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Productivity

Via Business 2 Community : Ways to Increase Productivity in the Workplace

Productivity is all linked with your employees’ satisfaction levels. Your employees are your backbone and their performance levels are what you should always keep in mind. Because they can either make or break your business in the long run.

Their happiness levels are going to reflect their work and their productivity, which eventually will make your organization grow. However, if you see that the productivity levels of your employees are decreasing with time, then you might want to make changes in your work culture.

Here are a few simple tips on how you can increase productivity in your workplace.

8 Effective tips to maximize productivity

1. Always Delegate

There is always this question if your employees are assigned the right task. Somehow if your employees end up doing a task which they are not proficient in, it might hamper their morale and productivity. They will find the job overwhelming and will not be able to achieve their targets.

However, as a manager, if you delegate your employees and guide them towards the right task, then they are most likely to be successful in what they do. With the right job in hand, your employees’ productivity will rise, and there will be a rise in their morale.

2. Reducing Distractions

With the rise of social media platforms, it has become evident that it consumes much of everyone’s time. These social media platforms also become productivity killers in an organization. And in the long run, it can cause harm to your business.

However, to reduce the use of social media and decrease distractions, limit their use during office hours. But do keep in mind to provide periodic breaks so that your employees do not feel that you are controlling their personal life. This way, you will be able to maintain a balance between social media use and an employees’ productivity.

3. Providing the right tools and equipment

Providing the right tools and equipment is vital if you want to increase the productivity of your employees. You don’t want your employees to be stuck with all the manual paperwork or doing small scale jobs, which can be automated. Instead, incorporate a system that is going to help them swiftly wrap up such tasks.

Right tools make a huge difference not only when it comes to your employees, but it also helps the organization in quickly achieving tasks, which in the extended run increases productivity, efficiency and increases their skill level.

4. Work Environment

The work environment which you provide will play a crucial factor in your employees’ productivity. Our immediate surrounding and workplace environment has a significant impact on the state of our minds. Some of the parameters which determine your employees’ productivity are the design of the workplace, company values, leadership styles, and a lot more.

You need to be able to create a positive work environment where your employees can focus. An environment where everyone is comfortable and works on collaborating. This will help you a lot, in the long run, as your employees will be able to increase their productivity and enhance their performance.

5. Breaks in a busy Schedule

We get it; the corporate world right now is too busy with all the changes that are going on. Along with that, every employee in an organization is occupied with numerous amount of tasks, which is creating significant disruption in the work-life balance.

However, as a manager, you can change that. Giving your employees a much-needed break from a busy schedule will help them regroup physically and psychologically. This will also showcase that you are being a good leader for them and understanding their needs. You are giving them the time needed to have a fresh start, eventually increasing their productivity and helping their overall morale.

6. Employee Satisfaction

While we ponder upon how to achieve a business strategy, we often tend to forget about our employees. Always try to remember that your employees are your backbone, and they are the ones that can guide you and your business towards success. And to gain loyalty from them, you must heed upon their satisfaction levels.

To increase their satisfaction levels, it is essential that you understand what they want from the job and which task will suit them. Placing them in the right department and giving them the right job will enhance their productivity. Not only that, but it will also help them concentrate and become proficient in what they work on.

7. Perks that Matter

The perks that your organization has to provide play a significant part in increasing productivity. Perks and awards should be meaningful and tangible. It should never be impractical. An employee should be able to make good use of the perks that you have to provide.

Perks like flexible work schedules, paid holidays, remote working, financial assistance, and much more. These will not only help them ease their overall stress but is likely going to increase their work efficiency and productivity in the long run. And one bonus of providing good perks is that it will build loyalty and reduce turnover.

8. Fun Work Space

A workplace can sometimes become dull, stressful, and dreary places. This not only hinders employees’ performances, but it also reduces employee productivity. So, what can you do to avoid such situations?

Creating a workplace where employees can have some time off for fun activities is always a good idea. Installing a ping-pong table or a room to have a friendly chat or maybe a room full of just board games are some of the good ideas which you can adapt to. When you add fun along with work, you see decreased levels of burnout and increased levels of productivity.

Summing it Up

Employee engagement is all linked with your employees’ productivity levels. The more productive they become, the better they perform, which is a good sign in terms of taking the organization forward. Once you can provide all the necessary tools and facilities for your employees, you will see an engaged workforce who are not only productive but are efficient with their work. So, try to elevate your efforts in increasing the productivity of your employees and see the positive result it bears.

