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5 tips to improve workplace productivity

productivity at work

If you run a business, lead a team or are a part of a team, you know that enhancing workplace productivity is something that can’t be overlooked. With an average of 7.7 hours spent during a work day, sometimes the work produced doesn’t match the hours spent in the office as employees sometimes lose their daily focus.

Losing focus during a long work day is only natural at times, but work needs to be produced regardless of what occurs during the day. So how do you increase work productivity? The most obvious and easy way is to increase your or your team’s employee engagement.

A recent study shows that highly engaged employees are 38% more likely to have above-average productivity. In addition, the study states that increasing employee engagement investments by 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year. But you don’t always need to invest cash to make work enjoyable. Here are a few tips on how to get more engaged and produce better results.

1. Build the right environment

Building the right environment is very important for an employee to feel comfortable during their work day. Simple things such as decorating a workspace can truly make work feel more like home. In addition, if your work area allows it, having natural light can really boost productivity.

According to a study carried out by Business in the Community, natural lighting can result in happier workers, less absenteeism, and fewer illnesses, and, because better lighting encourages satisfaction among workers, it also results in increased productivity. Other ways to build the right environment is to have the tools needed, such as:

  • More than one screen - multiple screens can provide easy navigation from task to task
  • White Boards –White boards can be a great way to highlight the most important tasks or reminders for you or your team. You can used whiteboards to write down daily tasks, list upcoming events, brainstorm together as a team, and to draw out plans for a more visual look on how the work will flow.
  • Open offices – having an open door policy for all offices throughout your workplace can improve communication between colleagues, show that everyone is approachable, and allows everyone to be more in “tune” with what is going on around the office.

2. Keep hydrated

One simple and none-expensive way to increase productivity is to drink more water. If you own your own business or lead a team, providing your employees with a filtered hydration system, such as a bottleless water dispenser, you can increase your productivity at work by 14percent. In addition, making sure to stay well hydrated throughout the work day can lead to a reduction in fatigue, provide an energy boost, fight stress, prevent headaches and strengthen the immune system.

3. Bring the fun

Ever notice how a child can make any situation playful and creative? That’s because they are typically good at thinking outside the box, since most of their waking moments are spent at play. Adding some fun activities throughout the day can do the same for employees. Making the work place fun can increase creativity, better employee’s mood and help workers see obstacles in a different light. Some fun that can be built throughout the day are:

  • Team building activities – you can do these daily, weekly or monthly; regardless of the time frame providing fun activities for employees to interact can truly boost morale. You can do activities such as: get a team together to do a day of charity work, start a daily walking club, start a show-and-tell session, or take part in a daily/weekly icebreaker games.
  • Listen to music –Research shows that people’s minds tend to wander which can lead to negative thinking, but music can actually bring us back to the present moment. In addition, a study done by Teresa Leiuk, an assistant professor in the music therapy program at the University of Miami, found that those who listened to music completed their tasks more quickly and came up with better ideas.
  • Hold stand-up meetings – having a stand up meeting can really keep employees better engaged and up-to-date with daily work activities, without having the traditional sit down meeting where people tend to lose concentration and focus. In fact, you can even reduce meeting times by up to 34 percent, giving you more time in the day to complete other tasks.
  • Add a personal touch to situations – giving employees an opportunity to share something personal about themselves builds employee relationships, which improves how the team functions together. You can start a meeting by going around the room and stating something exciting that has happened in their personal life, or end a meeting by going around the room and stating one thing they are looking forward to when they get home.

4. Promote breaks

Studies have shown that taking regular breaks from mental tasks can improve productivity and creativity and skipping breaks can actually lead to stress and exhaustion. Unfortunately, because of the size of our workload or because it’s sometimes easy to get lost in your work, many don’t take their allowed breaks during their day. In order to promote regular breaks, and improve productivity employees can:

  • Work at 90 minute intervals – To operate at our best, the human body needs to renew its energy every 90 minutes. Giving it your best for 90 minutes and then taking a break in order to refresh yourself and your minds can truly be beneficial.
  • Two-minute rule – in order to battle procrastination, the two-minute rule states that every tasks that seems like it should take two minutes or shorter, should be done right away. If the task will take longer than two minutes – start it and continue it for 2 minutes. Life Hack claims that “every goal can be started in two minutes or less” and the purpose of this rule is to do exactly that - get tasks started. Once you start doing a task you’re far more likely to complete it.
  • Clearing divide work and rest – getting out of the regular routine during the work day can give a different perspective on tasks. Taking a break at your desk isn’t really providing any since the work in front of us can pull is back into a stressful state of mind. So whether it’s in the company’s lobby, breakroom or going outside, getting out of your normal surroundings can let the mind rest from work activities and promote creativity and productivity.

5. Build a positive team culture

Providing a great working environment can be beneficial, but overall, a good team culture can truly make people excited to come to work and willing to perform to their best ability. In order to provide a good working culture, you can:


  • Remain flexible –be willing to compromise on how to get things done, accept new ideas and be understanding of people’s personal lives that can sometimes affect work life.
  • Encourage communication –encourage your employees to talk to you or other team members in order to solve team conflicts, bounce ideas off each other and to get to know each other better.
  • Non-blame culture – when sometimes goes wrong, instead of blaming a specific individual and what they could have done differently, focus on taking action to solve the situation as a team.
  • Lead by example - if you encourage communication, loyalty, fun and hard work – set the bar! Show you’re employees that you do exactly what you ask of them because you believe in the power of your word.

Although big companies sometimes pour a lot of cash into providing certain amenities for their employees, which does improve overall employee engagement, it’s not always necessary. Building a fun, productive and caring company and team culture will build employee loyalty and increase overall productivity.