If you want to outperform your competitors to become the most favorable brand to your customer base in a particular industry, you have to maintain many 'dos' and 'don'ts'. Everything should get started from the inside as charity begins at home. A good workplace environment, a unified system that ensures relative ease in the communication tree, or a friendly clutter of workers are all prerequisites to thrive in the corporate arena. These conditions ensure that the company is fully capable of delivering the highest 'productivity'.
This buzzword 'productivity' was initially a measure that we used to calculate how much output we get from a machine for a given input, no longer confined to the gloomy mechanical world. Productivity is now a widely used word to interpret which, you don't need a rocket scientist around you. Yet, debunking how productivity can be pushed up might be tricky given that workplaces are overblown with numerous workplace distractions.
Let’s figure out how can you increase productivity in the workplace by avoiding all workplace distractions.
What is Productivity in the Workplace?
Workplace productivity is basically how efficiently your workers accomplish their tasks and how much time they take to complete them. A strong foresighted leader, flexible organizational hierarchy, world-beating technologies, or a palatial workplace building- all these things would result in zero if you don't have a bunch of workers who are motivated enough to give their best and consider the company as their own. So, from this perspective, all the mathematics of productivity will bring no good to you, and things will start appearing vague.
But still, people in organizations are obsessed with measuring and tracking productivity in every aspect of the workplace. Contemplating how it could be improved depends on in which way you are trying to define productivity.
To some companies, getting the best possible outcome is the ultimate productivity definer, but they might overlook the employees' happiness, using them as cogs. The futuristic companies take good care of their employees. In return, employees show reciprocity by anticipating what to do next and proactively working on something that helps the organization to become a better one.
How Workplace Productivity is Measured Worldwide
The most simplistic way to measure a company's productivity is to divide its output by Input. That is, Productivity= Output generated/Input given. For instance, A beverage company produces 16000 gallons of beverage per 100 hours. So, the productivity would be 160 gallons per hour.
Again, if one gallon of liquid is worth $1.8, the productivity in dollar terms would be $288 per hour. So, the company produces 160 gallons of beverage per hour which is worth $288. This method is widely known as partial factor productivity.
Efficiency is another widely used parameter to measure productivity. Efficiency is basically the ratio between the amount of work performed and how much energy is spent on it. Efficiency is the quality measurement tool that shows the output in percentage (%). For example, the standard time required for executing a task is 56 hours, but the employees took 70 hours to complete the task. In that case, the efficiency would be (56/70*100) = 80%. So, we can say that the employees were 80% efficient while executing that task.
Other than these measures, the world of operation management has numerous measures (e.g., Multifactor productivity, total factor productivity, different comparison metrics, etc.) under their belt to pin down all complex calculations to find out insightful information.
Important Statistics Regarding Workplace Productivity
The survey conducted by GetVoip on 2063 adults (Age range: 25-64) gives us the information that more than 80% of the employees waste time working in their organization. Women and millennials are more likely to waste time during work than their respective counterparts. The more alarming thing is that one out of every five employees wastes around 33% of their working time.
Looking at the country-specific data, we can see, that 79% of British employees are not productive enough. The last decade witnessed an unparalleled level of technological upswing, which helped U.S. employees increase their productivity by a staggering 253%. Luxembourg is way ahead in the productivity index with a GDP of $93.4 per hour of work than all other countries. On the contrary, with an average productivity of 39.2%, the Czech Republic is the global backbencher in the productivity index.
Various sources worldwide stated that 83% of the workers don't believe that they have to stay at the office to be more productive, where 47% of the employees said they are more productive while working remotely. Companies are making their schedules less rigid by offering flexibility and out-of-work support, yet different issues hurt how they want things done.
16 Ways to Increase Workplace Productivity
Nowadays, workplace productivity is of paramount importance as the competition is at an all-time high. Companies spend thousands of dollars finding out how to manage employees to get more output and efficiency decisively.
Here are 16 ways that will lead you to create a more productive workspace.
Let’s get started!
