It’s not an uncommon sight to see employees working long hours or not taking the day off on weekends. But have you ever stopped to think how much of those hours are actually being productive?
In case your workforce is missing out on major deadlines even with the high number of hours put in by the staff, you should re-evaluate your policies. And start this revaluation with a change in your work ambiance.
Skeptical about the workplace ambiance? Here’s a number check:
Impact of workplace ambiance on productivity
Employees lagging behind take a toll on a company’s productivity. It is reported that at present only around 34% of the workforce in the US is engaged in their company. Now, this apparently might look trivial for employers but dig a bit deeper and you see that disengaged employees are reported to cost around $450 to $550 billion per year in the US only.
Such magnanimous loss is enough to think long and hard about the importance workplace plays in employee engagement. A recent study McKinsey Global Institute said that once your employees are engaged, the productivity soars by 20 to 25%.
Now the numbers are on the table, you need to see how you can boost productivity. The smart first move in this context would be to create a proper workplace environment to increase your company’s output.
Here are a few tips on how to get this done.
Tips to improve workplace productivity
Bring out that efficiency
Efficiency is the key to drive success in a venture. However, the trick is that there are no perfect plans to bring out efficiency in your employees. In fact, each employee has different needs and thus, the steps to mine the best out of them need to be different.
Begin with evaluating your employees’ performance. Chalk out the areas in which they lag the most. Now, make a short term and long-term priority list for your employees and your venture’s requirements. Create daily priority tasks and goals. And yes, don’t forget to make plans to achieve those goals for each of your employees.
Delegation or sharing of responsibilities with employees comes with its own set of risks. For this, you need to take chances smartly and help them churn the best work out of them. Make a note of particular skill sets in your employees and delegate work according to this information.
Start with mapping employee competency and experience to use as a ready reckoner for later. This will push them beyond their limits and get the best out of them, without unduly pressurizing them.
Cut on the distractions
According to a report by TeamLease World of Work, an average of around 2.35hrs of total work time is spent on surfing through social media. And as a result, about 13% of total productivity is lost because of social media distractions. However, taking your employees phones while working isn’t going to help you either.
Encourage your employees to turn off their phones while they are at work. However, allow them to have timely break hours where they can check out the social media feeds or use phones.
The right tools and equipment
Creating the right ambiance isn’t enough if you cannot provide the right set of tools and equipment. Remember when it comes to optimum productivity, every second of your employee's counts.
So, make sure that all required arrangements are always on point. Be sure not the let your employees run for print papers or lag due to sloppy internet speed.
Improving the decor of workspace
The physical environment of the workspace remains mostly neglected. Yet it plays a crucial role in optimum work productivity. Research work published in ADRRI journals showed that the various physical dimensions like temperature, noise, color, furniture, spatial distribution, freshness in the air, etc. play a significant role in improving productivity.
The office temperature should be around 20 to 25 degree Celsius so that a pleasant temperature can be maintained. Keep windows and shutters to allow natural light to enter. It is seen in most office setups nowadays, that people depend on artificial lights. However, glimpses of bright sunshine can actually bring out the high spirit. It also brings a sense of freshness in the office.
Make the workplace look and feel comfortable
An environment where the temperature and freshness are not maintained tends to give off a stale smell. Such an atmosphere creates a negative impact on any potential client visiting your office and it’s unhealthy as well. Organizations must take measures to curb such issues. The use of air fresheners can soothe the ambiance and make your workplace feel more comfortable. This will help to bring a dramatic shift in the mood of the working staff and elevate the level of productivity with the improved surroundings of the workplace.
Noise can have a long-term direct relation with distraction. Try and provide a quieter environment for your employees. Sometimes, repetitive tasks can be pumped up with light music. So, allow the employees who might need this provision. However, make sure that the music doesn’t take a toll on productivity instead.
Make sure to give stress on spatial arrangements as well. Make some peppy and conducive color schemes, keep space for break rooms. Some research shows that cubicles create a wall and may reduce productivity. Ask your employees about redefining the physical ambiance to boost productivity.
A clear sense of what’s feasible and what’s farfetched should be there. As a start-up, don’t aim for millions of dollars of turnover in a few months and push your employees for the same.
Know the capabilities and potential of each of your employee and set targets accordingly. Give incentives, rewards, etc. and communicate the achievements amongst all fellow employees, so that others can be motivated as well.
Bring positive reinforcement
Positivity begets positivity. So always opt for constructive criticism for your employees. Give them rewards, offers, incentives. Channelize your incentives as per small, medium and large reward schemes. These can start from coffee takeout and can go as big as higher cash incentives or holiday offers etc.
There are plenty of studies to prove that a stressful work environment leads to reduced productivity and impacts the number of absentees as well. As per a report from Forbes, highly stressed employees take 4.6 sick days on an average a year compared to 2.6 days of sick leaves by low stressed ones.
To sum it up
Try to reinforce positivity in both the physical and mental aspect of your company’s ambiance and let your productivity curve take an upward route! These points will show you how to ensure this can be done through simple steps.