There is a common misconception that being busy and being productive go hand-in-hand, that to “do more with less” and “give 110% effort”1 leads to a more rewarding and effective work lifestyle. However, for most employees, the opposite is actually closer to the truth. In fact, “almost 60% of employees report being [highly stressed]”2 by their work environment, often finding themselves bogged down by increasing workloads. Considering this growing trend, how can employees accomplish more than 8 hours of work in a single workday that is already full of meetings and other interruptions?
We explore four strategic options for boosting productivity using space management tools and techniques that are right at your fingertips.
1. Automate Redundant or Tedious Processes
Processes are put in place to offer a progress and productivity measure to ensure accountability. However, if an organization creates too many processes, employees can feel constrained from helping each other, or spend too much time on seemingly simple activities to avoid backlash from not following set processes. A great solution is to empower employees with more responsibility and to encourage face-to-face conversations. Providing clear vision for projects with a focus on the people, rather than the process.
2. Identify Business Weaknesses and Strengths
Taking the time to understand where your company could benefit from a continuous improvement perspective allows teams to focus on priorities rather than addressing all concerns or needs at once. This approach allows you to:
- Understand how your business operates best
- Create a formal feedback system for employees to share thoughts or areas where they would like to see changes
- Determine a set of measurable business goals
Tracking and sharing goals with the larger organization can help to ensure that productivity and improvement are ongoing activities where the company is making a strong investment.
3. Limit Disruptions
Distractions happen “64% more often in an open office.” With office designs trending toward a modern, open layout, we can expect to see an increase in disruptions. Leaders should help to create a distraction-free, pro-focus environment by encouraging employees to either work from home, or to find a quiet space and time each day to hunker down and focus on their most important tasks. Providing noise-cancelling headphones, offering music streaming services, and supporting the concept of only answering emails during certain times each day contributes to a productive work environment.
4. Add Flexible Workspaces
Flexible workspaces allow employees to choose to work alone on a heads-down project, or collaborate with their colleagues in a more open environment. Repurposing existing conference rooms or breakrooms gives employees flexible spaces to meet in groups for meetings or brainstorming sessions, while designating spaces for some dedicated quiet time. These flexible spaces allow companies to take advantage of the space they have, repurposing when necessary without any additional spend.
Organizational leaders have the power to improve employee productivity, reduce the risk of costly errors, and provide the proper insight to help employees work smarter. Optimization of office space through flexible floor plans and scheduling technology gives employees the ability to work the way they prefer, and helps organizations increase employee-to-desk ratio, reducing real estate and operational costs.