Keeping workplace productivity high is as easy as 1-2-3
How do you keep productivity high?” Well, we did a bit of research on this topic, and honestly, you find a lot of the “same old advice” like, “be a good employer”, “make people feel valued”, “create a productive atmosphere,” “be positive and encouraging.” Now, none of this is bad advice; in fact it’s all good advice, but it is rather vague and subjective and a bit outdated for today’s workplace. We wanted to find some information that offers more targeted tips for the specific demands of today’s worker.
Perhaps one of the biggest changes and demands in the workplace today is the ability to work remotely. For newer companies, you know, companies that have come on the scene in that last 5-10 years, this is a common practice. However, for older, more established companies who have been around so long they can remember using fax machines, and phone messages had to be taken by an actual receptionist, the idea of allowing employees to work remotely from home can be a down-right frightening concept. To think of allowing an employee to work from home would equate to an employee who really isn’t working at all. That is simply not the case and this leads us to our first tip:
- Pay your employees what they are worth. Nothing is worse than working hard and not being well compensated. One way people will feel valued in the workplace is if they are paid well for what they do. It’s pretty simple really. When people feel their employer is generous, that can be very motivating to work hard in order to feel that generosity is warranted. Life is expensive, and people need to feel that what they devote the majority of their life to, is worth it for them. Pay well, offer bonuses when it’s possible and make sure your benefits package is a competitive one. People tend to not walk away from good situations.
- Cut down on useless meetings! We’ve said this before right here, but we’ll say it again! Meetings are USELESS! Consider this, the amount of time you spend in meetings is time your employees are NOT working at their jobs and being productive. Yes, sometimes meetings are necessary BUT, they should be short and to the point. Always have an agenda when heading into a meeting and make sure the meeting does not go over 30 minutes.
- Offer Flexibility and trust by allowing your employees to work remotely from home 1-2 times per week. Today, it is very common for households to have two working parents and also for said households to live quite a long distance from their work-place. Allowing workers to flex their hours so that they aren’t spending half the day in the car will go a very long way in increasing productivity overall. By not having to drive in 1 or 2 times per week, allows employees to get a head start on their work day and in the long run, offers them a better work-life balance. Additionally, allowing employees some flexibility with their schedules can be very helpful when it comes to managing their work and family duties. In doing these, employers communicate to their staff that they understand the need for balance with work and family priorities. Employees see flexibility as a major plus and are careful to honor that in order to keep it.
These three tips are, what we see, as the BIG ones; meaning if these three are in place and prioritized by employers, then workplace productivity can flow. Now, let’s focus a little more on the flexibility tip above. Flexibility is a HUGE plus for today’s employee for the reasons we discussed above. Since it is so popular, it’s hard to imagine that there’s a down side to it, but there is…… or at least there can be.
As we were researching our points for this article, we came across a great read from August of 2015 by Stephanie Vozza about productivity tricks she learned while at Google. The first one caught our eye:
Use technology to keep remote employees close. Very good point. While flexibility and working remotely has numerous advantages, the major disadvantage is a feeling of disconnectedness that can tend to settle in. This is particularly true of organizations that have several satellite offices and a large percentage of employees working remotely. There are many tools available today that can keep employees connected from video chat, to conferencing tools, however, our personal favorite is the secure cloud connection. The Cloud allows employees to quickly and easily connect with your network regardless of where they are in the world and maintain a high level of productivity. Here at Spoken, our cloud integration is a great tool for maintaining a connection to your remote employees and keeping productivity high.