In the 20th century, the industrial-capitalist economies associated extended workdays with productivity. But this concept has become obsolete – though mostly in theory – since practices have shown that workers are more productive when companies enhance their engagement. Gallup’s recent surveys have revealed that just 36% of employees worldwide are engaged at work. So, what’s the solution? We have examples of Microsoft that observed a 40% boost in people’s productivity after implementing four workdays every week in Japan. In March this year, Spain became the first European country to experiment with a shorter workweek. However, “Friday off” doesn’t seem suitable to smaller businesses. So, what can they do?
Tips to Make Your Workforce More Productive
In 2019, some European organizations started advocating to reduce the standard workweek from 36 to 28 hours. They argued that it would reduce burnout, make employees happier, and encourage them to become more loyal to their employers. Statistics show that even though over 80% of employees in the USA are “happy,” 52% of them have been victims of burnout since the pandemic started. So, what should our employers do to enhance their employees’ productivity and make them more engaged? We’ve discussed some simple methods here that can help companies boost their workforce’s efficiency. We expect that these suggestions won’t just benefit your stakeholders but also workers, thereby the entire company:
- Reduce Distractions
Distractions harm your workforce’s productivity and create ineffective employees. It’s believed that 70% of workers are distracted at the workplace. That’s why some companies have a no-phone policy that prevents workers from wasting work hours checking their social media accounts. During breaks – however – employees should be given access to the internet. Your only concern should be limiting employees’ social media activity at their desks. These distractions shouldn’t damage their duties.
- Train Employees
Distance learning allows your employees to enhance their academic expertise digitally. They should pursue AACSB accredited online MBA programs no GMAT required to become eligible for future leadership opportunities. Or complete any other qualification that allows them to upskill and progress in their niche. These degrees and courses enable workers to obtain the skills necessary to enhance their know-how and efficiency. So, workers with more education are more productive. Moreover, this education boosts their “soft skills” for improving their critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication capabilities. Hence, these programs are well-suited for your workforce since they allow them to learn at their desired speed and retain more information.
- Optimize Meetings
Experts have estimated that employees spend 80+ hours in meetings monthly that don’t just hurt their productivity but also causes companies to lose thousands of dollars annually. So, we suggest that you hold essential meetings only, spend 15-20 minutes in these conferences, and don’t invite people who are irrelevant to the agenda. Moreover, you should email for better communication. It’ll keep employees productive at work as meetings may eventually become distractions if held incessantly.
- Improve Working Conditions
Your workers require a healthy workplace to boost their productivity. Putting green plants in the office induces a feeling of comfort among employees and stimulates them to become diligent. We also recommend painting your walls something other than white. It’s been observed that red, blue, and green make people detail-oriented, innovative, and motivated, respectively. Allowing more windows in the workspace admits enough sunlight. People who receive sunlight sufficiently sleep 46 minutes more and are thereby well-rested. It’s a no-brainer that well-rested workers are more focused when they’re back to work the next day. Healthy workplace conditions are crucial for their productivity.
- Promote Transparency
Employers seldom confess when they’re wrong but creating a culture of transparency can boost the workforce’s productivity. It makes employees feel empowered to innovate, question, and expose a problem that can potentially harm the company’s profitability. So, learn to admit when you’ve made a mistake and allow workers to voice their concerns openly. A leader doesn’t hesitate from learning about their wrong decisions. We’ll also talk about the importance of giving feedback properly.
- Give Feedback
Communication’s a two-way street. Employees expect your feedback to remain productive. That’s why we recommend providing timely, articulate, and constructive feedback to subordinates. It’ll enable them to understand their mistakes and improve their performance. On the other hand, don’t forget to appreciate employees when they’ve achieved a target. Some Reddit storytellers have retold how they quit their jobs when their bosses kept telling them “You can do better” even after achieving impressive milestones. So, when the employer doesn’t give credit when it’s due, it hurts a worker’s morale, her/his productivity declines, and then that employee doesn’t stay motivated to continue.
- Allow Telecommuting
Statistics show that employees who work from home are more productive than those working from an office. Now, we don’t suggest letting your entire workforce telecommute. But research indicates that 77% of employees working from home a few times per month have been more productive than those who haven’t worked from home. You can also offer them a flexible schedule that lets them work in two shifts with a two-hour break in between them. That’s how workers remain productive.
- Provide Equipment
You should provide the necessary equipment employees need to perform their responsibilities. They must have access to online tools, software applications, and hardware amenities required for duties assigned to them. It’s counterproductive to let them waste time operating a computer that takes ages to load a single webpage. Providing them high-quality equipment doesn’t just enhance the workforce’s productivity but also improves your company’s perception. But it doesn’t mean that you should invest your money blindly into purchasing expensive equipment. For instance, you should get them an MFP that works as a copier, printer, and scanner simultaneously while also sending faxes.
A 2017 survey shows that almost 90% of workers have admitted wasting time at work! So, most of them confessed that they wasted 30-60 minutes daily. Statistics show that an average employee is productive for just three hours every day, thereby creating an alarming situation for employers. So, what’s the veiled solution here? You should incentivize diligence, reward employees for innovation, and make productivity central to your company culture. Moreover, provide professional development and continued education opportunities to your workforce. Delegate tasks your workers enjoy doing and communicate with them effectively. These strategies will help you get the best out of your staff and maintain their productivity.