Your workplace does not seem like the best place to work, especially when it comes to being more productive. Whether it is your smart-phone, boisterous co-workers, deluge of emails, recurring meetings, or the distractions created by social media constantly bidding for your attention, you feel like the disruptions at work are seeping your productivity. With diversions everywhere pulling at your mind, you are finding it difficult to maintain focus.
Does this scenario seem all too familiar to you? If yes, then you are not alone. We all face similar challenges at work but what is the solution? Thanks to science, we now know productivity hacks to boost workplace productivity and unlock your inner hero. Here are seven scientifically proven productivity secrets that you wished you knew earlier:
1. Go Green
According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, employee productivity spikes up to 15% when there are plants in your office as compared to a lack of greenery. In addition to helping you stay rejuvenated, decking out your workspace with plants has a host of other benefits as well. It purifies the air and fosters your cognitive functions in the workplace. As a result, employee concentration levels take wings. So, the next time you are planning to revamp your office space, do not forget to throw a few plants in the mix.
2. Make Hay While The Sun Shines
Your office lights might be killing you, and not just figuratively. High-intensity fluorescent lights, that are quite common in offices, result in UV related eye diseases, sleep deprivation, and aggravate certain skin conditions, epilepsy, and lupus. On the other hand, scientists and researchers have established a link between sunlight exposure and higher productivity. You might be thinking how sunlight exposure can enhance employee productivity at work? Well, here is the reason.
Sunlight increases calcium absorption in the body by boosting Vitamin D production and affecting the circadian rhythms, both of which are closely associated with employee motivation and alertness levels. Let some sunshine peek into your office to lift the mood, motivation, and focus of your employees. Replace fluorescent lights with LED lights as they are less dangerous for the eyes and can also deliver the same alertness and productivity boost as sunlight.
3. Keep Temperature in Check
According to a survey conducted by CareerBuilder, 25% of employees complained that the office temperature is hot while 23% complained that it is too cold for their liking. 72% of survey respondents asserted that hotter workplace temperature had a negative impact on their productivity while 53% of respondents cited similar feelings for a cooler workplace.
Setting a perfect temperature for your office is important, as it will eventually reflect on your productivity graph. What is the right temperature for your office? Numerous studies have found that increasing the indoor temperatures from 20 degrees Celcius to 25 degrees Celcius is linked with fewer errors, and a boost in the productivity of employees. So, the ideal temperature for your office is between 22-25 degrees Celcius.
4. Appreciation Can Do the Trick
Achieving higher productivity doesn’t entail employers to turn into red-faced monsters. A few flashes of brilliance can get you there. The hard part is to maintain a level of higher productivity over a long period. This is where most of us tend to struggle, and the element of appreciation makes its limelight appearance. Research has discovered that workplaces that follow positive practices tend to succeed in achieving better results.
Whether it is employee care and support, or rewarding, appreciating and respecting employees, they all contribute to higher productivity and performances. More importantly, it can boost employee motivation levels and elevate employee satisfaction, which in turn mitigates the employee turnover rate of your organization.
5. Follow the 90:20 Rule
What is the 90:20 rule, you may ask? Before we get to that, you need to understand that working for long stretches of time without taking breaks does not translate into higher productivity. In fact, it is the other way around. Interspersing your workday with short breaks peppered in between, can reduce the chances of errors and boost your productivity. How long should these short breaks last? That is where the 90:20 rules comes into play. For every 90 minutes of work, take a 20-minute break. A power nap during the workday can save you from productivity slump during the afternoon. Moreover, it can increase focus and alertness.
6. Focus On One Thing at a Time
Are you still multi-tasking? If yes, then I have some bad news for you. Multitasking will decrease your productivity, performance, and efficiency. Sorry workaholics, but the research conducted at Stanford University has proven it. Our brains are hard-wired to focus on one thing at a time. When we try to juggle multiple tasks simultaneously, we tend to shift focus from one task to another, which takes time and ends up taking a lot more time when we are only focusing on one task at a time.
Multitasking can kick your production of stress hormones into overdrive, which adds to more stress, increasing the chances of mistakes. Another study conducted at the University of London found that multitasking damages your brain and lowers your IQ levels. It might not be the easiest thing to do because of competitive and fast-paced business environment, but you should keep it down to a minimum. Another clever way around to solve this problem is to use efficient task management software to manage your tasks.
7. Say No to Meetings
Did you know that 37 billion dollars are wasted on useless meetings each year? Useless meetings are one of the biggest productivity killers at work. According to a Salary.com survey, almost half the participants (47%) considered meetings as the biggest time wasters at the workplace. You will not realize it but a major chunk of your work hours is spent on these useless meetings. As a result, your productivity goes down the drain. Avoid meetings that do not have an agenda.
You cannot scrap meetings altogether, could you? Then how can you make your meetings fruitful? Conduct short stand up meetings. Have an agenda, communicate the agenda to participants in advance and stick to it during the meeting. Ask all participants not to bring any gadgets with them to the meeting so it can be more interactive and engaging. All this can help you conduct result-oriented meetings that will eventually help your business in the long term.
By taking small steps such as introducing new plants into your workplace, letting some natural light seep in, and controlling the office temperature, you will see a positive change in your workplace productivity. Throw in some useful advice such as avoiding useless meetings and focusing on one thing at a time can take your productivity graph in only one direction; vertically upwards.
Which productivity hacks do you currently use to stay productive at work? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.