Are you noticing a bit of a slump amongst your team? Is everyone working at a slower pace, or you’re not reaching goals you expected to hit? It happens to every business eventually. Sometimes your ambition is too much to be realistic, and sometimes you simply need to give your staff a shakeup. There are a lot of things that could get the productivity going in them. Everything from getting in touch with nature to a better physical environment will allow your staff members to work better. Take a look at our guide for all the details on how you can improve productivity in the office.
If you’re in the process of expanding or creating your office, you might want to look into office design. What layout you go with for your office space will really matter to your staff, who will have to use it for the majority of their lives.
There is a lot of discussion on which office layout is best. There are four main ones, which are broken down in this guide to your office layout. There is the cubicle office layout, which encourages focus and limits distractions, but is considered more isolating and limits creativity. The open office layout, on the other hand, eliminates the cubicle element for more open conversation and is the more affordable option. There is the cluster layout, which is somewhat of a middle ground. You can group your teams together and allow free flow conversation that is productive to the department they represent. And finally, there is the hybrid layout, which sees a variety of furniture pieces in the one room, like sofas, desks, etc. for a space where the employee has control over where they work.
Since the opening up of the world after lockdown, the idea of working from home has gone from a radical suggestion that wouldn’t otherwise be considered to somewhat of a human right. It is now expected that you will take your staff’s opinions into account when it comes to where they work. If they are working in front of a computer, working from home in some form should be on the table.
If there are areas where their work simply has to be done on-site, you can look into hybrid working. It is the middle ground that will for a better work/life balance but won’t affect your business operations too much.
If you really can’t consider working from home as an option, consider flexible schedules. The world is no longer a 9-5 place, and you can make life a lot easier for your staff to let them set their own times. Maybe they would prefer to start work earlier so as to be there for the after-school run or they could do with a 2-hour break where they can run errands in the middle of the day or to relax and avoid any potential 4 pm slump.
Benefits are a great way to keep your team motivated. What might start as a way to onboard new talent, might become something that a staff member doesn’t want to lose, or might even depend on. They will have an ongoing reminder, more so than a salary, to keep putting in their best work.
You can offer everything from a company car to dental or medical insurance, as an ongoing motivation to put out their best work, and ongoing rewards for it too.
In the same vein, bonuses reward good work at the end of a big project. You are giving your staff an incentive to do a good job on the project that wouldn’t ordinarily be there beyond pride in their work. This can also motivate your employees into continued good work for the next time.
You might want to consider training to up productivity. Retraining is a good option as it will give everyone a refresher on the finer details of the work. If you’re seeing things slipping through the cracks across the board, you might want to consider retraining to remind your staff of the consequences of their mistakes and how to avoid them. Additionally, incorporating a nesting training table into your retraining sessions can provide a practical and efficient workspace solution that promotes collaboration and interactive learning among your team members.
There might also be better ways of going things with the newest software and technology but using them will require a bit of training to help your staff get around the learning curve.
Or you can add skills to your team’s repertoire. Sign up the entire team for a subscription class, like LinkedIn Learning or Skillshare so that they can gain another skill they can use while in the office, such as marketing or graphic design, or a deep dive into a subject they’ve only recently picked up on in the office.
It’s affordable and you can watch everyone work from the platform, to be sure that your team is working well.
There is a common tip when it comes to managing a team of employees, that says once you delegate, leave the room.
In much the same way that there isn’t any point in hiring staff if you’re going to do all the work yourself, there isn’t any point in delegating if you are simply going to give suggestions but be overly watchful. If you have a suggestion, at least delegate it to the one until the job is done, and you can see what needs improving.
Micromanaging is a staff member’s biggest gripe. It’s patronizing, infuriating, and distracting, and it might even result in your staff quitting if it’s bad enough. They’re not about to tell you you’re doing it, for fear of losing their job, so you have to be able to recognize when you are nitpicking, taking over, or otherwise internally or externally saying the phrase “You know what, I’ll just do it”.
And then there is the disservice you’re doing to yourself. You built this team to take tasks off yourself. Trust them to do it right. If they’re trained and qualified, they will too.
If you’re looking for a few little things that could get productivity flowing, there are a few you can enact. Plants are great, for one thing. They oxygenate the room, allowing everyone to think better, and the idea of being near nature calms everyone down, so there will be less stress close to the deadline. A lack of panic near the deadline means a better job is done, rather than a shoddy rushed job.
Along the same lines, you’ll want office space with a lot of natural light. Natural light keeps employees alert, but also lets them sleep 46 minutes more a night, making them more focused while they’re in the office. Keep the windows clear of curtains or any other blockages.
While you’re renovating, you can look into red, green, or blue walls. White walls are the uncontroversial norm, but they have been proven to be connected with staff members making more mistakes. If you’re looking for other ideas, there is red, which makes for attention to detail, green, which is motivational, and blue, which boosts creativity.
There is a lot you can do to make your staff members’ lives easier, and in turn, you will create a more productive workforce. The best part of this guide is that these tips range from the small and inconsequential to the large and expensive. They also range from office-wide changes to changes that will personally change the lives of your staff. Consider each of them and you will soon see the results in your profits.