How efficient is your office? Alexander Bouri knows that any company, no matter how successful, can fall into slumps of low productivity. Here are five top tips from Alexander Bouri of Seament for how to get back on track and improve office-wide productivity:
- Natural sunlight – One of the easiest ways to boost office productivity also happens to promote happiness and wellness overall: by maximizing natural light. Humans respond to sunlight on a physiological level. We become less fatigued, stay more focused, have better moods and energy levels, and can stave off seasonal affect disorder when we have lots of sunlight in our workplace. Consider what you can do to maximize the natural light in your company office, and encourage employees to take short breaks for walks outside.
- Positive environment – Sunlight isn’t the only aspect of an office environment that affects productivity and happiness. A positive, relaxing environment helps employees stay focused, deal with stress effectively, and succeed at their jobs. You can achieve this sort of environment by adding live plants, decorating with relaxing colors, keeping the temperature comfortable, and putting out lavender-scented potpourri in shared areas to discourage stress.
- Email expectations –Most employees are constantly receiving, reading, and replying to emails throughout the day. This can easily become an endless cycle where they don’t have time to do anything else. We often advise executives to set certain times of day for replying to emails, but employees don’t always feel like they have the same leeway. Tell your staff that you encourage them to set two or three fixed times during the day to reply to emails, and that they are not expected to check emails outside those times. Not only will productivity increase, they’ll breathe a collective sigh of relief.
- Less meetings, more action items – How do you make sure everyone understands a project, and gauge their progress on it? In all too many companies, the answer is meetings. Meetings are time-consuming and pull staff away from their actual work. While the occasional project meeting is inevitable and welcome, make sure that it ends with a detailed list of action steps that chart the path to completing the project. By breaking a project into small steps, staff will have an easier time completing it and can tell you instantly what item they’re on—no “check in” needed.
- A simple cleanup – Choose a Friday or a Monday and make it Office Cleaning Day. Ask all staff to help with an office-wide decluttering and offer treats in the afternoon when it’s done. This is fun, and a clean, clutter-free environment makes it easier for everyone to work better and only takes and extra 20 minutes out of the day.
What other tips do you have for boosting productivity?