As a business leader, improving performance and driving better results are always a major focus of your day to day agenda.
In terms of people and their office productivity, it is important to recognize that every person is different and what motivates one person may not motivate another.
Finding what makes you more productive in the office can take a lot of trial and effort. Here are a few simple and practical ways that you and your executive management team and share with your team that may help get your office productivity up.
A productive office is designed to be efficient. In that regard, the space that each bit of hardware occupies makes it easier and quicker for employees to access it. There is a saying that a cluttered desktop is a sign of an ordered mind.
In a professional workspace, that simply will not do.
Employees should clear up their workspace and have it arranged so that they can find what they need to find immediately. This also makes tasks go quicker because less time and energy is spent searching through the clutter for files.
Personalizing a workspace has long been known to increase the productivity of workers. Keeping items that remind workers of home help to build emotional attachment and keep them motivated throughout the day.
Motivation is a powerful factor in raising office productivity. People tend to be far more dedicated towards tasks for which they are emotionally motivated to complete.
Mark Twain once said, ‘Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.’ When applied to business it means that if you are faced with a list of tough tasks, get the toughest out of the way first.
That way you complete the hardest task and what remains will be easy in comparison. This increases your office productivity by freeing up more time for easier tasks and allowing you to get hard tasks out of the way sooner.
Employees should be encouraged to do their most demanding tasks first in order to raise the overall productivity of the office.
This may be obvious, but sometimes all the tasks you have are of the same or similar importance and at other times one or two tasks stand out as those that NEED to be completed. By continually prioritizing your work throughtout the day and in many cases, eliminating the not-so-important tasks, you are able to more efficiently manage your time.
You can get the most critical stuff done and still have time for less important tasks. Time management is one of the most important subtasks in developing office productivity. By creating a work atmosphere where prioritization is a key factor in a work plan you create an office environment that is more productive overall.
Encourage your employees to take breaks. The human mind and body tends to lose focus after a while fixated on the same topic.
I prefer to do focused work for 50 minutes and then take a 10 minute break before I dive right back into more focused work.
Here is a great video from Dean Jackson that details the concept.
Having communal spaces throughout the office such as meeting rooms or a lunch room allows employees to take a break and get themselves realigned.
Many times, in complex professional disciplines, having a good idea is just a matter of a change of perspective: one that is usually granted by discussing it with someone else. By providing places (ie. breakout or huddle rooms) where this can happen you can increase employee motivation and increase office productivity at the same time.
Office productivity is probably best enhanced by being able to efficiently use your office space so that employees can feel more at home. Less stressful environments have historically been more conducive to work being done. Interview for team and see what they think!
Feel free to reach out to us anytime to discuss your current situation. We partner with various space planning and workplace professionals that can help you generate new thinking and save you time.
Michael Staskiewicz, CCIM is the Managing Principal of Effective Realty Advisors and Founder of EffectiveWorkplace.com. Michael helps innovative, purpose-driven CEOs clarify the strategic plan for a world-class work environment, so they can attract the best talent and reduce voluntary turnover.