1. Say ‘No’ to Perfection
Your business can be as good as the technology and the workforce you are dealing with. There are things that can’t be better overnight, and you must create a mindset to accept those limitations as the organization leader. Chasing for perfection is a foolish idea, given that organizations have to deal with inevitable and uncertain setbacks. So, be realistic and accept the shortcomings. Perfection is a myth.
2. Advanced Planning
Acting proactively can save you from disastrous hyperactivity in the last moments. It's a famous saying that- planning is half of the work done. Thinking advanced and planning can give you an edge over your counterparts, and planning shows you the difficulties in advance.
So, being aware of any potential hazard beforehand can engage your brain in looking for the solution in advance. It will save your precious time, and your productivity and efficiency will be upward-sloping.
3. Follow the 'Scrum' Method.
Scrum is a method of constituting your work plan into small parts that help you complete a large project effectively and quickly. The scrum method is divided into sprints which is a weekly approach to working.
For making a more effective workspace, this method of budgeting time can guide you to do that long-term. It's a prevalent concept that got admiration all over the world for its simplicity and efficiency.
4. Morning huddle, E.O.D. Report & Retrospective Meeting
These three notions are ingredients of the scrum method, but they can be practiced even if the technique is not smeared in your company. A morning huddle is an effective way of communication. The team leader asks people about their to-do lists for that day and takes notes of any roadblocks they are likely to face while executing their tasks.
The employees generate an end-of-day report about their progress in a specific task or project, which should concur with the morning huddle reporting.
The retrospective meeting could take place weekly or monthly to get a complete insight into the employees' work in a stated time range. These notions help the organization to run more effectively as the tasks are split well and managed sensibly.
5. Set a Realistic and Measurable Goal
We all know about the S.M.A.R.T. goals. It's the acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. These are the criteria one chooses while pursuing a specific purpose. Being realistic and calculative while allocating the time for a particular task is very important.
So, while assigning tasks to the employees, you, as a manager, should consider the employee's capacity and the related uncontrollable issues. We generally overestimate what you can do in a day, but we underestimate how much you can do in a month.
Being realistic about a task’s timing and creating a task whose competence can be measured should be the goals of any manager. Setting unrealistic and vague tasks creates chaos and destabilizes employees’ mindsets.
6. Track the Task Completion Time
In the modern-day workplace, tracking the task completion time is a new trend. It certainly gives us proper knowledge regarding how much time we need while working on a task or project. Time tracking on projects will make the processes more efficient.
It also sets a standard for working, and employees nowadays are more watchful while executing their duties. Only using timesheet or time card calculator might not be enough. To boost productivity in the workplace, there is a lot of productivity tool around the tech world, you might be interested in. Most of which allows you to track work hours and track time by tasks.
7. Set the Priority while Assigning Tasks
Not all the tasks are of the highest importance. Some tasks have to be done right away, whereas there are tasks in which allowing a slight delay is right. So, prioritization of the tasks given to the employees is itself a significant task. The problem lies here: we allocate too little time to plan for the jobs we will undertake next week or the next day.
So, while doing the advanced planning or setting the timing for every task, we have to ensure that we develop a proper priority for every job we will execute in the future. It will help us meet the urgent needs and work more efficiently on the less critical tasks.
8. Set a Deadline for Every Task
Meeting the deadline and completing the assigned task within the allocated time create a sense of accomplishment in the minds of the employees. These small ‘victories’ lead them towards achieving higher objectives they set for themselves and the team they are working for.
So, setting deadlines even for the miniature-sized work will decrease the distractions as the employees will be under the radar of urgency. Concurring with the previous point, we have to create deadlines to ensure a proper balance of significance and triviality.
9. Plug the Skill and Communication Hole
Not all of your employees are extroverts and exuberant. Some of them might be highly modest, recluse, and timid. As an organization owner, it’s your duty to set someone as a manager who can communicate well with all the employees to get necessary information about them.
You need to know what skills they possess in themselves. You need to take care of the problem they are facing silently but aren’t bold enough to come forward and disclose in front of the people concerned.
If you can’t communicate to heal their mind, their potential might be unused for an indefinite period. Who knows, a better communicating manager than yours will someday make that ‘loner’ a gem when he isn’t available to work for you anymore! So, step out of your desk and act proactively to find out the missing part of the skill and communication dashboard and act while things are under your control.