Via Forbes : 3 Unconventional Leadership Strategies For Boosting Workplace Productivity

In the future world of work, companies are poised to become more productive than ever before, with advances in technology and efficiency changing the way much of business is run.

Yet, even as certain aspects of tomorrow’s corporate world become unrecognizable to today’s leaders, one thing will stay the same: An organization’s success will remain irrevocably tied to the productivity of its human workers.

Thus, it is vital for leaders to develop strategies to keep their workers engaged and productive in a world of increasing distractions. Besides the well-known solutions, such as allowing for flexible hours and reducing the onslaught of emails, here are three innovative ways that leaders can boost their team’s productivity now and for years to come.

Advocate for ‘Deep Work’

It probably will not surprise leaders to learn that multitasking and task-switching can drain productivity. What might surprise them is just how drastic the costs are. Research estimates it takes 23 minutes to recover from a single distraction, leading shifting between tasks to reduce an individual’s productivity by as much as 40%. According to Atlassian, the average employee checks their email 36 times in a single hour and spends just three minutes working on a task before switching — ultimately dedicating two hours, or 25% of the workday, solely to recovering their attention.

To counter this, leaders can encourage their employees to practice “deep work,” wherein one eliminates every distraction, including phone or computer notifications, in order to focus wholly on a single task. The concept was popularized by Cal Newport, a computer science professor at Georgetown and author of a book by the same name. Leaders should not only promote this behavior, but model it, as well, thereby allowing both them and their employees to achieve more in less time. As Bruce Daisley wrote in the Wall Street Journal: “Even setting aside 90 minutes of focus once or twice a week can be astonishingly productive.”

Other ways to stoke deep focus include declaring certain days or times free from meetings, or hosting group productivity sprints through tools such as Teamodoro. Furthermore, when holding meetings, leaders should ban cell phones to help participants stay focused. Research indicates prohibiting phones from the space entirely, rather than allowing participants to turn them face down on the table, is more effective. “Your conscious mind isn’t thinking about your smartphone, but the process of requiring yourself to not think about something uses up some of your limited cognitive resources,” one researcher explained to the Journal. “It’s a brain drain.”

Liven Up the Office

Though the majority of conversations on productivity focus on individual behavior and workplace culture, leaders should also examine their physical workspace, as altering its setup can have dramatic effects. Academic research, for example, has suggested that the following in-office elements could lead to greater productivity.

  • Plants: A University of Exeter study found that enriching a spartan office with plants could boost productivity by as much as 15%. “[I]nvesting in landscaping the office with plants will pay off through an increase in office workers’ quality of life and productivity,” said Marlon Nieuwenhuis, the lead researcher.
  • Pets: According to a study from Virginia Commonwealth University, dog owners experience significantly less stress when permitted to bring their pets to work. (While the direct effect of dogs on worker productivity was mixed, the fact that stress inhibits productivity is well-documented.)
  • Colors: In the course of her research, Nancy Kwallek, a professor at the University of Texas, discovered that one of the most common office colors is not conducive to productivity. “White doesn’t help us be productive,” she told Fast Company. “There have been studies that asked worker preference about environment and color, and the majority felt they liked to work in a blue or blue-green environment.”
  • Warmer temperatures: Overly air-conditioned offices can reduce the productivity of women, according to a study from the University of Southern California. “[E]ven if as a business you only care about profit and productivity, you should take the comfort of your workers into account, as it will affect the bottom line,” explained researcher Tom Chang.
  • Natural light: Research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine revealed that workers without access to windows scored lower on vitality and sleep quality, both of which could lead to reductions in productivity.
  • Multiple screens: One low-cost change for leaders to implement would be additional computer screens for workers. A University of Utah study found that multiple screens can increase productivity and reduce time spent toggling back and forth.

On the other hand, one thing that hinders productivity is the open office. Studies have shown this modern design can reduce face-to-face interaction and cause distracting noise pollution. (As I have written about before, however, completely open offices will likely see a significant decline in popularity in the future.)

Offer Robust Family Benefits

Millennials, who are now the largest generation in the workforce, also comprise the vast majority of new parents. More than 1 million millennial women become mothers each year, accounting for 82% of new births. This means that family concerns — as well as work-life balance — are at the forefront of their minds. A survey from Care.com found that “89% of working parents want family care benefits, yet 81% say their employers don’t offer any and 60% say their companies don’t appear to care about their child care needs.” Smart leaders will quickly remedy this issue, noting that 41% of the working parents surveyed said “the lack of family assistance-related benefits has hurt their work performance.”

