The average rate of productivity in the workplace is said to have improved slightly in the past year, according to the Department of Labor (DoL). However, many organizations are still challenged in this area. For instance, another survey by Salary.com found that 89 percent of employees waste time each day, with some losing at least 30 minutes by doing non-related work tasks.
When it comes to increasing worker efficiency, several factors from health and sleep patterns to office design and desk plants have been said to influence it. Year over year though, a few hacks have continued to prove effective in boosting office productivity.
1. Take Control of Technology
Several studies have shown that technology can boost worker productivity, but only when used effectively. One example of effective technology usage is to save time. For example, implementing wireless presentation software can open up time that was once wasted on setting up meetings, implementing digital signage that sends your conference room calendar to all of your interactive displays can help increase meeting room attendance, and using video conferencing can save you from traveling across the globe.
The key is to guide and control how certain technologies are used to create engagement and avoid distraction. For example, online collaboration tools allow workers to share, proofread, and edit projects in real-time from anywhere, accelerating the entire process. However, relying on them too much or using them unnecessarily can decrease efficiency. Organizations need to find the balance that works best for them.
2. Set Performance Goals and Track them
One basic factor that can hurt productivity is that employees simply don’t know what is expected from them. When organizations give their employees specific, clear and realistic goals, it can help boost motivation and competition. This is especially true when individuals are rewarded or recognized publicly for meeting and exceeding goals. In fact, not recognizing achievement is the number one reason that people leave their jobs. Companies can even increase engagement by tracking and gamifying performance milestones. Several online applications and programs like GamEffective can help track productivity and transform it into a game or employee engagement tools like OfficeVibe, that can engage your employees in less than 5 minutes a month.
3. Measure Productivity Consistently
Every business is unique, which means that not every productivity tool or policy will produce substantial results. This is one reason why establishing a consistent method of measurement is essential.
Another, perhaps more important reason, is that it creates the opportunity for company leaders to give employees meaningful feedback and to receive feedback from them. Measuring efficiency in your office should be designed in a way that helps employees grow personally and professionally.
4. Let them Work from Home, Occasionally
The Harvard Business Review published results from a study on Chinese travel company, Ctrip’s remote workers. The company compared the efficiency of employees allowed to work from home to in-office employees for a nine month period. It found that the at-home workers made 13.5 percent more calls per week on average than their in-office counterparts.
The study claimed that giving employees a break from the daily monotony of their workstations, meeting rooms, and huddle spaces can actually boost happiness and productivity. It wasn’t that the at-home group worked harder than the on-site one. It was all about having flexibility. Maintaining a healthy balance between on-site and remote options can increase overall performance.
Employees are the driving force behind every organization’s success. With so many devices and gadgets, they can easily lose focus and fall behind. Organizations that take control of their office environment and engage workers are the ones that will maintain increased productivity and growth year after year.