It can be hard sometimes to maintain office productivity during the workday, especially if you work a 9-5 desk job. People often get antsy and procrastinate on projects by looking at social media, being on their iPhone, making phone calls, chatting with coworkers or maybe even just staring off into space. Staying productive and having a to-do list at work doesn’t have to be a lost cause, though. There are a few things you can implement in the work environment to increase productivity, retention, and keep your team focused. Read more to find out our office productivity hacks.
1. Have a Morning Huddle to Increase Office Productivity For The Day
A great way to start the day is by having a team huddle in the conference room or home office if your team is remote. This gives everyone a chance to go over what their tasks are for the day and what needs to be prioritized. It’s also a great opportunity to check in with fellow teammates about project management and discuss how work needs to be divided up and what can be delegated. Your team will, hopefully, leave the huddle motivated and, in the mindset, to start knocking out some tasks/projects.
2. Keep Healthy Snacks on Hand
This may seem more like a perk than a necessity but keeping snacks in the office environment available is actually a great way to increase office productivity! Eating healthy snacks throughout the day is one of the best ways to keep up energy and help maintain focus. When one of your employees is hitting a slump or getting antsy, they can go grab a snack and come back ready to dive into their projects.
3. Take Breaks to Walk Around/Go Outside & Get Fresh Air
Sitting at your desk for hours on end with no breaks is not conducive to a productive mindset. Studies have shown that our brains need to take a short break every 1.5 hours. Forcing yourself to focus longer than that will likely not produce your best work/will result in you getting distracted anyways. Encourage your team to practice having a work-life balance and get up and walk around the office periodically — grab a cup of coffee and experience the natural light before the end of the day or say hi to the neighbor. Maybe even walk outside for 3-5 minutes during work hours, if you can. You’ll be surprised how much more focused they are when they come back!
4. Eliminate Desk-Top Dining – Don’t Eat at Your Desks!
There are some jobs where multitasking while eating at your desk the only option may be. However, if you can avoid it, try to get up and eat somewhere else — even if it’s just a big table in the office. Removing yourself from your workspace to eat lunch gives you a mental break and subconsciously helps you keep a productive mindset about your desk. It’s the equivalent of not watching TV in bed to mentally train yourself that beds are for sleeping. Train yourself to know your desk is for working!
5. Stay Organized.
This is harder for some people to do than others but staying organized will help keep you on task and increase office productivity. Keeping your desk clean will help clear your mind, too. Try starting each day by making a list of the things you need to accomplish. Then, knock out the smallest projects first. This organization strategy will encourage you to be productive for the rest of the day, because you’ll be encouraged by what you accomplished early on.
6. Remember to Stand Up!
There’s a reason standing desks are becoming more popular in many workspaces. Sometimes you just need to stand up to regain your focus. Sitting all day can make you feel like your energy levels are low and can cause you to feel sleepy and easily distracted. Standing up while you work will help you stay energized and increase office productivity. Not to mention, it’s better for your overall health!
7. Plan Team Bonding Events
“All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.” If your team is only focused on work 24/7, they probably aren’t going to feel very connected to their coworkers or to the overall mission of the company. It’s important to plan team events in and outside of the office. This will help your team connect and improve overall workplace culture. And having a positive culture will automatically increase productivity in the office.
8. Provide Regular, Consistent Training For Your Team
While it’s important to hire people who already know how to do their jobs, ongoing training should be a part of any workplace culture. Making sure your employees are up to date with what the company is trying to accomplish and the best ways to do that is crucial for increasing productivity. Make sure you have regular sessions to check in and teach/refresh new skills.
9. Clear Communication
This is a big one. An open office is vital when it comes to maintaining productivity via Zoom, and Slack. You can’t expect your team to be productive and do their best work if there isn’t an open line of communication. There needs to be clear expectations and goals from the onset, along with a relationship that allows for questions to be asked throughout projects. This will save a lot of guesswork and help you actually accomplish tasks on a day-to-day basis.
10. Encourage Your Team to Prioritize Mental Health and Self-Care
When your team is happy and healthy, they can bring more energy and focus to their work. Create space for your team to make sure they are taking care of themselves mentally outside of the office. This could look like having mental health stipends in place or flexible PTO. It could be just checking in regularly with employees and allowing them to work from home occasionally. Figure out what the need is and what makes sense for your employees/company.
11. Don’t Micromanage Your Team
Studies have shown that micromanaging your employees creates more stress and actually decreases productivity in the office. It’s okay to give direction and answer questions but try to remember that you hired these people to do a job they are already qualified for. Give them space to do their work in their own way at their own pace (within reason) and take problems/questions as they come.
12. Treat Yourself (And Your Team!)
Make sure to celebrate the victories and take time to just kick back and enjoy time with your team. Order a catered lunch every once in a while or start an office happy hour for a certain amount of time. Celebrate birthdays and anniversaries and make sure to have fun! This will create bonds with your team that make them want to work harder and increase job satisfaction.