“Our research shows a direct correlation between family care benefits and workplace productivity, as well as employee recruitment and retention,” said Care.com’s Donna Levin. “By recognizing the juggling act of parenting and work, and providing benefits like backup child care, employers have a huge opportunity to not only reduce employee absenteeism, but ultimately, increase workplace productivity too.” It makes sense: When workers do not have to search for child care or worry about taking time off to tend to a sick parent, they will be more productive.

One example of the relationship between family benefits and productivity can be found in California, which began mandating paid family leave in 2004. “After California established the law, we began to notice that our employees who took time off when a new baby arrived or when a serious illness struck were less stressed,” said one human resources director. “Less stressed workers mean more productive workers. We want to see all of our employees thriving in the same way as their Californian counterparts.”

No matter where a business is located, which industry it serves, and how it changes in the future, maximizing employee productivity will continue to be of paramount importance. Ultimately, most of the leadership advice boils down to a simple principle: Give employees the time, space, and support to do their best work. “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled,” said Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox Corporation. “Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”

Via Propmodo : Workplace Engagement Comes With Less Distractions, Not More

Social media has given us a long list of new words. Selfie, dox, DMs, IRL, ratioed, none of these existed before the internet era. Social platforms have also changed our perception of existing words as well. To share, like, block or comment on something has a different meaning in the virtual world than in the real one. It seems this same transformation has happened to the word “engagement”. When we think of engagement now we casually define it as how many people decided to interact with our content as they continue their never-ending scroll through their various feeds.

But the term engagement has been around in the workplace for much longer than Facebook and MySpace. Managers have been using it to define how committed someone is to their work. An “engaged employee” is defined as someone who is fully absorbed and enthusiastic about their work. It coincides with a positive attitude towards their organization and its values. In contrast, a disengaged employee may range from someone doing the bare minimum at work, to an employee who is actively damaging the company’s work output and reputation.

But for some reason, most of the talk about workplace engagement recently has been about engaging employees’ social lives, not their work lives. WeWork might be partially to blame for this. They turned heads both with their growth and their focus on community. By offering extracurricular activities such as networking events and connecting their clients with outside services they were able to provide extra incentives for office workers that would normally never have these perks available to them. But, as the world is finding out, what gig workers and startups want is not the same thing as what the rest of the world’s office workers want.

It turns out that, more than anything, most people want to do their job better and go home. This came out in a recent report by Cohesion that showed, behind the actual physical amenities of the building, office workers want “technologies that allow you to be more productive in your office building, such as handling visitor management, maintenance requests, parking and food ordering.”

Thru Shivakumar is the CEO of Cohesion, which offers a building experience app as a component of their intelligent building SaaS platform. She presented at our recent event during New York City Real Estate Tech Week about her company’s survey of office workers and how workplace engagement has everything to do with productivity.

Productivity being the most important metric of engagement makes sense to almost any of us that have worked in an office environment. While there might be that one person in the office that is always trying to get everyone to hang out after work, most of us are just looking to get back to our busy lives after our work is finished. So, even though the internet has taught us that being engaged is the same as being entertained when it comes to offices, engagement should be interpreted as productive.

Still, technology can provide more than entertainment or distraction in the workplace. When it’s designed and implemented in the right way, it can improve engagement by increasing productivity in the workplace. Similar to social media, it all starts with connectivity. However, in the workplace it’s about using technology to connect people seamlessly to each other, but also to the places, spaces, systems, assets and resources of their office building.

The owners of one of the winners of IBCON’s most intelligent buildings awards, Chicago’s 151 North Franklin Street, feels the same way. Nick Covello, Chief Information Officer at the John Buck Company said, “We believe in providing our tenants with proven technology solutions that will enable them to be productive and optimally interact with the building teams, and all available amenities and services.” They use an app built by Cohesion to seamlessly connect their tenants, buildings and its systems in a single platform. This helps the technologies that they are adopting create less distractions for their tenants, not more.

In the digital world, where attention is the most precious form of currency, engagement takes on a connotation of distraction. Every time someone clicks on a link, visits a website or even has a piece of content pop up on their feeds it is considered engagement. The workplace is quite the opposite. When a workplace is engaging its user, when it is really performing well, people are able to focus on their jobs without distraction. An engaging workplace demands less of a worker’s time, not more.

Via Occupational Health & Safety : Five Ways That Natural Light Improves Productivity in the Workplace

Natural light in the workplace affects a number of health aspects like mood, sleep, vitamin D levels, and eye health–and it heightens productivity levels.

