This is a guest post by Jessy Troy, editor behind Social Media Sun, freelance writer and community manager.
A lot of employers have become obsessed with simplifying daily work tasks, and streamlining or automating certain things that would have been done by employees.
But a study done by the University of California, Irvine has found that this busy work actually makes employees happier, and more productive.
Surprised? So were the researchers, who believe this has to do with feeling a sense of achievement, without fatigue or mental burnout.
So what can an employer do to make their employees more productive? Based on several studies stated below, it turns out it might be more about how an office is run and designed, rather than how employees are pushed to work.
Keep The Temperature Moderate.
Not everyone regulates temperature the same way.
Health issues, size, and clothing can all impact how people handle the temperature around them. But you can try and even the field as much as possible by maintaining a moderate temperature within the office, so it doesn’t get too hot, or too cold.
This lessens the likelihood that your employees will be too cold to work without becoming distracted, or too warm that they become sleepy.
It will take some trial and error to find the sweet spot, but within a few days you can usually find the right median where it is most comfortable for most of your workforce.
Give More Space for Employees.
You may have a couple of open conference rooms where people can take a portable device in and get some work done when they need peace and quiet. There could be sitting areas, similar to a library, where they can go. Or encourage them to get off the business site and work outside, or in a nearby coffeeshop.
Much of this has to do with the nature of your business. But with the syncing of devices through cloud support, it is easier than ever to adapt your company for greater flexibility. You can even create a Google-style office without spending a ton.
Invest in Ergonomic Furniture.
Standing desks can be a huge step forward. They keep them from being sedentary too long, provide a way to stay awake, and most have the option of converting to sitting desks with a simple adjustment.
Another good idea is to invest in high quality chairs with proper lumbar support.
Back injuries and discomfort are a big productivity killer, and make employees miserable.
Cheap chairs are one of the worst things to have in any office setting, and can lead to problems down the line such as employees taking sick days.
Provide Snacks and Meals.
It is three o’clock in the afternoon, and a noticeable lull has come over the office. Your employees are struggling to remain active, and their eyes are glazing over as they stare like zombies at their screens.
It is time for a pick me up, and many of them will do this by having coffee, sugar, or other items that only provide a temporary boost, and leads to an eventual crash an hour or so later.
Smart companies provide their workforce with food through the day. They offer a meal, and snack options in the breakroom.
The very best of these companies provide healthy options, not junk food. Fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, jerky, and balanced meals provided by health conscious local companies.
Even if meals aren’t an option, snacks can be. Sure, some will go for the vending machine instead. But you are providing a free alternative, and most will take it.
Try Some Color Therapy.
Color has a very specific correlation for human beings, all thanks to our evolutionary development. We have a psychological response, which is why everywhere from hospitals to retails stores use color to help manipulate the people who walk through their doors.
You can take advantage of that by using color in your offices.
Some useful colors to consider are:
- Green – Natural environments, peaceful surroundings, harmony and balance.
- Blue – Calm, tranquility, open communication, and trust.
- Yellow – Cheerfulness, energy, and happiness.
- Purple – Richness, pride, luxury, and dignity.
- Red – Power, force, warmth, and stimulus.
Many offices have started using all of these colors in their workspaces, in order to give employees many different emotions to be energized by.
But keep in mind that too much could potentially cause overload, and that would be counterproductive.
Provide Plenty of Natural Light.
Try and find an office space that has access to windows. Open up blinds and let sunlight in. You can even give employees portable devices to allow them to work outside if they choose, if the area is quiet enough.
Get Your Workforce Energized Again!
No amount of threats, cajoling or incentive is going to make your employees work more productively when their environment isn’t conducive to that task. These tips put you in the driver’s seat, and give you the ability to energize your staff.