• Brian Trimble

Five Ways to Increase Office Productivity


Growing your business entails building a team who can do the heavy lifting for you and handles the day-to-day operations. With the right team, you have more time to focus on the core aspects of your business.


But what happens if tasks are piling up and the team is not meeting deadlines?


Reprimanding the team may not be the answer to this problem. Having low productivity in your workplace does not necessarily mean you hired the wrong people.


There are many other reasons why your employees’ productivity level is waning. Most common reasons are workplace stress, lack of focus, lack of motivation, and burn out among others.


Here are five ways to increase office productivity and get the most out of your employees:


1. Set Realistic Goals and Prioritize Tasks

Higher productivity requires focus, so you need to break the habit of multitasking. Train your employees to prioritize tasks and give their full attention to one task at a time.


Encourage them to create a to-do list before the start of each day. Tasks should be narrowed down to the most important ones they can realistically accomplish for the day. Checking off tasks that they’ve accomplished will give them a sense of fulfillment.


Provide support by giving them clear and realistic goals. Having clear goals and expectations allow them to be more organized and productive.


2. Improve Employee Morale and Job Satisfaction

Cultivate a sense of fulfillment in your employees. You need to tell them when they’re doing a good job. Let the others know the success of one employee to encourage them to do the same.


Offer incentives for a job well done. The incentives don’t have to be expensive but enough to give them a reason to get excited to do more. Offering a free lunch can go a long way.


Delegate tasks appropriately. Assign the right task to the right person, with the right amount of supervision along the way.


Build their confidence and skills through coaching and other forms of training. The more trained your employees are, the less time they’ll spend figuring out how to accomplish a task.


Encourage, reward, delegate, and build confidence to increase employee productivity.


3. Reduce Workplace Distractions

One of the major effects of distractions is productivity loss. According to CareerBuilder, some of the biggest productivity killers in the workplace are mobile phones/texting, the internet, workplace gossiping, and social media.


While these productivity killers exist in the workplace, it is more sensible to manage them than to stop them.


You can help employees stay on task by allowing them to take short breaks to check their phones, browse the internet and social media, or chit chat with each other. Taking short breaks "retunes” their brains and keeps them more focused throughout the day.


Discuss the break schedule with your employees and get their commitment on it. Manage their expectations and concerns.


4. Provide the Right Tools and Equipment

Having the right tools and equipment allows your employees to complete their tasks efficiently and in a shorter time. This gives them time and opportunities to do more and scale up their capabilities.


Equipment and tools vary from computers, printers, and photocopiers to software applications for business presentations, reports, data analysis, and more.


These office tools and equipment are the backbone of your business processes. They create a huge difference not only to the productivity of your team but also to how your company is perceived.


Don’t let the lack of correct equipment weigh your company down. Make sure you keep up with the changing times by investing in tools and equipment that can improve the productivity and efficiency of your employees.


5. Cultivate a Positive Workplace Environment

A good workplace environment involves both the physical settings and social atmosphere. These two main elements can have a great impact on productivity, employee engagement, team collaboration, and employee well-being.


The physical environment consists of the office layout and design, air quality and indoor temperature, lighting, and noise conditions. There are ways to improve the physical environment in your workplace.


● Think about ergonomics when designing your office layout. Consider the needs of your employees and business.

● Urge employees to keep their workstations clean and uncluttered. Allow them to personalize their area with a photo or their child’s drawing at their desk or cubicle.

● Provide lounges for employees to take a rest during the day.

● Use an air conditioning system that workers can adjust instead of a central system. This gives employees a sense of control over their work environment.

● Promote a quiet work environment. Encourage employees to put their mobile phones in silent mode and talk softly both on the phone and when communicating face-to-face with each other.


For more, check out Planwell Strategies.


Aside from the physical environment, you also need to work on the social atmosphere. The social atmosphere is composed of: interactions between employees, levels of management support and recognition, processes and procedures, and the company culture as a whole.


Promoting a positive social atmosphere produces a cohesive and unified team that conveys a mutual sense of respect, trust, and support. Here are some ways that help:


● Encourage collaboration and communication by including employees in appropriate email chains and meetings.

● Create a dedicated channel that allows team members to exchange ideas on a specific project.

● Post priorities, achievements, and inspiring notes in a public workspace that is visible to everyone like a bulletin board or a web-based application.

● Do regular check-ins.

● Organize small social events like team lunches, outings, and group charity programs.

● Develop a strong work ethic among employees through setting clear goals and objectives, proper mentoring, and instilling discipline and professionalism.


Conclusion

Maintaining a high level of employee productivity is possible with your continuous proactive efforts. An overall team strategy and action plan that puts employees first is a must. This includes considering how best to deliver and communicate it to your team.


Lastly, you need to start the changes with yourself and set good examples in order to succeed.

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