According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people spend more time working than they do eating, sleeping or even commuting. But what if these hours in the office aren’t translating into results? What if your employees could use a boost in terms of work output? If you’re looking for ways to increase office productivity, here are just a few tactics that you might try.
- Regularly Train Your Employees
Put your employees through new training programs every year or so. This will ensure that they’re always up to speed with the latest software upgrades and customer service policies, and it will also allow you to identify anyone who’s struggling with departmental demands. You can take them aside and give them extra training until they’re on the level that they need to be.
- Get On the Cloud
Cloud technology allows you to access all of your files, projects and memos even if you aren’t physically present at the office. If you invest in something like NetSuit, you can also combine cloud-based storage with data analytics and real-time performance dashboards. The 21st century is the age of paperless technology, so hop on board to stay ahead of the curve.
- Improve Your Break Room
Studies have shown that breaks are important for things like focus, motivation and mental acuity. If your break room is an off-colored hole in the wall that depresses your employees instead of energizing them, you have a problem. Give your break room a makeover by turning it into an oasis at work. Not only will it excite your team, but it will also turn them into better workers in the long run.
- Foster Relationships
Managers love to talk about “opening lines of communication” with their employees, but unless your employees actually like and trust you, they won’t be taking advantage of your open-door policy. The key is to foster good relationships with them so that they won’t be afraid to tell you bad news about mistakes, missed deadlines or anything else that you should know.
- Incentivize Your Employees
You don’t have to give away convertibles and luxury vacations. A everyday gift card can be a powerful motivator for someone who loves that particular store or restaurant, and a better parking space might actually draw blood in the office. You can also promise office-wide rewards like free doughnuts for a week if everyone meets their particular quotas.
- Change Your Lightin
Harsh florescent lights might be a staple of the traditional office, but who says that traditional choices are always the right ones? Try switching to gentler bulbs to reduce headaches and decrease eye strain among your employees. You might also experiment with blue light, something that researchers believe might contribute to higher cognitive activity.
- Increase Communication
Encourage your employees to talk. Not only will they become more comfortable and cooperative through their increased socialization, but they’ll also share information, spark ideas, brainstorm together, pass on warnings and train each other with tools and resources. This contact doesn’t even have to be face-to-face; you can enroll everyone in a company email system that allows them to communicate wirelessly from any cubicle.
- Break Down the Walls
Speaking of cubicles, if your employees aren’t responding to that boxed-in feeling of confinement, you might consider renovating your office with an open-air floor plan. Things like natural sunlight and the ability to stretch one’s legs can be a real boon to tired, cranky employees. If you don’t currently have the money for a large-scale remodeling project, at least open the blinds every now and then.
- Bring the Caffeine
Last but certainly not least, if you want a quick-and-dirty way to increase office output, provide free coffee in the break room. Caffeine has proven health benefits in the form of alertness and memory retention, so employees who indulge in a cup of joe will be quicker, sharper and more energized than they were before. Just be prepared for more bathroom breaks as well.
These are just a few tips for motivating your employees and streamlining your workflow. If you’re serious about getting more done in the average day, use these suggestions to take your office to the next level.