8 Big and Small Tricks for Boosting Workplace Productivity
The results of a FranklinCovey study in 2014 probably (and unfortunately) do not surprise you; study respondents said that more than 40 percent of their time at work is wasted on tasks that are inconsequential. As a result, these workers lose motivation and some of their emotional connection to a business. Don’t let that happen to you. The trick to boost workplace productivity at your business lies partly in the details, in day-to-day operations. However, you must also pay attention to the big-picture aspect of productivity. Here are eight tricks to help.
1. Conquer Distractions.
A ringing phone. The ping of a newly arrived email. How easy it is to become distracted and sidetracked, especially when the brain gets a natural high from responding to these communications. To boost workplace productivity, you must differentiate what feels urgent versus what actually is important. If you are expecting a truly important call or email, by all means, check to see if it has arrived. Otherwise, keep doing what you are doing. Set aside blocks of time every day to check and respond to emails and phone calls. Ditto for social media pleasures such as Facebook; these ïfunï breaks actually keep you productive and serve as motivators. As you lead by example and do not reply immediately to run-of-the-mill emails, employees will take note.
2. Set a Companywide Policy for Technology Usage.
Lots of folks get emails that require no response, but they feel compelled to reply anyway, even if it’s with a short, ïThanks. Sounds great!ï To cut down on these time wasters, establish a policy geared to boost workplace productivity. For example, ask that employees who send emails that require no reply clarify with a ïnrnï (no response necessary). Other guidelines to identify in a technology usage policy include when to use CC, reply all and possibly even encouraging employees to turn on email autoresponder at certain times to decrease interruptions.
3. Be Specific.
Employees become more productive when they have a certain degree of direction. There’s no need to micromanage, but you do need to outline why employees are doing what they are doing and how it benefits the company. Along these lines, be specific in your feedback, expectations and deadlines.
4. Use Technology to Cut Down on Travel.
Some business trips are necessary. Others, however, are not. If you can accomplish through a Skype video call what you could by flying one hour and meeting for another hour, then do it. The same idea goes for telecommuting. Investigate the feasibility of setting up a telecommuting policy for employees; they’ll appreciate the option of working from home at least some of the time.
5. Plan Projects that Sync Naturally with Productivity.
In general, workplace productivity is high between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. After 3, it goes on a big downward swing. The same holds true for summer as a whole. Schedule critical work for the hours where people are most productive, and try to avoid scheduling important projects for summer.
6. Take the Battle to Employees.
You as well as your employees will benefit from self-assessments at the end of the day. Explain to your employees that you’re trying to boost workplace productivity and distribute a form for tracking. Have employees take at least a week to track their work before they clock out at the end of each day. Include issues such as, ïHow much time did I spend today working reactively instead of proactivelyï ïAt what time today did I perform my most challenging work Was I successful at finishingï ïWhat are the most common reactive tasks I doï This self-awareness helps everyone identify and correct damaging behaviors, and promotes positive behaviors.
7. Get People Moving.
Exercise is a proven strategy in better managing energy. Getting people moving wards off the desire to nap and gets their brain juices flowing. You can get creative in how you plan to get people moving; common approaches include a lunchtime walking club, discounts on gym memberships (or even free memberships) and on-site gyms.
8. Change Things Up.
While familiarity may not exactly breed contempt at work, it does tend to breed stagnation. And stagnation leads to a lack of productivity, perspective and innovation. Develop measures to change things up for employees every few months to every few years. Measures could include departmental cross-training, continuing education and steppingstone job titles that lead to more responsibility.
To boost workplace productivity, you must think small as well as big. Start with yourself; after all, if you are not productive, why should other folks at your business be To help use your focus on productivity to hire the best people, turn to the resources here at Mighty Recruiter for assistance.