If you’re the owner of a small business, you’ll know how important your employees are, and happy employees result in heightened productivity. This is exactly what you need to help your business grow. All it takes are some small changes to really make a difference to your employee’s happiness, which will result in better efficiency – which is what all companies strive for.
Here are some top tips on small changes you can make, to see big differences
The use of mobile phones can be a key killer of productivity, breaking your employee’s chain of thought. A great way to cut back on the distractions is to allow regular breaks for employees to talk to colleagues/check their phones, this will ensure they’re more focussed when returning back to their desk. Instead of having a long one hour break in the middle of the day, offer one longer break and two shorter ones in the morning and afternoon.
This sort of work environment can be nurtured by managers inviting staff to go for small walks, especially during busy working days. It’s a great way to click the ‘reset’ button and will provide employees with a fresh outlook on the tasks at hand.
Helping employees to improve efficiency where possible can have an enormous impact on their engagement and productivity. Not only that, but having automated tools can be really cost and time effective in the long run. These tools can range from having access to shared drives to reporting suites – it’s important that employees have the right tools and equipment to perform their duties effectively and on time. And the quicker they can perform the more mundane tasks, the sooner they can start to work on other priorities.
Open communication is key to successful working relationships. Not only does it allow for outcomes to be aligned but it can also make employees feel a part of the decision making process, helping them to feel more valued in their role. It might not be efficient to have long, regular meetings and sometimes emails can become a long winded process when you only need a single word response. That’s why instant message systems are great. Instant messaging tools such as Slack, or Skype, boost work productivity by allowing users to communicate effectively with coworkers without having to get caught up in conversations . If you aren’t ready to add this into your business culture, though – ensuring that weekly meetings occur is crucial. This provides a great opportunity for employees to speak about their coming week, what they will be working on, what they need assistance with and what they need from others.
According to a Stanford study, the mere perception of working collectively on a task can supercharge our performance. They found that on average people spent up to 64% longer on tasks when worked on alone, compared to tasks worked on collaboratively. They also found that the standard of work was heightened too. That’s why in any working environment it’s really important to promote and encourage collaboration where and when possible. Make space for this, by incorporating a large table in your office, booking a regular meeting space or advocating off site meetings (where appropriate).
The work environment can significantly impact employees mood, motivation and performance. That’s why creating an engaging work environment is critical to the overall success of a company. It only takes a handful of simple changes to really improve workplace conditions, then you’ll be reaping the rewards. Here’s a few to get you started…
According to 77% of businesses playing music in the workplace increases staff morale and improves the atmosphere. Of course, if the music is extremely loud, that would be distracting – we’re talking about simple, low volume background music to keep employees motivated without working in silence!
Having plants around the office can increase productivity levels by up to 15%. Plants are a great way to inject a sense of life to the working environment, while also helping to foster creativity. Plants are also known to increase indoor air quality, so where you’re sat in an office for eight hours a day, this can prove highly beneficial. The workplace can often be a stressful environment, which makes plants even more appealing as they are known to have a calming effect and can even help reduce workplace anxiety. Green is also proven to be a calming colour which can really help with concentration too!
Having great office exteriors is a great way to improve productivity too. Encouraging staff to take breaks outside or to have ‘walking meetings’ can aid productivity for the rest of the day. Fresh air can really help uplift morale and mood within the office – which in itself can be pretty contagious!
Lighting is one of the most crucial considerations you can make in your workspace, but getting the balance right can be very tricky. It’s important to adjust the lighting in your working environment throughout the working day. Working in darkness can cause a slump in mood or morale, which can negatively impact productivity overall. Try to experiment with a variety of lamps and always try to incorporate natural light from outside when possible.
Having access to natural daylight throughout the office is a really good way to increase productivity. Natural light is bright but isn’t as harsh as artificial light – which can cause employees to strain their eyes causing headaches in many cases. That’s why it’s important to place employees desks, and meeting rooms near windows. This can be particularly helpful when productivity depletes during those late afternoon meetings!
Providing employees with targets or challenges, and setting deadlines can really help increase productivity too. It allows employees to stay on track, having specific objectives to meet on a weekly or monthly basis. It can also be a good way for managers to monitor performance and to be able to offer support or guidance when needed. Although goal setting is great for motivation it’s important that goals are realistic, and can be met within the given timeframe – otherwise, employees might complete the task just to make the deadline which can cause the standard of work to be reduced, or become demoralised if they are unable to achieve the goal on time.
Micromanaging can have a detrimental impact on productivity – not only can it be a time-consuming process for managers but it can make employees feel that their skillset and viewpoint isn’t valued. It also limits personal development and supports lack of drive and initiative. This type of management can leave employees feeling that their managers don’t trust them to work on their own to produce quality work. It can also discourage independent working with employees not having confidence in their actions or choices as most of their work is scrutinised and ‘corrected’. This can put a large amount of pressure back on managers, as employees become reliant on their manager’s approval.
Bloxham Mill Business Centre is a great place to nurture productivity – if you’re looking for a fully serviced office, meeting room or hotdesk, get in touch with our team today to find out how we can help.