In today’s fast-paced and continually changing world, it’s more important than ever to take advantage of the time we do have to be as productive as possible. Often, however, employees and even offices as a whole fall into cycles of unproductivity, or at least aren’t as productive as they could be.
Creating a productive workplace is dependent upon both the individual employees and on the management of the office. Below, we’ll provide the top ways to increase individual employee productivity and workplace productivity.
Signs You May Need to Increase Your Workplace Productivity
Before we dive in to how you can improve, let’s first identify the signs that mean your productivity is suffering in the first place. Common signs/causes of an unproductive workplace include:
- Complaining: If your employees are actively complaining about work, particularly in the workplace, they are not only wasting time but are spreading their negative energy to others. People are more productive when they’re positive or optimistic, so this negative energy should be purged from the workplace.
- Fatigue: If you find your employees sleeping on the job, or even if they just appear drowsy or out of it, they are not being productive during work hours. This could be due to personal reasons, or they could be overworked.
- Messy Desks: An organized workspace equals an organized mind. Messy or chaotic desks can be distracting, and they can also waste time as your employees hunt for what they’re looking for.
- A Drab Work Environment: Nothing can drain a person’s energy quite like a dull and drab environment. If your workplace suffers from gray or otherwise dull walls, try freshening up the space with artwork and bright colors.
- A Micromanaged Office: While you may want to ensure everything is done just as it should be to a T, micromanaging doesn’t help anyone. Both the micromanager and the employees being micromanaged suffer in productivity as a result.
- Lack of Structure: If you find that your office meetings lack structure, this is not only a waste of time in the moment but indicates a lack of structure office-wide.
- Too Much Quiet: Some need silence to focus, but others need a little background noise. If your employees aren’t even allowed to use earbuds while they work, you may be missing out on their greatest levels of productivity.
- Suffering Quality: And, of course, decreasing quality of work definitely indicates lowered productivity and motivation. It may be the fault of the individual employee, but before you jump to any conclusions try the below tips for optimizing workplace productivity and see all the improvements that result.
How to Increase Productivity in the Workplace
When it comes to how to increase productivity, you should tackle it from two different ends: improving workplace productivity as a whole, while also looking to increase individual employee productivity by looking at personal practices and routines.
1. Specifically Assign Tasks and Accountability
Sometimes the reason employees aren’t getting the work done they need to is because they don’t actually know that they’re the one who’s supposed to do it. If tasks are just stated rather than assigned, this can lead to a whole host of miscommunication and incorrect assumptions.
So, specifically assign tasks to specific people. This will not only provide your employee with clarity, but they will also now feel a sense of accountability and ownership over the task.
2. Request Frequent Progress Reports
By having specific and pre-determined checkpoints or progress report dates set up, you will keep your employees feeling motivated and on task. They’ll be less likely to procrastinate and feel the urge to do their work.
3. But Don’t Micromanage!
That said, don’t check in too frequently. As we already stated above, micromanaging will not only harm their productivity, but also your own.
Gamification, or providing rewards for completed work, is a great way to increase motivation and therefore workplace productivity. A little bit of healthy competition or a reward system is a great way to spice up the average workday.
5. Set Realistic Tasks, Goals, and Timelines
In addition to signing specific tasks, it’s also important to assign realistic ones. There’s no quicker way to drive an employee to a state of unproductivity than by giving them an unrealistic and overwhelming amount of work.
6. Set Up a Rotating Schedule
Doing the same tasks over and over for a 40 hour work week can quickly grow banal. Setting up rotating shifts for different tasks and responsibilities can help keep the mind fresh.
7. Use Technology as an Aid—But Not a Replacement
Technology is a great way to take some of the pressure off your work team. Allow software to do some of the grunt work, and set up group messaging boards for quick and easy communication. Do not let this virtual communication become a distraction, however, and do not replace important in-person meetings.
8. Enforce Breaks
Lastly, make sure your employees are taking all their scheduled breaks. The mind needs a bit of a reboot after working for a few hours. Getting up from the desk and away from work is a great way to do this. A good practice is for your employees to take 15 minutes every two or three hours.
How to Increase Individual Employee Productivity
Now that we’ve listed the best practices to make your overall workplace more productive, here’s a quick list of things you can do to become more productive yourself as well as impart to your employees.
- Do Your Hardest Work During the Time of Day When You Feel Most Productive
- Get Enough Sleep
- Make Reasonable To-Do Lists for the Next Day
- Keep Your Workspace Clean
- Exercise During Lunch/Breaks
- Don’t Multitask—Focus on the Task at Hand
- Eliminate Distractions—Put that Phone Away!
How Atlas Staffing Can Increase Your Workplace Productivity
Atlas Staffing can not only provide you with excellent and driven employees, we can also ensure your workplace is functioning as smoothly and productively as possible. Through our experience in coaching and consulting, we will evaluate the operations of your office and train you on how to increase productivity so that your business can thrive.
To take advantage of all the services Atlas Staffing has to offer, please contact us online, or call at us at any of our offices in the Pacific Northwest.