In a society tech obsessed and constantly in search of good, better, and best, there is a focus on evaluation and comparison. There are magazines and web pages dedicated to finding the best products and rating the efficiency of new tools. But this idea of being best doesn’t just stop at products; people are subject to this rating system as well. While a computer can be upgraded with software changes and cars can get annual maintenance to keep things running smoothly what can we do to increase our own productivity. There are roughly 480 minutes in every workday, how do you get the most out of them? How many minutes are lost waiting for an unorganized co-worker, or in search of a peer? How much of the day is designated for self-motivated work verses collaborative projects? Are you using the most of your time wisely? There are some simple adjustments that can be made and maintained to help you and your office team work at peek performance. Here are seven tips that are a collaborative effort from the entire office staff on how to improve productivity.
1) What happens in the office is effected and dependent on what happens away from the office.
People are people and are inherently flawed; we get tired and stressed, it is very important to have ample resting time. Now don’t get too excited. This is not a tip that suggests for your boss to give you 6 weeks of vacation, but make sure you are getting enough non work hours in. Make sure to sleep well at night. This may seem like a no brainer, but the effects stand the test of time. Sleep is without a doubt a personal contribution to productivity.
2) Continuing in the interest of rest, office rest is just as important as out of the office rest.
Just like in weight training, recovery time allows the muscle to achieve more in the long run. The same theory applies in the workplace. Having a lounge space for employees allows a moment to rest away from their workspace and return invigorated. People are very absorbent as well, being surrounded with natural light and bright welcoming colors in a lounge space will inspire creativity, improve moral, which in turn increases motivation. Having this space also allows for positive interactions between office staff. And having a designated rest area allows for work only to be associated with one’s workspace.
3) Workspace importance, only the necessities, workspace is for work.
Having a minimalistic workspace allow focus. Eliminating additional distractions such as pictures, papers, pens, staplers and paper clips, by turning off the visual noise of other priorities, high concentration is achieved. This also means minimize the actual noise around your workspace by turning off the radio or buffer out the sounds of those around you with headphones. Displaying a focus that discourages interruption will improve your working relationship with your space. This one should be encouraged throughout the office environment to allow employees a safe, distraction free zone, which is their very own.
4) Have open lines of communication.
The quest for maximum production is a balancing act and in order to allow everyone to do their part for the larger goal of production, customer satisfaction, an efficiency line of communication must be open. The ability to communicate with everyone is very important to finding the most successful work patterns for each individual. When all of the cogs on the machine are working well individually and together the machine overall performs better. Don’t be timid in asking for help to remove obstacles that are hindering your performance.
5) Help the team by helping yourself.
Leading by example is not a new concept, but it is one that is easy to forget in daily activities. Leading by example encourages those around you to operate to the best of their ability too. This can be done simply be being at a meeting early, or by being accountable to others in the office. Helping yourself achieve these goals will help others to hold themselves accountable too.
6) Say No
Yes, you read that correctly. The ability to say no is important. While focusing on perception and capability, the feeling of control is crucial. This follows along with the idea of clutter free workspace. Having a mentally clutter free workspace is also important and the ability to throw away clutter, or say no to distractions, this will allow for main priorities to be focused on. Apply this within reason, understand your limits and employ them.
7) Be your own advocate
Know what’s out there. Are there new technologies, better office equipment, and new software? Have there been improvements that will increase efficiency and productivity? Ask your boss for them, or ask your employees input on what would help them. Budgeting in small upgrades monthly will help keep the office in forward momentum seamlessly. And by slowly and continually integrating upgrades, you eliminate having to do major renovations or time consuming trainings.
It often seems like there is not enough time to accomplish everything that needs done, but with organization and an understanding of the environment that you are in, productivity and efficiency can be managed.