Overall, employees appear to be wasting more time at work. A 2014 survey conducted by salary.com lists the biggest time wasters reported by employees. Not surprisingly, the Internet accounts for twenty-six percent of time wasted, followed closely by too many meetings and annoying co-workers. Want to learn how to create a productive environment as a manager? Increase productivity by implementing these actions and gadgets and reducing wasted time.
1. How to Create a Productive Environment: Optimize Office Space
Look at your overall office structure. How much time is spent walking to a printer and back? Are the items in the supply closet easy to locate? Do a complete office overhaul if necessary. At a minimum, the supply closet should be reorganized to ensure each employee can find the items quickly. Assign someone the task of straightening the area weekly. Encourage workers to clean and organize their desks and surrounding areas.
Maintain opens line of communication, especially when making changes. By keeping employees in the loop, you reduce time spent worrying, speculating, and gossiping about things to come. Set clear, precise goals for each employee to meet. They can focus more easily and work harder toward a goal they visualize. When an employee meets a goal or goes above and beyond, make sure to recognize them. Acknowledging a job well done makes the employee feel appreciated and eager to complete more tasks.
3. Be Flexible
Work, family, and social obligations pull employees in many different directions during the day. Implement family friendly policies to assist them in finding a balance. Allow employees to leave early or come in late to resolve family emergencies. They will be more productive at work because they do not need to find someone to handle the issue, or worry about something not being completed. Also, permitting employees to work at the most productive time for them creates happier employees, and happy employees worry less and work more.
4. Focus on Ergonomics
Poor posture and neck strain cause employees to miss work for rest or doctor appointments. To combat these absences, purchase ergonomic chairs and look at the desk set up at each station. Consider purchasing tools to assist employees in proper posture, such as Lumoback. Worn as a belt, it gauges posture throughout the day and buzzes to remind you to sit up properly. It also analyzes how long you have been sitting and alerts you when it’s time to take a break and walk around. Darma Smart Cushions are another option. Simply sit on the cushion. It monitors your posture and the time spent sitting.
5. Air Quality
Studies have proven that employees work more productively when they breathe cleaner air. Pollutants such as chemicals, dust, and airborne microorganisms contaminate the air in even the newest and most clean buildings. Install air purifiers to improve the quality of air. Employees will think better, and also miss less work due to illness spreading through the office. Air purifiers can remove up to ninety-five percent of airborne particles.
6. Control Internet Use
In 2014, eighty-nine percent of employees admitted they spent time inappropriately online while at work. Most companies install firewalls and other security measures to ensure employees do not utilize company PCs to access non-work related sites. However, a growing trend is the use of apps to prohibit cellular phones and other mobile devices from accessing these sites while on the company’s Wi-Fi. One such app, Blue Coat, bridges the gap between company PCs and employee owned cell phones. Not only do these apps help employees increase productivity, they also reduce the risk of data leakage.
Left on their own, employees will find ways to avoid work and become less productive. Managers must proactively seek ways to increase efficiency while keeping workers happy. A properly organized work space, excellent communication, and flexible policies work together to make employees feel a part of the company and desire to do their best. Technologies like Lumoback, Blue Coat Systems, and Darma Smart Cushions can assists by increasing employees health and eliminating the biggest distractions.