Office workflow and productivity is vital to the success of a company, with engaged, efficient employees and systems making a more efficient environment.
If you’re looking at improving office workflow and productivity, we’ve got some great tips to help. From plants to plans, spaces to snacks, even a small change can have a big collective impact. Try changing the office environment as well as nurturing people in a personal way for an all round success.
IMPROVING OFFICE WORKFLOW & PRODUCTIVITY: OFFICE ENVIRONMENT
- Office design: the colour choice in an office has a bigger impact than many realise. Use colour psychology principles to determine the best colour for your office. Try red for energy, blue for calmness, or green for creativity.
- Add some plant life to your office for an easy uplift. Natural plants clean the air and give great enjoyment to some tending to them. It is calming to water plants, and the green colour has a relaxing impact. Don’t want the hassle? Try succulents, which are low cost, easy to look after and small.
- Good lighting is vital to an office space to make your team feel productive and relaxed. Make sure lighting isn’t too intense, and be aware of reflective surfaces. Giving employees eye strain will have a negative impact on productivity. Overhead lights can be good for general lighting, but some people may prefer task lighting or desk lamps for more focussed illumination. Why not ask them what they think of the current lighting and see what you could change?
- Invest in good furniture that is comfortable and can be moved and changed to give each employee the position they need at their desks. It will work wonders as staff will be happy to stay still for longer! You could also look into standing desks or balance ball chairs, which have been proven to be a great way to boost health over sitting all day.
- Music in an office helps with mood. Music releases happiness chemicals, and the regular beat helps with concentration and focus. In an open plan office, it is also important to allow staff to use headphones for personal music. Open plan offices can be noisy and distracting so if staff need to focus, let them listen!
- Different spaces within an office allow staff to move around and get a change of environment. You don’t need to go full Google (with pool tables and sofas) to do this. Try creating different spaces for different tasks, allowing different people to sit together or a space to get some quiet work done. By allowing teams to sit together for project work, they will be more motivated, focussed and work harder.
- Providing staff with tools to organise their work may help to boost productivity. Clear to-do lists, schedules and plans help keep tasks and staff on track. Simple tools, like wall calendars, note pads and white boards empowers you to control workload. Being neat and tidy is also a great way to help productivity, as a cluttered desk is a more stressful environment. Give staff drawers, trays and storage – perhaps a clear desk policy will help, where at the end of the day everything must be off desks.
IMPROVING OFFICE WORKFLOW & PRODUCTIVITY: PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE
- Snacking in offices is common and is a great way to boost energy – but think about the snacks around. Making healthy snacks and water easily available is the best move – perhaps the doughnut table could be swapped for some fruit and nuts, or the vending machine could have some healthy options in it. Trying to help employees cut down on fatty snacks and fizzy drinks will impact the overall mood of the office and help with concentration. If you can stretch to it, provide free fruit for your employees, or make healthy options in the canteen easier. Studies have shown that a good diet is important for mental health, levels of sleep, concentration, and more.
- Keep communication open. This seems simple but by sharing ideas, keeping everyone in the loop and discussing both work and personal life, people feel included and valuable. It also prevents confusion, and stops duplication of work and other inefficiencies. Keeping communication open means everyone has a better idea of what is going on. Why not try monthly meetings or catch ups with the office team to discuss progress, problems and positive things?
- Taking breaks is not necessarily something you associate with efficiency as it means a break from working. However when concentration is fading, employees who don’t take a break struggle to find focus again. Taking a short 5-10 minute break once an hour will help break up the tasks slightly, and allow staff a chance to regroup, gather their thoughts and come back fresh for the task. You could even get the office doing it together if you are a smaller company! Standing once an hour is important for health, and providing a break out area gives staff somewhere they can feel comfortable and relaxed to really help promote good health and productivity.
- Providing training is important for keeping staff motivated and helping with understanding of work. Both of these will improve productivity and efficiency, with staff being more confident in their work and able to support each other as well. Engaged and nurtured staff are more productive and motivated, and training staff will help improve the office skillset. Ask staff if they have any areas of interest as well and provide relevant, interesting training for them.