Believe it or not, it’s still the first month of the year. January is not always an easy month to get through, and this year has proved no different. If you find yourself and your employees feeling less motivated and more on edge, you’re not alone.
Even though the month of making new year’s resolutions is more than half over, it’s not too late to inspire newfound productivity in your office space. We’ve compiled 8 tips for boosting office productivity that you can take well into the rest of 2021 (and beyond).
- Prioritize the needs of your employees. What matters most to the employees that occupy your office daily? If you have absolutely no idea, ask them! It could be a simple conversation, or you could send out a survey to your team via email. Encourage them to be completely transparent: what would help them be more productive in the office? Maybe it’s new desk chairs, better ventilation, a cleaner break room, ergonomic keyboards, or something else entirely. Even if you can’t address every solution you are approached with, talking to your employees about productivity is important. You’ll get to know them better, and you’ll understand what changes might be worth prioritizing.
- Use windows and lights to your advantage. Natural light has been shown to improve moods and motivate. Consider moving your employee’s desks closer to the windows in your office. If you don’t have very much natural light, invest in more lamps and light sources. Artificial light is not the same as the sun, but it can establish a welcoming space. Harsh fluorescents can be off-putting, so try not to rely solely on them unless necessary.
- Find a flow that works. Don’t make your layout an after-thought! Sure, it’s easy to plop a couple of desks in the middle of a room and put a printer in the corner, but are you using the office to its full advantage? Practice makes perfect, so it’s okay if your ideal layout takes a few tries. Talk to your team about whether or not they are willing to try switching things around. Turn it into a group activity, allowing everyone to bring their own perspectives to the task. Give each iteration a couple of days. After that point, it should be clear if the layout is working or not. It may seem like a hassle, but a space that flows well is beyond worth it!
- Encourage breaks as needed. We get it: it’s easy to get lost in your work. It isn’t uncommon to look up from a computer screen and realize that hours have gone by without taking any break. If possible, we suggest encouraging your employees to take short breaks as needed. They can stretch at their desks, take a few laps around the office, hang out at the water cooler, and take their lunch AWAY from their desks. This may seem like common sense, but as a leader in your office, it means a lot if the encouragement to take breaks comes directly from you. It is okay to monitor this behavior as well. If it is not productive for your employees to take breaks at certain times throughout the day, or if you sense that some employees are abusing this policy, then another conversation may be needed.
- Create a comfortable environment for your employees. Put in some extra effort to ensure that your office is a comfortable space to work in. Ask your employees what temperature they would prefer the heat or AC set. Make sure that your office ventilation is up to snuff so that your employees breathe the best quality air. Stock the break room with coffee, utensils, snacks, or whatever else you think your employees would use. Offices can be cold and uninspired spaces at times. Avoid falling into this category by putting care into even the most mundane tasks. Your employees will notice!
- Make sure that your tools and software are up to date. It can be difficult to keep up with technology but putting aside some time to do your research could save your team a lot of time with their work. Ensure that you provide your employees with useful tools to do their work and ensure that the software and systems you use daily are updated and relevant. This is a sure-fire way to encourage productivity around the office.
- Host standing meetings for workplace communication. Communication is key to so many elements of a productive office space. Find the time when everyone on your team can meet to establish a standing meeting. This meeting could be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or any variation that works best for your business. Use these meetings to touch base about what’s happening internally. What could you be doing better as a business owner? What do your employees need to help complete their work more efficiently? Are there any outstanding issues around the office that need to be discussed? This meeting can cover topics like this and more. Avoid letting it turn into a full-on rant session for your employees. Be a diligent moderator by steering the conversation in a productive direction. Standing meetings are a great opportunity to learn and listen — and react accordingly!
- Offer your continued support. Employees thrive when they are properly supported. Sometimes, co-workers and bosses can get so caught up in deadlines and ongoing projects that they forget to circle back with one another. No one is to blame for this, because you’re just trying to do quality work! But at the end of the day, everyone is more productive when they feel that their dedication is being noticed. Remind your employees that they can come to you with any work-related concerns or comments. Encourage meaningful conversations, like the ones being held in your standing meetings, as we mentioned above. Helpful discussions do not need to be limited to the conference room. You could even hold “office hours” for your employees to visit you about anything related to the workplace or to their own personal workload. Dial in and truly listen to the details that they provide you with. Offer multiple solutions. Let them know that you are taking note of their perspective, and you will do what you can to support them going forward. You don’t have to get everything figured out during the course of one conversation, but you also don’t want to leave your employee hanging. Continue to communicate clearly with them until you come to a productive solution together.
Has all this talk about productivity left you craving an entirely new slate for your office? Contact Bluewater Properties for commercial property opportunities today.