Since our last recession, companies have been operating leaner while trying to get the most they can out of their employees. It makes sense, though, that if we can get more accomplished in the same amount of time, then why not make a few changes to make it happen? We’ve got a few ideas to get you thinking out of the box for ways to boost productivity in your workplace.
Get everyone moving
It’s no secret that exercise is good for the body and soul. Exercise is also known according to Brain HQ, to reduce stress hormones while increasing the factors of growth for new neuronal connections.
Some corporations start the day with daily morning exercises to get everyone’s body and brain in sync. Other ideas are fitness challenges across the corporation to bring the spirit of competition and team building. Different ways to encourage employees to move are designated walking paths around or even inside your building, with a labeled start and stop with the distance walked. Two-person meetings can occur while walking instead of on opposite sides of a desk. Both employees benefit from the movement as well as a change of scenery.
Work2Live has gym memberships included in the Lifestyle Spending Account (LSA) as a means for employees to be inspired to exercise outside of work hours.
Align your team with morning huddles
Hold 15 minute morning huddles with your team for each person to share their critical goals for the day. This practice opens the lines of communication between colleagues. Huddles help your team get aligned and know where assistance is appreciated. Make Mondays an extra five minutes to review lessons learned from the previous week and review the critical goals for the team that week before reviewing individual daily goals.
All phones on silent
Cell phones, our top personal convenience items, have made it to the top tier of the biggest workplace distractions. Cell phone distractions come right after restroom, food, and coworker distractions. Remove those distractions by silencing the phone and turning off all application notifications.
Everybody on their feet
This study from the Washington Post shows increased productivity when employees are provided sit and standing desks to change their mode of work position through the day. When feeling sleepy in mid-afternoon, switching to a standing desk to feel more alert. Standing alleviates back and shoulder pain, poor posture, and fatigue.
Finally, if you want to keep a meeting short and its participants focused, keep everyone on their feet. Reported findings from standing meetings show increased group interaction, decreased territorial behaviors, and improved group performance.
Reconsider the necessity of meetings
Speaking of meetings, it’s time to give them a fresh look, too. When you look at the typical meeting invitee list, you’ll have a couple of key people that need to be there. A couple that you hope to be there if they can make it, then a handful of people who didn’t really need to be there but were invited as a courtesy to keep them in the loop. This regular practice is one of the biggest time wasters to the majority of invitees on the list.
With today’s technology, there are several options to engage this list of invitees that does not require them to come together in a room. Create discussion forums to gather opinions, propose new ideas, and gather feedback from all participants. Make your panel a one or two-day cycle to collect participant thoughts and ideas when they come to a convenient moment to pause, rather than monopolizing their time for an hour or more.
Slack is one of many different platforms available to conduct discussions in a secure environment, open only to designated invitees. A savvy SharePoint developer can create a forum for interaction, as well.
Kill the commute
Remote working environments have been steadily gaining in popularity over the last decade. Remote workers are also getting more done in less time. According to the Harvard Business Review, employees who worked from home were not only more productive but also less likely to quit their jobs.
It used to be that the office environment was critical for fostering active collaboration and resources. Today, between chat applications and conference calls, teams can be just as collaborative from their home workspace.
One significant decrease with remote workers is “drive-by” interruptions – those desk visits that stop the flow of productivity for a question or comment that was not at all urgent and could have waited. Other reported benefits to the company are a reduction in paid sick days and reduced carbon footprint. The company can continue to grow and increase headcount without having to increase the size of its facilities to accommodate the growth.
Introduce plants that boost energy
It’s not just viewing plants that put people at ease to be more productive. Fragrant herbs are used in aromatherapy to boost energy and ease anxiety. Try buying and spreading around some desk plants of mint, rosemary, lemon balm, and basil.
Introduce anti-stress zones
Provide activities to give employees a place to decompress and meditate with some activities known to assist them in regaining their calm. All you need is some designated space and inexpensive “business tools” to get started.
Color your employees happy
Encourage coloring as an alternative to meditation. Studies show that coloring promotes increased mindfulness, creativity, and reduces anxiety.
Bubbles work as mini stress balls, and the fascinating part is that some will enjoy the increased focus of blowing the bubbles, trying to get a steady stream or blow a gigantic bubble by altering their breath (another stress reducer). Others will find their joy in popping the bubbles as they come.
Did you know that companies with happy employees are more productive than curmudgeons in the office? These employees are 20% more likely to outperform their competition. Happy employees are 12% more productive, and happy salespeople sell 37% more. More than a third of employees would trade $5,000 in salary to be happier at work. All of our suggestions are the start of a happier workplace.
The next part of the happiness equation is by showing appreciation in your employees. If you have a recognition program, have you gauged the effectiveness? Only 42% of employees are happy with the rewards and recognition that their companies offer. We’ve been adding some tips and advantages in our blog recently to help you raise employee engagement and achieve an effective recognition program. With the help of Work2Live’s Lifestyle Spending Account and your management’s active participation, your employees will find happiness in knowing how they are appreciated and make a difference.