Strong productivity levels form the foundations of any healthy business. When a company’s workforce is productive, profitability increases, customer services improve, and production costs decrease. But the question of how to increase productivity in the workplace effectively and affordably remains an ongoing debate.
Finding ways to maintain productivity in the workplace differs from maintaining your productivity while working at home. However, from ensuring employees are happy collaborating with co-workers to making sure they have the correct equipment to perform their job, there are many ways to nurture productivity. In this guide, we look at 9 tried and tested techniques that can help increase productivity in the workplace.
Although this may sound counterintuitive, occasional breaks are essential to maintaining productive staff. After all, working too intensely leads to fatigue and burnout. Allowing employees to take a 10 to 15 minute break every few hours is a good idea. This allows them to recharge, clear their minds and feel refreshed when they start working again. Break rooms that contain social seating, tables and a TV could help. Additionally, providing games such as table tennis can allow employees to have fun and unwind during breaks. This can help to keep employees rested, focused and happy, leading to a higher productivity level.
From induction training to refresher courses, training can boost productivity in the workplace. Regular training can also improve and upskill workers, making them feel more valued. Employee confidence and satisfaction are two huge factors that impact individual performance. Providing the ongoing support and training a workforce needs can work to increase both morale and productivity.
While meetings are a necessary part of a productive workplace, being selective is important. This means only scheduling meetings when the subject matter requires people to be physically present is a good idea. Reserve meetings for key strategy discussions and important company announcements. For everything else, ask yourself if the information could be effectively communicated via email. This will allow you to save valuable time that can be spent on improving productivity.
Over 90% of business leaders believe that promoting wellness can improve employee productivity. This is according to a survey by the Health Enhancement Research Organisation (HERO). With this in mind, health classes, subsidised meals and the use of fitness facilities may all improve productivity. This mentality can also ensure fewer employees miss work through sickness and reduce employers’ liability costs.
Setting challenging yet achievable targets can minimise distractions and push employees to focus. In turn, this can help staff find ways to complete tasks efficiently, becoming more productive in the process. From offering financial bonuses to ‘employee of the month’ awards, incentives are a proven method of increasing workplace productivity.
In 2020, research found that employing more freelance staff can improve workplace productivity. According to the study, businesses whose workforce consists of 11% (or more) freelancers get more work done. This research also found that this productivity contributed (on average) an extra £4,669 per year in profits.
In a recent study, 40% of workers claimed improving work environments results in better employee morale, improved focus and increased productivity. By making the workplace a nice place to be, morale and productivity increases. This may involve upgrading old equipment, decorating the office, and/or modernising social areas.
It is a misconception that time-tracking software is used to spy on staff. It is actually most useful when deployed as a tool to make it easier for staff members to plan their day. This software assigns each task a certain time to complete. This gives employees a benchmark to measure their own performance against. It also gives employers a method of assessing how each employee is performing. If changes need to be made to improve productivity, this software can identify areas for improvements quickly.
An ONS study found a record high 37% of adults worked from home during the pandemic. This report also indicated that productivity among workers improved during lockdown. This was compared to the six months before the pandemic, suggesting that sticking to a rigid office schedule may be detrimental to productivity. Flexibility, on the other hand, can build morale and trust, making employees feel valued by the business. This may lead to a boost in productivity.