The UK has a low work productivity level compared to other advanced economies in the world and yet everyone feels they’re busy and working hard.
Productivity at work is affected by multiple factors, but one solution could lie in a number of smaller things that you, your team or organisation can all do together.
If you want your workplace to be as productive as an ant colony, incorporate these tips in your work process to get the most out of your working day:
- Ditch the “9-5”
Working for longer hours in a day can give us a false sense of security. Upon having extra time in hand, we tend to do things slowly. It may sound strange to say you can get more done in less time, but it’s true. The work we do in a couple of hours when our attention is at its strongest, is really what defines our productivity – not the hours we spend appearing busy until the boss leaves.
- The 5-Minute Re-Boot
Do you find yourself staring at your computer screen, feeling a bit jaded? The average attention span of a person is typically 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the time of day. So make sure that in every half an hour, you take a five-minute re-boot – get up, grab a drink, and focus your eyes on something else. Even a couple of minutes away from your computer screen will stop your attention from waning and keep you fresh throughout the day. This way you would be able to work without losing your concentration, eventually being more productive.
- Move Your Body
Standing up in between works and moving around helps in increasing blood flow to the brain, and rejuvenates our senses. Even a simple exercise or stretching of around 15 minutes can have huge effects in terms of how much our brain is engaged. Try doing quick physical warm-ups before meetings, or while working on your desk.
- Plan a Corporate Day Out
Due to the effectiveness of corporate days out in increasing productivity at workplaces, nowadays more and more companies are opting for it. Spending time while doing fun activities with the office colleagues and staff outside a working environment opens the team to a new dimension of interaction with each other. These extremely popular corporate days incorporate management and leadership training, problem-solving and bespoke corporate challenges designed to develop communication, trust, motivation, teamwork and organisation. If your business or company is located in Leicestershire or in its surrounding areas, you can find many corporate days out planners who can assist you in arranging a corporate day out with your team.
Plan a corporate day out with your team and engage in corporate activities Leicestershire which will eventually assist in increasing productivity at your workplace.
- Incorporate Daily Huddle
Often, when there’s so much happening, it is more likely that a team will forget the stuff that really matters, or get caught up stressing about things that don’t add much impact. A daily huddle is a brisk, regular team meeting, designed to foster improved team communication and keep everyone focused on key performance measurements. This lowers the need for unnecessary long meetings and cuts down internal email traffic.
- Manage Your Inbox
Email is an incredible productivity tool, but it can also be a huge source of distraction. When you think about the key moments in your job, those things that really create an impact and add value happen outside of the email inbox not in it. So, make sure to get your inbox back down to zero regularly, ensuring that you’ve made all the decisions you need to, not leaving things festering beyond that first page. It’s about creating space and time for your important work, where you can get outside the inbox altogether.
- Power Hour
You must have had something that’s been on your to-do list a bit longer, or a part of your job that you always leave for later, or don’t enjoy. These things are terrible for procrastination as it’s so inefficient to keep thinking “Oh, I still haven’t done that”. Such thoughts just go round and round all day. This is where power hour comes into play. Power Hour is a single hour each day, where you schedule in an obligation to tackle the difficult, or unclear, or tedious tasks. You can power through those things in an hour, and then you don’t have to worry about them for the rest of the day.
- Use the “Second Brain”
The human brain is incredible, but our brains are weaker when it comes to short-term memory. Remembering a list or even just a dozen things show us this fundamental weakness. So maintaining a written list can act as a good “second brain”. Maintaining a list of all the tasks we have to do, and a list of all the projects they relate to, allows us to free up our brain for the stuff it’s brilliant at, and not rely on our brain for the things it’s not so great at.
Also, there are some apps you can use as a second brain, or you can use the tasks function in Microsoft Outlook and a simple Google doc. What matters is that you keep the lists updated, so that you trust it to act as your memory. Aim to not keep anything just in your head.
- Think about Your Thinking
This quote by Henry Ford highlights the importance of thinking:
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probably reason so few engage in it.”
Most of the people feel guilty about not removing time for thinking in their day or week, perhaps worried that their bosses or colleagues won’t think of it as ‘real work’.
Quality thinking time is crucial not only for our productivity but for our sense of control and well-being at a workplace. Regularly reviewing what we’re working on, what’s on our schedule and what’s coming up in future can enable us to spot efficiencies. This would empower us to be realistic, get the clarity we require to create momentum and remove the chances of procrastination from our working week.
- Avoid Pointless Meetings
Meetings can be a massive time consumer. Never take part in a meeting that doesn’t have an apparent purpose, a clear agenda and fixed start and finish times. But even well-organised meetings can also consume a lot or your time. An occasional apology to a party can all be a good way to reclaim some vital hours to put your attention to better use than sitting in a boring and pointless meeting.
- Put Plants In The Office
A recent research conducted by a team of academics has concluded that ‘green’ offices with plants make staff happier and are more productive than office designs with no greenery. The study found that enriching a ‘lean’ office with greenery could increase productivity by more than 15%.
The research team examined the impact of ‘lean’ and ‘green’ offices on staff’s perceptions of air quality, workplace satisfaction and concentration while monitoring productivity levels over subsequent months in two large commercial workplaces in the UK and The Netherlands. The research showed that plants in the office extensively increased self-reported levels of concentration, workplace satisfaction, and perceived air quality.
Analyses into the reasons why plants are beneficial for productivity suggests that a green office increases employees’ work engagement by making them more cognitively, physically and emotionally involved in their works.
Incorporate these useful tips into your working environment, and in no time you would witness an increased productivity at your workspace which would be lucrative for the company as well as the employees.