the faster projects are completed, the more sales are closed, and the easier it is to grow and develop the business – particularly when it comes to start-ups and small businesses. And there’s nothing more important to a business of any size than its employees. When employees are happy and satisfied in their roles, everything else seems to fall into place easily.
Making small changes to the office environment and business habits will drastically improve the levels of productivity and efficiency in your business, whether the main workplace is an office, shop floor, warehouse, production centre, or something else. And, improving these two key factors will allow you to get more work done in a shorter amount of time, in addition to reducing the amount of time wasted on unnecessary tasks.
So, we’ve put together some top tips and tricks for improving your workplace environment in order to boost employee motivation, satisfaction and productivity.
#1. Consider the Physical Space First:
First of all, take a look around the office or workplace itself – is there enough space for each employee? Employees who feel cramped at work are less likely to feel motivated and productive, whilst being confined to one small workplace area can take its toll on an employee’s mental health. Instead, opt for a more open-plan workplace area that allows employees to be as flexible as possible with where they are working; for many employees, the option to simply move around more and work in a different area with different people can break up the working day and make it a more enjoyable experience. The key here is to offer employees the autonomy to choose where they work as often as possible, so that those who prefer to have their own space can do so, whilst other employees who prefer to move around also have the option to do this.
#2. Encourage Short Breaks:
Breaks have often been seen as counter-productive to the workplace, but recent research has shown that employees who can take a short break from their tasks several times throughout the day tend to be more productive and satisfied in their roles. Focusing on the same thing for too long of a period can lead to burn-out and have the opposite effect of what you want when it comes to employee productivity, so design your office in such a way that short breaks are actively encouraged – have a break room available in which employees can kick back and relax for a few minutes, and a central hub such as a kitchen where they can grab some healthy snacks and stay hydrated. Employees who are given this option tend to be much happier at work, and happier employees are more productive as a whole – the worst thing that you can do is expect your team to be chained to their desks all day.
#3. Reduce Noise Pollution:
Studies have shown that noise pollution in the workplace is one of the leading factors when it comes to a drop in productivity. Eliminating as much unnecessary noise as possible is key to giving your employees a quiet and peaceful place to work, where they can focus on the task at hand with as little distractions as possible. Chatty co-workers are the biggest distraction according to research, which is why it’s a good idea to have a designated break area where employees can go to chat and catch up with one another without running the risk of distracting those who are hard at work focusing on their tasks.
In addition, mobile devices are reported as another big distraction when it comes to noise in the office, so it’s worth implementing a company-wide policy of switching mobile phones and other electronic devices to silent once at work – this gives employees the freedom to still have their devices on them to use if necessary, but without them becoming a distraction to anybody else. Learn about office acoustics in this blog post by Amos Beech, which covers the most common forms of sound distractions in offices and what you can do to keep them to a minimum whilst still keeping your employees happy at work. Check out https://www.amosbeech.com/blog/office-acoustics-impact-your-teams-productivity for more information.
#4. Encourage Communication:
When it comes to employee productivity, teamwork plays a massive part in getting everybody working together well with one another. Encouraging communication and fostering good relationships between co-workers in your office or workplace is key when it comes to boosting teamwork and driving better results. In addition to giving your employees the chance to mingle and find the people that they work best with whilst at work, it’s a good idea to arrange meet-ups outside of the workplace that offer teams that chance to get to know each other as individuals in a more casual environment. Nights out, team building days, or even a meal after work on a Friday can all be great ways to encourage employees to get to know one another, which will help them work together better as a team during the working day.
#5. Provide Resources:
Another common reason for drops in workplace productivity is the fact that employees may not have access to the tools, resources and equipment that they need to fulfil their tasks and do a good job. When employees are able to access the right equipment and resources for the job, their productivity will soar. So, don’t cut corners when it comes to giving them what they need. Whether your workers use software, manual tools or some other kind of equipment, investing in high-quality options and enough to go around will help you see a massive difference in productivity levels straight away.
#6. Offer Support:
Offering support to your employees is a key factor when it comes to improving their overall productivity. In general, employees who feel that they are undertrained and do not get the right amount of support from management are going to underperform compared to those that say the opposite. New hires, for example, should be given adequate training – your goal should be to provide employees with enough support that they are able to do the job confidently on their own. In addition, ongoing support should be provided – make sure that employees know where to come for help when needed and that there is always somebody available to answer any questions that they may have.
#7. Get Feedback:
When it comes to improving office productivity, the best place to go first is to the employees themselves – after all, they are the ones who are doing the job each day and know what they need in order to become more productive. Make asking for and giving feedback a regular part of the job; ensure that employees feel welcomed to share any ideas that they may have and in turn, demonstrate that you are able to listen to their feedback and take it on board whenever possible. As a general rule, employees who feel that they are listened to at work and that their feedback is valuable to their employer will be more satisfied in their role, which tends to naturally lead to higher levels of satisfaction, loyalty, motivation and productivity.
#8. Offer Progression:
Employees who feel that they are able to work towards something positive in their job will always tend to be more productive compared to those who feel that they are not getting anywhere. Offering your team the opportunity to grow and progress is not only a great way to boost productivity, but also helps you find exceptionally trained managers and senior levels staff from within. And, hiring from within has several awesome benefits for a business, as you’re promoting people who are already familiar to and likely loyal to your brand. So, offer progression opportunities with a chance of a promotion, the chance to learn something new, and invest in employees futures – whether they want to do on-the-job training to improve their knowledge of their role, or take an external training program in order to be first in line for an upcoming promotion.
#9. Practice Positive Reinforcement:
Last but not least, positive reinforcement is an essential factor in a productive workforce. Employees who feel that the only time that they are noticed is when they make a mistake or fail to reach a goal or target are going to quickly lose all motivation and in turn, their productivity will fail. On the other hand, employees who know that mistakes are just a learning curve, that their hard work is appreciated and that they are going to be recognized for their triumphs in the workplace are more likely to go the extra mile for their employer. Make sure that you recognize employees’ hard work, and pay extra attention when it comes to supporting those who may be underperforming – positive reinforcement is key here to helping them improve their skills and get the results that they want and need.
When it comes to productivity at work, there are several factors at play. What helps you work more productively? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.