You know that employee productivity is key to the success of your business. But are you doing everything you can to create a work environment that lets your team thrive?
To achieve this goal, you may need to rethink some assumptions you haven’t yet called into question. Taking a close, critical look at your current workflow and how it impacts each employee could reveal ways to increase productivity with just a few changes. If you’re interested in maximizing employee productivity, here are three areas of your business you can look at to see if you can make adjustments.
Many companies still cling to the traditional workday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), but more and more, people are asking whether this is really the optimal schedule for creativity and efficiency. Every person has a time of day when they’re at peak performance, and chances are it isn’t the same for everyone on your team.
If possible, consider ways you could make your working hours more flexible. Look at workflows within your various teams, and determine what type of flexible hours you can offer while still maximizing daily output and avoiding disruptions. For example, you could have core hours of 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and allow employees to determine their own schedule as long as they’re working during that four-hour time frame. Some might stick with 9 to 5, while others could choose 7 to 3 or 10 to 6.
Initially, the adjustment could take some getting used to, but if it’s a good fit for your business, you should quickly see happier, more productive employees.
Another way to maximize productivity is to encourage your employees to take periodic breaks where they can completely take their minds off work. As part of your employee wellness initiatives, you can set up meditation rooms or other quiet spaces where your team members can go to clear their minds.
There’s no reason you and your team have to be beholden to the traditional one-hour lunch break, either. Some employees may prefer to get outside more frequently for shorter periods so they can get some fresh air and light exercise. Others might have dedicated workout schedules — give them the option to take a two-hour break at midday so they can train, have their lunch and stay an hour later to finish up their day.
In the digital age, we’re used to a near-constant flow of communication from a variety of different media, but navigating all those different inputs can be detrimental to productivity. It may not be wise to mandate employees to stay off social media during the workday, but consider holding workshops to help your team develop habits that will allow them to focus on work and not get lost in cyberspace. They’ll thank you when they see how much more quickly these productivity techniques help them get through their daily tasks.
You can also make it easier for employees to deal with any outside-of-work issues that come up during the day by providing phone rooms or open-use areas where they can take calls if necessary. This will keep them out of earshot of their co-workers and allow them to address personal issues efficiently, since they won’t have to search for a quiet, out-of-the-way space to have a private conversation.
Most importantly, talk to your team: Chances are, your employees can tell you what they need to help them perform at their best. Harness that information, and adjust your workflow accordingly to maximize employee productivity.
Mary Parsons is retired from a 30-year career in the insurance industry. She worked in the claims department of a major insurance carrier as a claims adjuster, manager and a member of a catastrophe team. Since her retirement, she has developed a career as a freelance writer. As an insurance professional, she has been a contributor to several insurance websites.