10. Ensure the Matching of Skillset
While setting the job description in the job circular, we tend to include all those points related to the ‘post’ where a vacancy is available. We choose the employees accordingly. But the fact is that the job requirement criteria de-emphasize human potential. They can walk extra miles when needed. A seemingly ‘boring’ computer engineer who spends his entire day sitting at his desk for hours to solve critical problems might be a wonderful communicator.
An accountant, combating against the calculator all the time to do tiresome income statement tasks, might be a prolific orator. Don’t assume people’s nature and ability by their designation. They are way more than that. A bad manager chooses to stick with the skillsets he sees. A good manager improvises and reshuffles things as necessary.
11. Make Employees Feel Important
Having a sense of pride in a company as an employee is humongous for both the employee and the owner. It makes the employee feel unique and vital. Suppose the employee somehow thinks that his contribution to the company is inconsequential. In that case, he is doing something of little to no value which will make the employee feel worthless and disgruntled.
A manager must express each task in terms of importance and create a pleasant working atmosphere where no one’s contribution is negligible. The more important you can make the employee feel about herself, the more responsibilities she will be managing with effort and care.
12. Decrease Workplace Distraction
Today's organizations are more likely to be digitally progressive and electronically bounteous. While the rational use of technology can wipe out the lagging of time in different processing works, this technology can hit productivity extremely hard if you think about the opposite side of the coin. Social media alone can be a substantial distracting factor.
Watching movies on Netflix, commenting on friends' new relationship updates on Facebook, and checking out accessories Wishlist on Amazon are some of the kinds of stuff your employees love to do. Using time tracking software might help you track down the time your employees are wasting on these web platforms. Make sure that your employees are not distracted by any workplace time wasters during work time. It’s a tough job but still doable if you choose to do this in the right way.
13. Say ‘No’ to Multitasking
Your brain can work on only one thing at a time. Doing multiple jobs at a time not only decreases efficiency but also can significantly lower your I.Q. Level. A more frightening fact is that gradually it can reduce the efficiency level of your brain too. It would be best if you insisted your employees not multitask. Let them set priorities for assigned tasks. Motivate them to focus on only one thing they are doing at any time. It will increase workplace productivity.
14. Reinforce your Workforce Positively
Positive reinforcement is one of the most discussed behavioral concepts worldwide. This concept is discussed in operant conditioning. We saw that if a favorable outcome is promised or likely to happen after an action, that specific behavior will be strengthened. Organization leaders need to make employees feel important, encourage comments, and provide laurels based on their achievements.
If employees feel valued, which is an outcome of the commendation they get from their boss or managers, they will be one step ahead to undertake the more formidable challenges and walk the extra mile to execute anything that helps the organization grow. Make sure to praise their work to get more work done!
15. Allow Employees to Have a Breath.
Flexibility in the workplace is one of the most desired things an employee can wish for. Having a highly meticulous boss about employees’ working styles is not a cool thing for an employee. All he needs is to work in a little flexible working ambiance, and that’s not bad at all.
So, allow your employees to rest, take a cup of coffee, and call their spouses. These amenities shall provide them with a boost in their productivity, and intricate works could be done with relative ease.
16. Try an Alternative Work Schedule (e.g., 9/80 Work Schedule)
Now that you are familiar with the hacks to drive productivity forward, it's time to approach something unorthodox. A 9/80 work schedule is a new concept of worktime management where employees get an extra day off bi-weekly.
The daily working hour is extended from 8 to 9 hours, and there is an 8-hour long day a week. It means despite having an additional full day off, the employees will work for you that same 80 hours/ bi-weekly as the prevalent standard 8-hour-day work schedule. The pros outweigh the cons in most cases, yet a suitability test is needed before you step into the new timing horizon.
Do you think you are a suitable fit for it?
To Sum Up
Workplace productivity is an issue of pivotal importance if we take the current corporate world into account. It’s hard to stay productive all the time, so it is to ensure outstanding efficiency.
Nevertheless, the techniques that are discussed in this article are instrumental in pushing productivity upward. So, try applying these techniques in your company and make sure you stick around them. Success will be inevitable.