7 Ways to Improve Productivity in the Workplace

Workplace Productivity

Working long hours and having work weekends have become a norm in a lot of companies. Everyone has a lot of competitors to worry about, and nothing can replace hard work as a way to surpass it. However, most of the time, the output isn't about the hours the employees put in, but how well they spend them.

Productivity in the workplace is rarely about working more or longer, but about the systems the company puts in place in order to bring out the best in its employees.

The role of management

Management has a decisive role to play in making the company more productive. A well-chosen manager is able to see the bigger picture behind the project everyone's working on and to find the right employees for each task. A lot of the time, this isn't how managers are utilized. Instead, they tend to oversee the projects too closely.

There's nothing wrong with being a perfectionist, but micro-managing the employees, especially if they work in the creative field, can have the opposite effect and make everyone feel oppressed at work. In turn, that can make the employees less productive and less motivated.

Goals and feedback

The old saying goes "without a goal you can't score", and this is true for any work-related project. Everyone involved in a project should know what their mission is and why they have been chosen for it. That allows them to utilize their most important talents and skills.

It's also essential to provide each employee with useful and encouraging feedback about each project. This needs to be done in an organized and systematized way in order to actually help the employee improve and not just feel like a criticism.

Time management

Time is probably the most important resource a person can have, and it's the one everyone pays the least attention to. Offices are usually set up in an ineffective way when it comes to time management because they have only one or two longer breaks scheduled. It's best to abandon this model and let each employee manage their time.

The so-called Pomodoro system has proven to be the most effective. It lets the employees work in short and intensive bursts with breaks after each one. That kind of schedule allows the employees to stay focused without feeling overwhelmed.

Implement an employee monitoring system

It's important for the management to keep track of the employees and their output in order to make changes when it's necessary and to find the best position for each employee. However, it's wrong to meddle and get too involved in the day-to-day operations since this can be overwhelming for both the management and the employees.

One of the ways of accomplishing both is to implement an employee monitoring software that will provide you with clear metrics for each employee individually, as well as for the teams involved, without the need to be constantly present in the office.

Employees' health

Working long hours and dealing with job-related stress can take a toll on the health and well-being of your employees. This is something you can help with, by setting up a work environment that mitigates these problems. One part of that is providing healthy meals for everyone in the office. It's a small gesture, but it helps with both the health issue and as a savings measure.

It's also a good idea to set up an office gym, suited to both female and male employees regardless of their fitness level.

A path to promotion

No one wants to do the same job for years, and more importantly, no one wants to feel like they are going to be stuck doing the same job for years. That's why every employee needs to have a clear path to promotion and an idea of how their career will develop while the company does as well.

This process needs to be transparent and as democratic as possible. It's obviously fine for the management to decide on promotions, but employee input and peer review should be taken into account as well.

Break the routine

A lot of the time, the employees and the company as a whole become less productive when they find themselves in a routine. This sometimes feels like every workday is the same and the job becomes less challenging and therefore less engaging.

There are ways to help with this issue without endangering the work process or even stopping it. Sometimes even a small getaway can break up the monotony and allow the employees to see their work from a new perspective. Team-building activities can help with this a lot. It's also a good idea to help the employees learn new skills and expand their interests, in some cases even find a new career altogether.

Office productivity is rarely about paychecks and bonuses, and most of the time it depends on the office environment and personal relationships at work. This is something the management should keep in mind when setting up an office routine.

Guest Author

David Webb

David Webb is a Sydney based business consultant and online marketing analyst. With six years of experience and a degree in online business strategy, he is driven to help the people in better understanding of this new digital age. In free time, David enjoys writing, travelling and occasional night out with his friends.