Small Business Brief


Get Stuff Done: 6 Tips to Improve Productivity in the Workplace

You’re buying a pack of something. It’s an eight-pack but it only has three items in it.

Would you pay full price for that? Absolutely not! Except you’re doing that every day with your employees.

The average employee only gets three hours of work done in the eight hour day you’re paying them for. That’s not even 50%!

Obviously, the current view of productivity in the workplace has to change – like who takes responsibility for it.

Here are a few things you, as a manager or employer, can do to increase the productivity of your employees.

1. Give More Flexibility

Everyone is talking about the gig-economy now, which people love. Why? Because it lets them set their own hours.

But not everyone can be part of the gig-economy, or else you probably wouldn’t have a business.

So how do you give your employees a little more flexibility without losing productivity? Give each employee a day or two a week they can come in late (and stay late).

You could also give everyone the choice to work from home one or two days a week.

While it seems counter-intuitive to getting things done, employees see this as you investing in them. Investing in them and trusting their productivity and drive.

When you show employees empathy and give them options, they work harder for you.

2. Update Your Office

If you haven’t been paying attention, sitting down is the new smoking. It can cause different kinds of cancer, and some people say, even cut time off your life.

So what can you do? Invest in a few standing desk stations. Standing desks are a great way to break up your work day and it’s better for your body.

You’re not supposed to stand at a standing desk all day. Twenty minutes to an hour each workday is enough to reap the benefits.

Make sure you have a cushion mat at the standing desk station, to make it easier on people’s feet. There are other accessories you can look into, like standing-desk balance boards.

If you already have standing desks, you can invest in some new office furniture. Don’t underestimate the effect of new desks and a fresh coat of paint can have on the “vibe” of the room.

Some studies show that adding plants can up the productivity of office workers – as well as their moods.

3. Give Health a Chance

Do you cover your employee’s gym memberships? Or at least reimburse them for some of the cost of membership? Employees that exercise regularly take less sick days and get more done.

But if you don’t have the budget for that, it’s not the only thing you can do to encourage what they call “corporate wellness”. Can you start a group that goes on a walk for their lunch break?

Let employees come in half an hour late if they ride their bikes to work one day a week?

This could be as simple as giving everyone reusable, branded, water bottles.

If you’re in a big office building, talk to your landlord about setting up an in-building gym. This doesn’t have to be anything crazy, just a few cardio machines and some weights. Employees can sign a waiver releasing the landlord of responsibility.

Again – this shows your employees you’re invested in them. It’s the principle of “giving to get”.

If you give your employees resources and value, they’ll thank you by doing better work.

4. Upgrade Your Hardware

Do your employees use computers from five years ago? Five years ago in computer time is like dog years – it translates into 15 years old technology time.

Monitors have gotten bigger, better, and the colors are clearer. Towers process way quicker and can handle more tasks at once – which makes your employees work faster.

That includes random office hardware too. Do you still have an old, drip coffee maker?

No one likes the taste of stale, burnt coffee. Can you upgrade to a Keurig (with reusable pods!) or an espresso machine?

What about how your employees punch in? Are you still doing that on paper? Cut time and costs by using something like Time Clock Wizard.

5. Give Them More Responsibility

Your workers are bored. Studies show that only a third of office workers feel engaged.

And when workers are bored, they’re unmotivated to do even their normal tasks. The best way to re-engage their interest in work? Give them more work.

Show them you trust them enough to work on a special project and watch them feel not only valued, but like they have enough work to do.

6. Send Fewer Emails

Do your employees spend the day writing the perfect email and reading emails that could have easily been just a quick addition to the chat?

A lot of workplaces are investing in an online workplace, or chatroom. You can chat with your coworkers in different channels, based on subjects or departments.

Slack, which is the main brand, has the ability to attach documents to comments and private message people. It’s like sending an email without having to go into the productivity drain that is the modern person’s inbox.

There’s a cost for companies with over a certain number of employees.

If the chatroom aspect isn’t for you, look into project management software. They’re simple interfaces that organize tasks, goals, and sub-tasks.

You can assign people certain aspects of each project and trade documents/comments.

Any way you can make the workplace more efficient will lead to less dead time employees use scrolling Facebook at their desk.

Productivity in the Workplace

If you need more from your employees when it comes to work quality or quantity, the answer might be to give them more resources. You’re not encouraging bad behavior (low production), you’re helping them out of a slump.

Your employees are your company’s most important asset, so treat them that way.

If you invest in them, the productivity in the workplace will be higher than ever.

Interested in more productivity hacks to keep around the office? Click here