5 incredibly easy ways to revitalize workplace productivity

Stuart Hearn — №30 with Derek Sivers

Have you seen too many Monday mornings featuring a line up of hunched over employees with dark circles around their eyes and a stack of paperwork threatening to fall off their desk? Improving productivity in the workplace is about using your time and energy wisely. It all starts with cultivating a positive work environment, but you need to keep momentum up to avoid productivity lags. If you’ve found that your workplace has fallen into a productivity recession, it’s time to do something about it.

1. Break it down

You know that feeling when your shirt is busting at the seams near the end of Christmas dinner and it’s a struggle to fit in those last few mouthfuls? That’s how working in long, solid blocks can feel to your staff. Don’t force employees to endlessly slog on with the same task. Instead, break work down into bite-sized chunks. After 30 minutes of solid work, encourage them to take five minutes to stretch out and re-energise.

2. Lighten up

Is that dim desk lamp and pencil pot full of inkless pens making your employees feel more or less productive? Dim lighting is the culprit behind many office headaches, not to mention eye strain and drowsiness. Harsh fluorescent lighting can be just as bad, too. The way forward? Natural lighting. Studies have shown that better lighting means more satisfied and more productive employees.

3. Strike a power pose

You may think it sounds crazy—and maybe it is—but striking a powerful pose has been proven to boost confidence and decrease stress, allowing your employees to be more productive. If you don’t believe me, just listen to this TED Talk on power posing from Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist from Harvard Business School. Employees don’t need to bust out a big move; simply putting their hands behind their heads can work, too.

4. Alone time

Everyone needs time to themselves and it’s no different with work. Jason Fried, co-founder of 37signals and remote-working guru, reckons that “Work doesn’t happen at work. If you ask people where they go when they really need to get work done, very few will respond ” The answer? Change the working environment and escape the office. Encourage employees to work from home once a week or to take a few hours to work from a coffee shop.

5. Time out

As well as time working alone, employees need time to recharge their batteries. That means a holiday where they can escape to a remote island if they choose and aren’t expected to answer their phone or even so much as look at their emails. Use staff leave planning software to know for sure that your employees are getting the time off that they need, and trust me, you’ll see a boost in their productivity levels when they get back at work.

Photo: flickr/dines_photography CC BY 2.0

Stuart hearn

Stuart Hearn

Stuart has 20 years’ experience in the HR sector and is currently CEO of OneTouchTeam, an online staff leave planner and HR system for small businesses.

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