Natural light and views of the outdoors are among the most highly-sought workplace perks, according to a study carried out by HR advisory firm, Future Workplace. This same study also revealed that employees sitting closer to windows are more likely to show up for work, and have increased productivity throughout the day compared to those sitting under artificial light.

Find out just how natural light improves productivity in the workplace.

Mood enhancement

Natural light improves your mood. Those impacted by Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) will be familiar with the shift in their frame of mind when the shorter days and darker evenings set in. The reason for this is likely related to the affect that light has on the hypothalamus in the brain, which influences the body’s internal clock and the production of melatonin and serotonin.

Those who are not exposed to a good amount of natural light are more likely to see a drop in their mood, and potentially—as a consequence—their productivity. The same Workplace Wellness study by Future Workplace also found that 38 percent of employees lose 60 minutes of time when their emotional wellness is suffering.

Creativity

Many of those who work in the arts—whether this be writing, painting, singing or other—would agree that natural light is imperative for stimulating creativity. In fact, Irish author George Bernard Shaw was known for commissioning the construction of a well-lit ‘writer’s hut’, which boasted a mechanical turn table inside. The purpose of the table was to move it according to where the light moved, so he would always be exposed to natural light while he wrote.

To take a leaf from Shaw’s book, so to speak, consider the fact that the creativity and productivity of your workforce could vastly be improved with the installation of large windows which would expose employees to as much natural light as possible.

Better Sleep

Another benefit of plenty of natural light is the impact this has on a person’s sleep. A research team at Northwestern University of Chicago concluded that office workers who spent their time below artificial light, with no exposure to natural light, had 46 minutes less sleep than those who worked in an office with windows.

It’s also well-known that more sleep equals higher productivity, because sleep is so important in its restoration of the body and mind. Those who suffer from insomnia often have trouble concentrating, and therefore cannot be as productive as a well-rested person.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for good health in humans. Natural light is the chief provider of Vitamin D, and those who do not have access to enough natural sunlight can often find that they develop a deficiency. A Vitamin D deficiency can cause problems with bones, teeth, and muscles—all of which can go on to affect other areas of health.

In the workplace, employees who suffer from Vitamin D deficiency may encounter problems with health, which can then go on to impact their productivity. Good overall health and nutrition is needed to boost a person’s ability to concentrate and apply all their efforts to the task at hand.

Eye health

Research undertaken by Professor Alan Hedge at Cornell University in 2017 revealed that office workers reported a 51 percent drop in eyestrain, and a 63 percent drop in headaches, as a result of more exposure to natural light. Eyestrain and headaches can be attributed to a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS), which is said to effect 70 million employees across the globe. CVS could potentially be significantly abated with the introduction of more natural light in the workplace.

In regards to employee productivity, fewer instances of eyestrain and eye-related headaches are likely to decrease the number of breaks an employee needs to take away from the screen. Plus, improved eye health will enable them to better concentrate on their work and maintain a good production rate.

Considering the significant impacts that such a simple thing as natural light can have on a workforce, it is clear that employers should try to achieve this in their workplace if possible. In addition to the productivity and health benefits, remember that natural light is by far the cheaper option for lighting your office in comparison to artificial light.

Via Business : How to Increase Productivity at Your Workplace

By implementing these 9 changes, your business can improve employee productivity.

People usually have a dedicated workspace or office because they find they work much more efficiently without the distractions of home. In some circumstances, it also allows for a better work/life balance, as the home is for family life and downtime, whereas the office is purely a place for work. Working from home can often blur these lines.

Office spaces can – and ideally should – be crafted to improve the productivity of each individual employee, by designing the workplace better. An article in Inc. mentions that practical office design solutions tend to help workers focus more.

However, functional design is only one-half of the equation. Businesses also need to include a methodology for helping workers find mental peace. The modern world is increasingly hectic, and workers that have their minds focused on other things can’t function at peak performance levels. Companies can incorporate several things, both in their design, and to promote positive office culture, to help their employees enjoy their jobs. Here we explore some of the measures that businesses can put in place to help their employees be more productive.

Build off the company’s mission

A mission statement, as Shopify informs us, is a pure expression of a company’s existence. The business’s purpose, however, doesn’t always translate well to the employee’s goal of doing his or her job. By incorporating the company’s mission into the everyday workings of an office, a business can promote its reason for existing alongside what it needs from its hires. Harvard Business Review notes that when employees have a sense of purpose, they are usually far more productive. Individual goals tend to allow for more self-motivation in getting work done.

