This is a guest post by Reuben Yonatan, the founder of GetVoIP, a leading VoIP provider comparison resource. He’s an entrepreneur and tech enthusiast who helps small to mid-size business owners build, maintain, and scale their communication infrastructure.
How productive your employees are is extremely important. Getting more out of your staff can optimize the amount of success you achieve without the need for too many employees on your payroll, minimizing costs and helping to establish a strong working ethos and team spirit.
On the contrary, a poorly motivated team that isn’t reaching the desired levels of productivity can significantly hinder any organization.
Tasks and projects take longer to complete which leads to backlogs and disappointed clients and partners, or the overall quality of work is below-par if deadlines are tight.
Learning how to be productive is important if you want to work smarter (or you want your workers to work smarter).
Instead of spending hours staring at a blank page or getting stuck on one project, figure out what keeps you focused. You may not realize that small factors can have a huge impact on your concentration.
The issue of improving productivity has been researched and approached from almost all angles possible. Academic institutions across the world have conducted many studies on how productivity can be improved. They’ve found making changes to your environment, workflow, and break schedule can have a huge impact.
Getting the environment right.
Productivity is not always just a personal matter of self-motivation and inspiration. A lot of evidence has shown that making certain environmental changes can have a profoundly positive effect on productivity, not just on single individuals but on a team as a whole.
Environmental factors shown to affect productivity include the amount of natural light entering an office, the color of the walls and the temperature of the room. One study found that people were actually able to work faster in a 77 F workplace compared to a 68 F workplace, while in another study the presence of plants in the office was seen to boost productivity by around 15%.
Making personal changes.
Scientific research has also shown that people can make simple personal changes to improve their productivity. For example, one study found that workers who listened to nature sounds or who played music during repetitive tasks were far more efficient in their work.
While it may seem counterintuitive, a lot of evidence has shown that not working may in fact help lead to greater levels of work. This is because employees stuck at their desk all day can find it difficult to stay rejuvenated and motivated throughout the day.
Various studies have found that taking breaks helped achieve positive results, even if this break was simply to take a short walk or browse the web briefly. Another study also found that workers who took breaks together rather than separately led to increased productivity and less stress as they could discuss any problems they were having with each other.
As seen by many of the examples in the infographic by GetVoIP below, seemingly minute and irrelevant factors such as the color of the walls has been shown to have a significant influence on productivity. If you’re having trouble focusing, try one or more of these tips!