As managers, we often become obsessed with hitting targets to the detriment of other areas of work. Our employee assessments focus more on performance and productivity than then they do on the workflow and working environment. After all, the assessments can only measure what can be measured – and that doesn’t include the employees’ physical and psychological well-being.
Is that really the case though?
According to various studies, employees have demonstrated increased productivity in workplaces that promote their health and wellness. In fact, employers who gave their staff a three-day weekend found their employees showing a much higher rate of productivity as opposed to a full five-day workweek. However, you don’t have to add an extra day off to improve your employees’ morale and work ethic. Here are four4 tips on how you can transform your workplace to create a suitable and productive environment.
1. Create a Culture that Promotes Productivity
Working in an office entails a lot of things. It means following procedures and committing to deadlines. It demands good levels of communication, presentation, and social skills. It means respecting the code of conduct and maintaining respectful work ethics. That’s all fine and dandy, but what about the work culture? It’s sad to see how many companies fail to prioritize a positive and productive work culture when it’s one of the main things that can make or break a team. Simply put, work culture summarizes what it feels like to be a worker in your office.
Although it may feel like a work culture is intangible, there are many ways to show its presence and effects. An example of healthy work culture would be a workplace in which goals are communicated clearly, company values are imprinted in the mind of managers and employees alike, and the beliefs and attitudes of the staff align perfectly with company policies. In such a workplace, managers promote the well-being of their employees and employees feel like they fit well in the work environment. This harmony is essential in making everyone feel accepted and appreciated, which has the knock-on effect of motivating them to focus and be more productive.
2. Create an Environment that Boosts Productivity
Creating a good office atmosphere is great, but it can only do so much if the physical office doesn’t live up to the standards. If you want your employees to give their all and go the extra mile, you should provide them with the workspace and resources to be able to achieve that. This is where you should take a critical look at the office and seriously consider whether or not you need to redesign the office. If the chairs and desks are uncomfortable, the ventilation is bad, or resources are lacking in any way, this means that you definitely need to redesign the space.
For starters, you should provide ergonomically designed equipment to support long hours of working. That is the case in Australia, where technically workplaces are bound to provide BIFMA or AFRDI-certified office furniture. As such, employers provide the staff with Arteil mesh office chairs designed to support the health of the back, neck, and even wrists. The desks and computers are placed in a way that supports posture, lighting neutralizes the effects of blue lights coming off the screens, and workplace division ensures silence in areas that require a great deal of focus.
3. Prioritize Deadlines and Calendar Management
Catering to the needs of your employees is one of the first steps in increasing productivity. However, imagine sitting in a great work environment with superb equipment, except you don’t have any idea what you should work on or when to submit your work. In this case, even the most diligent of employees will start to slack off – not for the lack of work ethic, but because they don’t feel the pressure. Although too much pressure can break a person, the lack of pressure altogether will soften a person’s senses and leave them demotivated.
The best work environments provide a balanced sense of pressure. As a boss, you should set clear deadlines that are reasonable to meet. With every task you allocate, you should clearly explain its details, ensure the employee understands their role, and stress the importance of committing to the deadlines. It’s human nature to be focused on your part of work, so make sure you create a sense of teamwork by explaining the ramifications of missing a deadline and how that affects the whole workflow and production of the team. Everything is connected, so manage your office well by dealing with your employees in a realistic manner.
4. Be a Good Boss
You’ve heard many times: there’s a big difference between being a manager and being a leader. While a manager focuses on performance and numbers, a leader prioritizes the employees’ motivation and productivity. A manager wants the work to flow perfectly according to plan, while a leader looks for ways to make the workflow more efficient. People often compare the two styles of supervising and sing songs about leadership, but the truth is, you’ll need to be both.
However, you want to call it, just be a good boss. Offer fair compensation for the efforts put in by your employees. Give them clear tasks they can perform, and help through the tasks they can’t. Avoid micromanaging them, but be sure to follow up on the tasks consistently. Ask for their opinion and take it into consideration, and always appreciate their efforts. Before all, make sure to hire the right employees for the right job; otherwise, everyone will suffer.
Various studies have shown a direct correlation between productivity and a positive work environment. Although you may not be able to create specific KPIs to measure the correlation, you’ll be sure to find the effect in how the productivity spikes in your workplace. You can start with instilling a healthy work culture that makes your employees feel at home, followed by redesigning the space to make it better for physical and psychological wellness. Be clear about the deadlines and explain the ramifications of the lack of commitment. Most importantly, be a good example of how a boss should be.