Incorporate individual and collective achievements

Employees are individuals, but most companies seem to overlook this fact. As a business grows, it’s unlikely that individuals remain working by themselves. When projects scale up, work teams need to do the same to cope with the workload. As the company has already given employees their own sense of purpose, the next step is to bring individuals together to provide a working environment that focuses on the overall goals of the business. However, these goals also help individuals pinpoint the targets they need to achieve from a specific project.

Collective achievements can only be obtained if everyone is mature in how they approach the project. A company that’s operating on a team-based system needs to have project planning in place so that everyone is aware of what others are doing. Alongside project planning, weekly meetings that help employees pinpoint their short-term goals can keep the system moving and offer milestones that motivate employees. Finally, feedback among team members is essential. The marketing agency Distilled mentions that it considers feedback to be the most critical factor in creating a good team. Without proper feedback, communication suffers and causes the entire team to fail.

Include psychological cues to boost work productivity

Psychology has shown several ways in which the things that surround an employee could affect his or her mental state. To this end, a business could consider using these psychological cues to help employees increase their focus. Among the elements that a company can incorporate include:

  • Music. A study in the Journal of Consumer Research mentioned that music at around 60-70 decibels created a more conducive environment for people working on both monotonous and creative tasks.
  • Plants. The New University of Technology Sydney stated that plants may have a beneficial effect on the mental state of employees within an office environment.
  • Lighting. Interior lighting can have a significant effect on the mood of individuals within an office space, according to designer Stanley Felderman, as quoted in a blog post for The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School.

Change the background a bit

Office work can be dreary. It doesn’t matter if you’re working out of a cubicle, or have an office rental in Sydney, eventually changing the scenery is necessary to get productivity to its peak level. Changing landscape doesn’t necessarily mean offering an employee a chance to work from home for one or two days. It can be achieved by making the break more inviting or by creating “living nooks” around the office that offer something better than a desk and chair to get work done on. Some employees are far better at working on a couch than in a cubicle.

Encourage employees to help each other

Human beings are social animals, and ever since they existed in tribes, the natural inclination is towards helping others. Proof Hub notes that collaboration helps to make a company more efficient and gives a more equitable distribution of work across all segments. Collaboration takes multiple methodologies, including brainstorming, cross-document collaboration, or picking up projects where other employees get stranded. Additionally, this sort of partnership fosters teamwork and a more united attitude towards the job.

Offer workers the tools they require

Modern workplaces can provide a wide array of the necessary equipment to get work done. Software is a prominent part of this structure. Most companies have an inventory of computers that are loaded with the software they want their employees to use. Keeping these assets up to date ensures that employees can get the job done when they need to. Updating hardware and software also means ensuring that these updates are timely.

It can be tempting to give employees more software than they need on a system, especially if the employee is a multi-tasker. Instead of it helping the situation, it could lead to the employee getting sidetracked on jobs and responsibilities that are not theirs. Keeping workstations focused can help to keep employees fixed on a project as well.

Don’t forget to take a timeout

Business Insider mentioned that breaks fuel better productivity in employees. The tipping point, according to work done by the Draugiem Group, is around 52 minutes of work to 17 minutes of rest time. The most critical element mentioned in the study was that these 17 minutes needed to be spent away from the computer for it to have a better effect on the employee. Relocating to a new room or a water cooler would be an ideal method for implementing these breaks. To keep fit and help to exercise some muscles, employees could consider taking that 17-minute break to stretch a bit.

Make achievements public and celebrate them

While some employees aren’t a fan of having their work celebrated, doing so helps them to see that their work is appreciated. The Houston Chronicle recommends developing an employee recognition program that outlines the benefits the employee has presented to the company. Celebrating achievements offers employees the chance to enjoy the fruits of their labor in the short term. The achievement might not be an essential goal, but it does constitute a milestone. It is important to remember that this celebration needs to be genuine, or else the feeling it gives to an employee could be compromised by the sense of insincerity.

Appreciation is the key to productivity

A productive office doesn’t need a lot to maintain its efficiency. The workers are a competent bunch, and with the right incentives and celebration of their successes, the company culture can fuel even higher productivity. Office design contributes to the overall productivity of employees, but companies shouldn’t spend too much time focusing on the physical aspects of their business’s layout. Instead, focus on the creation of a company culture that welcomes all, and celebrates them as people and individuals, not just as cogs within a machine.

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