Every team leader’s objective is to maximise productivity and performance. Methods used in the past that included one-on-one coaching, incentives, and efforts to rally teams around a collective goal, are being set aside. Leadership is being challenged to step outside the box and get creative: they are now adopting new tools and becoming more in tune with their teams.
The new “norms” at workspace have a powerful impact on office productivity. Improvements in the workplace and small changes have demonstrated positive results.
In order to increase productivity in the office, we have compiled a list of five actionable hacks that have proven to positively impact employee performance.
1. Standing up desks
Studies show that stand up desks increase productivity by 46%. According to CEO of Updowndesk, “Standing not only increases blood circulation, it also stimulates thought processes and reduces discomfort, allowing people to focus on their work. By encouraging more movement and the freedom to switch between sitting and standing, using a stand up desk can have impressive health benefits. Stand up desks appear to help improve mood and energy levels as well”.
Sitting too much is seriously bad for your health–this is a major problem for office workers, who sit for most of the day. Office workers who often sit a lot have shown to increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and early death. Sitting also burns very few calories, contributing towards weight gain and obesity.
2. Setting weekly goals through corroboration.
There are a wide variety of platforms that are now being used to merge the remote workers with the onsite work groups. While many team members communicate regularly throughout the workday, setting weekly goals through corroboration meetings to discuss them has shown that those goals are achieved more often.
Generally, team members don’t want to let anyone down, so they put forth extra effort to meet targets. People who share their goals with a team tend to become more accountable.
Forget the one-on-one; discuss any shortcomings in a positive, open environment as a team; focus on ways to overcome them and move forward. By engaging in weekly goal settings, you ensure that all employees feel they are essential contributors and integral part of the team, providing them personal satisfaction and fulfillment. Increased productivity is a natural progression from that point.
Holding morning stand-up meetings is particularly beneficial—it sets the tone and helps people focus on the priorities of the day.
Re-evaluate your technologies—this includes software for remote workers. Research new technologies that improve communication and productivity. While technology can help businesses function more efficiently, having the wrong ones can significantly impact productivity.
3. “Eating Frogs”
In Brian Tracy’s book, he states; “There’s an old saying that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that it’s probably the worst thing you’ll do all day.”
Applying the term “eating frogs” to productivity simply means tackling the least appealing tasks that are frustrating, difficult, or even undesirable early in the day, so that the rest of your day will be easier, increasing productivity.
Designate some time, perhaps an hour early in the day, for people to work uninterrupted. Ensure there are no meetings scheduled, thereby allowing everyone to dedicate that time to working on their biggest challenge of the day.
4. Work in uninterrupted blocks of time.
Office workers face productivity challenges—offices are full of distractions. From constant meetings to constant interruptions, it can be frustrating for people to find time to dive into their work. This impacts productivity profusely.
While people can adapt to these distractions, they experience higher levels of pressure, frustration, stress, and can’t perform at peak; then they are stressed further to exert more effort to get the job done, ultimately leading to burnout.
Encourage working in uninterrupted blocks of time:
- Allow employees to opt out of meetings if they are not essential.
- Allow employees to not respond to emails or text messages for 1-2 hours per day.
- Unless it’s urgent, stick to a policy of not approaching people who are busy.
5. Maintain work life integration
Maintaining work-life balance has the biggest impact on productivity; people appreciate the mental and emotional benefits it offers. With the absence of commutes and after-hour events resulting from lockdowns and quarantine, companies report that productivity has shown great improvement.
Work-Life Integration is a time-management practice that involves prioritising professional and personal activities vs. dividing the day between work/non-work. This requires the flexibility to resolve personal issues that arise midday and, in exchange, finish work projects in the evenings or on weekends.
One more key point is: Set the standard of leaving on-time. Working long hours only harms productivity.
Your team’s productivity matters now more than ever. Build passion. Empower them to focus on building your business. Jon Bon Jovi said it best; “Nothing is as important as passion. No matter what you want to do with your life, be passionate.”