Six steps to boost office productivity

Today’s guest post is from Vaishnavi Kanekal.

Most of the entrepreneurs are so busy worrying about the dwindling employee productivity to even look around to see if they have walked into their office! It’s true, employee engagement is one of the big concerns for all the entrepreneurs. A study confirmed that only 13% of the employees are actually working. And just with 13% employee engagement, the respective companies have landed in the Fortune 500 companies coveted list. In today’s scenario, people are easily bored, thanks to the social media platforms. To make work interesting is one thing and to engage the employees in it, is another. One of the most important reasons we always choose to ignore is our Office Environment. The office environment is directly proportional to the employee’s productivity. A few companies listed on Fortune 500 have the least attrition rate, if you dig deeper, you’re bound to find out how each company has shaped it’s work space into a fun packed area. A few little knacks to help you reframe your office settings

1. Bring the old office down:

“Is that your office?” Come on, take a look around when everyone’s gone. Does what you see please your senses? Are the cabinets overflowing with files, does the paint seem to lose it’s color and does the dust on the computers make you not want to touch it? If this is how your office has been for a long time, you’ve a reason why your staff is availing sick leaves and why people can’t find anything good in the office so they turn to the virtual world. It’s time to change the way your office looks. The office environment is way too important to be ignored. You end up spending more time here than at home, so it’s totally worth investing in it. Work out a new look immediately.

2. Innovation reigns :

The technology today is awe-inspiring. Replace your old model cabinets, coffee machines, computers etc. with new funky ones. Many might fear it’s a costly affair and to pay employees for the idleness while renovating is a loss. Well, we all know today’s pain is tomorrow’s gain. It will consume some time, the money involved is huge. But what you are buying are assets and even a bank overdraft is easy to procure with many banks trying to help SME’s. Also corporate bulk orders are hugely discounted, so make use of it to recreate your office space.

3. The creative touch :

Adorn your walls with some beautiful quotes and pictures. The effects of seeing and reading beautiful messages everyday as you swipe into the office always has and always will have positive effects on your mind. Change these quotes every once in a month. Add a touch of humor and work ethics. It is so powerful that it can turn a bad day into a good one. They say “cleanliness is godliness” which is true in all respects. Encourage people to keep their desks neat and clean. How you organize your little things speaks volumes of how you can manage pressure.

4. Recreation rooms :

Have an in built gym, indoor & outdoor sports room, quiet room and a view room. Most of these are very exorbitant but worth having. Encourage your staff to spend time wisely in any of these rooms to recharge themselves. Allocate each person time in these fun activities as “Happy hours” time so that you are not paying them for playing! This whole purpose of creating these rooms are for inter employee bonding. They must be able to share a cuppa with people from other departments.

5. Fun raisers :

As the name suggests, make sure your staff is recognized for all the little things they do out of their way. Public appreciation any day beats monetary compensation. Give away little trophies for each such person in a gathering allotting them funky titles like “Ms Smarty Pants”, “Ms Excel 101” etc. It adds a touch of familiarity and gives them something to brag about. Give away coupons for shopping and movies and stuff like that. Some employees might even consider working hard just to get those coupons and title!

6. Always be accessible as a Friend :

Strike a chord with your employees. Share your concern to see them develop into true value adders. Express your wish knowing each one personally. Be a friend, forget you are the Entrepreneur. Share your mail ids with them. Encourage them to talk to you about anything as a friend. Jeff Bezos of Amazon fame is a living example of this. Collect feedbacks, reward honest opinions even if it’s against you, make it a point to gift each of your employees a company merchandise on their birthdays! Gifting something useful with your company’s logo on it makes them more loyal. End the hierarchy and welcome the traditions of credit points. Each person doing a great job must be awarded Credit points just like college GPA.. Don’t forget to appreciate the truth in: “It’s not how long you work, it’s all about how you work and what you accomplish”

Conclusion:

Creating a positive work environment is a time consuming process, but once it’s established it becomes a tradition. A tradition of perfection that people follow without being asked to follow because the majority follows the tradition. Always remember, if you want your employees to go that extra mile for you, you must be willing to lay a smooth road ahead for them.   Image courtesy of patrisyu at FreeDigitalPhotos.net