It’s no secret that employee productivity lies at the center of any successful organization. Yet many companies struggle to get the most out of their employees, and in the worst cases, suffer high turnover rates and fail to retain valuable talent.
So how can companies ensure that their employees are always doing their very best work? The answer lies in the individual wellness and happiness of employees in the workplace. With this principle in mind, let’s examine five key areas that every manager, supervisor, and CEO should consider when investigating how to improve employee productivity.
1. Consider alternative work styles
Each of your employees is unique and will find different work environments to be more suitable than others. Of course, many staff members would prefer to do their work while enjoying a tropical getaway in a beach side villa, but you can’t please everyone!
Fortunately, there are ways you can ease the rigid workplace conventions of yesteryear and offer alternative work styles to employees that may be better suited to take advantage of them.
Structure the day differently for different staff members
Rather than abide by a strict company-wide schedule, you may consider offering flexible working hours to your employees. Some of us do our very best work early in the morning. Encourage those employees to start their workday sooner, and perhaps even provide snacks and coffee as a reward for those who are early to rise.
For employees who aren’t “morning people,” it may be best to start and end the work day later. Evaluate your options to make room for people with different productivity cycles. Even a half hour can make a difference!
Remote working hours can significantly increase employee productivity
A 2013 Stanford study showed that employees who were allowed to work remotely saw a 13% performance increase. That’s not an insignificant number, considering the potential this has to increase employee productivity overtime! Numerous studies have followed, confirming the increased productivity of remotely working employees. Why?
An employee in a traditional office may be subject to many distractions they wouldn’t otherwise deal with at home. Loud conversations from other coworkers and impromptu meetings are among the many office occurrences that may disrupt an employee’s work flow throughout the day.
Working remotely is an increasingly popular solution in modern workplaces around the world. In fact, according to data from the US Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics, there was a 159% increase in employees working remotely from 2005-2017.
Take employee feedback seriously
Consider how you can rearrange work schedules for all employees based on their feedback. If there’s any wiggle room that won’t compromise the operations of the company as a whole, demonstrate your willingness to trust your employees to do their best work on their own terms. Speaking of trust…
2. Give employees more responsibility
Do your employees seem unmotivated? Delegating tasks to qualified employees is a great way to show them that your confidence in their ability to do good work and succeed, which is a form of positive reinforcement and boosts morale.
Employee productivity is rooted in responsibility and trust. Delegating, rather than micromanaging, is crucial to creating a functional and efficient workplace. Learning to let go and let your employees do their work independently can go a long way in making them take ownership of their work and increase the quality of their output.
Increasing responsibility motivates staff
Staff members will feel valued and respected when they are given additional responsibility. This increases their motivation and willingness to work hard to ensure they handle this new responsibility effectively.
Of course, we are much more likely to do our best work when we want to do it, rather than when we simply have to. Giving staff responsibility that challenges them is a great way to inspire them to achieve more than they have in the past.
Company growth depends on employee growth
Trusting your employees to do their best work and challenging them with new responsibility grows their skill set and provides them the opportunity to advance their own careers. Beyond that, their increased skill set will directly impact the success and growth of the company as a whole.
Companies that stagnate tend to have high turnover rates and lose employees more quickly than they can be replaced. Having a workplace environment that is centered on reasonable challenges and employees’ personal growth will ensure the continued sustainability of your company.
3. Set realistic goals and expectations
A hugely important aspect of how to improve employee productivity lies in setting clear expectations and goals from the outset. Fortunately, modern technology and software are great resources for giving your employees the easiest and most common-sense metrics for how to do their jobs effectively and to the standard that is expected of them.
Productivity and project management software like Hubstaff, Trello, and Slack are all great ways in improve communication and the ease with which employees can collaborate and clearly measure their level of progress. Consider having brief training sessions for employees to acquaint themselves with these tools in order to ensure they know how to use them effectively.
Simple solutions work too!
Something as basic as a checklist of tasks for the day can help employees track their progress and boost their productivity significantly. Encourage employees to make their own checklists as a way to increase their own responsibility and ownership of their work.
Prioritize important tasks
Emphasize company priorities so staff members know exactly what matters most. Clear priorities increase team cohesiveness and give each employee a clear picture of what drives the company as a whole. Having clear priorities ensures your company meets its most important obligations while helping your employees to manage their time as effectively as possible.
4. Get the right tools to improve employee productivity
Of course, anyone who knows how to increase employee productivity will know that employees can’t work in uncomfortable conditions, or without the tools they need to do their jobs. This may seem like an obvious point but cramped, walled-in traditional office spaces can have a tremendously negative impact on employee productivity.
Use ergonomic chairs and standing desks
Sitting in uncomfortable chairs with bad posture for hours at a time has been repeatedly shown to have not only immediate effects, but long-term detrimental impacts on human health. Healthy, happy employees are productive employees!
Standing desks like the Autonomous SmartDesk are a popular modern solution to the plague of sitting motionless at a desk for hours on end. Giving your employees the option to stand and work can increase their blood flow, boost their energy levels, and help keep them focused and on task throughout the day.
Proper lumbar support is also critical for employees who prefer to work sitting down, and the Autonomous Kin Chair and ErgoChair 2 are two affordable and industry-leading ergonomic office chairs that keep you seated and comfortable while ensuring you get the support you need to prevent painful back problems.
Arrange office furniture to increase openness and collaboration
Effective teamwork is a critical piece in the puzzle of how to improve employee productivity. Try arranging office furniture in a way that allows employees to easily access all the tools available to them, as well as work with each other in a shared space without walls separating them.
Moving away from cubicles and towards more collaborative spaces has been a defining characteristic of the world’s most advanced and cutting-edge companies transforming the landscape of modern workplaces.
One way to make your workplace more collaborative and infinitely flexible is by encouraging everyone to move around and change things up. Put everything on wheels! This allows furniture to be easily rearranged depending on the changing needs of a dynamic workplace.
The SmartDesk Executive from Autonomous increases employee productivity with a unique 120° curved shape that allows for easy access to everything at arm’s length. They can also be arranged in different shapes and patterns, allowing coworkers to work together easily.
Keep workplace conditions comfortable
Beyond the office furniture, factors such as natural light and comfortable temperatures (between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit) will keep your employees cozy and comfortable, reducing time spent walking around to grab a spare jacket or turn on an electric fan.
5. How to increase employee productivity? Increase employee happiness!
Happy employees are hardworking employees.
When your employees can work flexibly in a style that suits them uniquely, they’ll produce one-of-a-kind results that reflect their very best effort and work ethic.
When your employees are given responsibility and feel challenged, they’ll take charge of their work and take pride in what they do.
When your employees have clear expectations and goals, they’ll know how to prioritize their work and produce the best results.
When your employees are healthy and comfortable, they’ll live happy and balanced lives, and do better work that benefits the long-term health of the company.
The bottom line
keeping your employees happy will keep them at your company longer, increase the quality of their work, and dramatically increase employee productivity!
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