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Sometimes it can seem like the spectre of despair is haunting an office draining people of the motivation, and we’re not talking about Bill the creepy janitor.
You may be thinking about replacing a few of your staff or hiring an expensive consultant to see if that will relight the fire that once drove your team to the heights of efficiency and productivity. While those options can remain on the table, there are a few different methods to consider applying that can revitalise your office and staff.
How to make your office more efficient with the right design
The design and organisation of your office plays a substantial role in promoting an environment of productivity and efficiency. Gone are the days of the cubicle-farm, modern businesses are focusing on creating open work environments and finding that their employees are more productive and use their time at work more efficiently. Here are a few tips to help you make your office more employee friendly.
A lot of time is lost in the workplace as staff complain to each other about the temperature, whether it is too hot or too cold. Survey your staff, or experiment with the thermostat, to find the temperature which is most comfortable for the largest amount of people. For those that still find it uncomfortable, move them closer to or farther from the air conditioning.
Natural light is essential to our overall well-being as it helps to regulate Vitamin D, serotonin and melatonin levels which all contribute to our mood, sleep patterns and mental health. It should come as no surprise that, researchers at the Northwestern University in Chicago found that people who work in an office with good amounts of natural light showed healthier sleep patterns as well as more energy and vitality. Some companies reported that the productivity of their staff increased by up to 40% after increasing the amount of natural light in their offices.
Uncomfortable or broken furniture, such as desk chairs, are a constant source of distraction in the workplace as employee’s fidget and attempt to readjust their position. Switching to ergonomic furniture and providing standing desks, for those that want them, can help to increase productivity. Removing excess furniture and rearranging the office layout to allow for easy access to working areas, break rooms and meeting rooms can save extra time when staff are moving around the office. It may only be 1 or 2 minutes of saved time but when spread across multiple employees’s the saved time soon adds up.
While you are removing that unneeded furniture, have a look around your office for unused equipment, dying or dusty plants and anything else which is not being used but is in the way. Eliminating clutter is a great way of creating a feeling of spaciousness as well as reducing the number of distractions in an office.
Clear, concise organisation of paperwork and equipment is a key component of every successful office. When the filing system is chaotic and any needed supplies are spread across two floors and five cupboards the efficiency of your staff will plummet as they will have to spend more time and energy into locating what they need.
Another benefit of maintaining a well-organised office is, moving to a new business property will be simplified as there is no need to waste time trawling through years of haphazardly filed paperwork or collecting office equipment from every nook and cranny.
How to make your office more efficient with the right attitude
Another important aspect of running an efficient office is ensuring that your staff approach their work with the right attitude and are motivated to do so.
Promote and support a healthy lifestyle
Rest and a good diet are essential if we want to be productive and use our time well, but we all know that sometimes it can be difficult to balance work commitments with a regular sleep pattern, a healthy diet and regular exercise.
You can encourage staff to make healthy changes to their lifestyle in a number of ways without having to be a nanny. Healthy living campaigns can take many forms, from simply providing fresh fruit while at work to offering subsidised gym memberships. Another, more ambitious idea would be to host a healthy living month, it could follow a program such as:
- Have any interested employee’s set a goal they would like to achieve in one month (for example, weight loss/gain, change of diet, joining a gym);
- Provide all participants with progress journals to be completed daily;
- Set aside a time and room for participants to meet and support each other;
- After 1 month has passed, reward the person that has made the most progress with a gym membership or vouchers for local supermarkets.
Breaks during the working day are integral to maintaining a motivated, productive and efficient team. They allow employee’s to take care of all of the little distractions of modern life (checking social media, returning calls and messages) without disrupting their work, the lunch break is of greater importance as it provides staff with the opportunity to relax their mind for an hour and return to work focused and fed.
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How to make your office more efficient through teamwork
Teamwork is central to all successful businesses, without it, you will quickly notice a sharp decrease in productivity and efficiency.
Immediately resolve office drama
Offices are the perfect breeding ground for rumours, hurt feelings and grudges, with so many people working in close proximity for extended periods of time each day it isn’t hard to see why. It may be tempting to not pay any attention to how your staff interact with one another, but small disputes and rumours can escalate incredibly quickly and lead to staff feeling unmotivated as well as resentful.
The most successful managers tend to be more proactive and will act to resolve small disputes before they have a chance to turn into more problematic issues, this allows the team to focus on work instead of an unfolding drama.
Foster a sense of community
Building and fostering a sense of community in the workplace can work wonders for improving the efficiency of your office. As your staff grow to know more about each other they will be less hesitant to support one another, whether it is sharing knowledge and experience with new team members or covering for a sick colleague. Once a community is established your staff will show more loyalty to the company and will be more likely to be motivated to work hard as individual success leads to the team’s success.
Once a community is established your staff will show more loyalty to the company and will be more likely to be motivated to work hard as individual success leads to the team’s success.
Now that you know of a few ways to increase the efficiency of your office, try putting one or more of the methods listed into practice and we’re sure you will notice that your staff are happier and more productive.