Productivity is always near the top of the list for any SME, and there are plenty of ways to eliminate poor productivity. However, there is more to productivity than simple processes. In order to keep productivity levels high from your staff, you need to create an environment that is conducive to that end. Below are a few ways that you can ensure that you are giving your workers the best chance to produce the best work.
Get the right tools for the job
The first thing you can do is make sure that your staff have what they need to do the job at hand. If they are desk bound all day, do they have comfortable chairs that can be easily adjusted? Are the computer monitors also adjustable for height to avoid neck strain by looking too far down or up? You should also invest in added back support for the chairs, as well as gel padded wrist supports for both the mouse and keyboard. By making these small purchases, you can reduce the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome and other issues that may affect your workers’ health. You should aim to spend money on anything that might make their job easier or less taxing. The less time they spend worrying about minor injuries strains, the more time they can spend working on the projects you have on the go, meaning that they are earning the company more money.
Create the right ambience
This may sound odd, and you may think that interior design has no place at work. However, you need to take into account several factors when trying to create an environment which will allow your staff to flourish. Of course, you will want a clean and tidy work environment that is free from distractions to allow your staff to concentrate. But you will also need to consider the lighting and noise levels. For instance, you can invest in tunable lighting that will allow you to take control of the mood that the lighting gives your office. So whether you want bright, clear lighting to keep everyone awake or you want to add a little warmth to your lighting to make the space seem more welcoming, you can do that at the touch of a button. You should also ensure that there is plenty of natural light, as well as a few plants dotted around the place to help the air to stay well oxygenated.
Allow opportunities for breaks
It is a well-known fact that you cannot focus on one task indefinitely. Continued work on the same task over a long period of time can leave you feeling brain-dead and fatigued. Allow your staff to take a five or ten-minute break every hour to help them stay fresh. Taking a quick trip to the toilet, or nipping to the kitchen to make a coffee is a perfect way of incorporating a break into the natural working rhythm. Staring at a computer screen for long periods of time can also fatigue the eyes and make it difficult to focus visually on the task at hand. These short breaks allow the eyes to readjust and get a bit of a break. Teach your employees to avoid having their screen brightness settings too high, a dimmer setting is much easier on the eyes and no less easy to read from. You should also encourage your staff to take their breaks away from their workstations too. Sitting down all day can cause the shoulder to hunch, but also it can create tightness in the hip extensors and hamstrings due to the seated position. Taking five minutes to walk around the office every hour or so will stop that tightness in the shoulders and hips, meaning a more comfortable working experience.
Believe it or not, you probably don’t have all the answers. Your staff will know what they are missing to ensure that they are working effectively, so ask them. They may not be able to think of something straight away, but by putting the question to them, they may notice that they are in need of something to help them work better. You can either let them come to you directly, send you an email, or even have a suggestion box somewhere easily accessible. Not everything they suggest will be feasible due to costs, but by showing that you value their opinions, you are creating a positive atmosphere for them to work in already.
Hopefully, these tips have helped you to realise the importance of creating a productive environment for your staff and how best to do it. Happy and productive staff are the quickest way to a successful company.
Open Business Council offers resources, Trade Finance, business advice, SME Finance and a forum and directory for businesses! Improve your business and use the best digital, financial and funding tools to grow ROI – return on investment and ROA – return on attention!