Sometimes the smallest changes make the biggest difference in terms of productivity. As we’ve learned before in our previous post on productivity, office design can make a huge impact on a company’s productivity through creating the right environment for you and your employees. However, there are simple, small steps you can take today to improve productivity in your workspace today.
So let’s take a look at our 7 top tips:
One of the easiest ways to ensure that both you and your employees are on track is to encourage the use to to-do lists. Not only does this provide a sense of achievement when each item is checked off, it also allows you to see what each colleague is up to and how busy their workloads are. Whilst pen and paper is always a great choice, there are many apps built specifically for to-do lists, some for personal use (such as Google Keep) and some for business use (such as Teamwork). Look to start your’s and encourage your team to start their’s today if you’re not all already using them.
Productivity is not measured by the number of hours spent at a desk, but by the amount of work that gets done. There have been a few studies recently that have found sitting down for too long to be a potential suspect for reduced energy during the day. The last thing you want is sluggish employees who just want to curl up and sleep. So make sure you and your team take frequent small breaks where you can stand up and stretch your legs. Not only will you feel better and benefit from better health, you should also see an increase in productivity.
Why are you having your 4:30pm meeting? What do the product development team need to get out of their weekly Friday 2 o’ clock huddle? These sorts of questions need to be answered before any meeting commences to help ensure the time isn’t wasted.Without direction, meetings can easily go off-topic and end up wasting a load of time without anyone actually gaining anything useful. So plan plan plan when it comes to meetings.
One of the most distracting things you or your employees can experience is the incessant ‘Ping!’ of a new email coming through. The best way to deal with this is to say “At these times I will check my emails”. You could aim to spend 15-20 mins checking through them when you first come in the office, then another 10 mins every 3 hours, or whatever works for you. Between these times, make sure you close any email applications to avoid becoming distracted and therefore, less productive.
Getting loads of work done is all good and well, but it’s important that every now and then you take a step back and ask yourself “is this the best use of my time?”. This question could save you countless hours spent on the wrong task whilst tasks that could make a much bigger impact get forgotten in the background until it’s too late. Prioritisation is one the best skills you can develop in business, both for you and your employees. So stop whatever it is that you’re doing and ask yourself if what you’re doing is the most impactful thing you can be working on right now.
A favourite tip of Virgin founder Richard Branson. The majority of humans have a notoriously bad short term memory, don’t fall into the trap of assuming you will remember everything said in a meeting or presentation. Always keep a pen and paper on you in the office and make sure your notes are organised and it’s clear what is to be added to your to-do list.
Hard work is fantastic, but without any kind of reward at the end what will keep you going? If your team just finished a big project that has impacted the company, why not treat everyone to lunch? Not only does providing rewards encourage harder and more focused work in the future, it also helps with employee retention and overall happiness.