How to be more productive is a question that all of us have asked ourselves. A day of 24 hours has 1,440 minutes and 86,400 seconds, the same amount that every person out there has. The difference between a successful, mediocre and unsuccessful individual is the efficiency and productivity of the individual. No matter who you are, time doesn’t discriminate.
How is it that some people are able to accomplish far more than others? Did Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos have access to more hours than another unaccomplished individual born on the same day as them? The difference is that the people who are successful know how to spend the time they have productively and efficiently.
Understanding Efficiency and Productivity
Productivity is just one side of the coin. Being productive means maximizing output by efficiently using resources such as money, time, materials, and input. This is why efficiency and productivity go hand-in-hand. Productivity would be worthless without efficiency, which is the other side of the coin.
Being efficient means producing needed results with little or no waste in terms of time, money, or materials.
To put it another way, here is a famous quote from economist Peter Drucker: “Efficiency is doing the thing right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.”
In order to succeed, you need to focus on both sides of the coin.
In this article, we’ll go through why it is essential to improve work performance and 18 ways to increase productivity in the workplace. If you’re wondering how to be more productive in the workplace, keep reading!
Why is it Important to Improve Work Performance?
As a business owner, it is imperative for you to improve work performance. If you don’t, you will be left behind in this highly competitive global economy.
Business is not just about making sales; it is also about continual improvement in productivity, products, services, and processes. Thus, the following are some reasons you need to improve work performance.
1.To Do More With Your Time
24 hours in a day just aren’t enough to meet all of our demands; thus, being productive with the time we have allows us to get more tasks done in a short amount of time.
2.To Do Better With Your Time
Quality over quantity – being productive will allow you to achieve better results. It will also let you be on the ball more often. You will also be able to move fluidly from one task to another and not get lost.
3.To Maintain a Healthy Mindset
A managed schedule and efficient work management have a lot to do with your mindset. If your time is managed and you’re productive with it, you’re less likely to experience burnout.
On the other hand, if your work is all over the place, you will likely be in a perpetual state of overwhelm, leading to burnout. According to Kronos Incorporated and Future Workplace, approximately 95% of HR leaders stated that employee burnout sabotages workforce retention.
So, if you’re wondering how to be more productive and earn simultaneously, ensure you treat your time as a commodity and you will indeed have a better chance of benefiting from it when the chips are down.
How to be More Productive – 18 Ways to Increase Productivity in the Workplace
As a business owner or project manager, one of the most crucial concerns for you has to be how to guide your team to achieve desired goals.
To achieve those goals and reach essential milestones, your employees must know how to be more productive while fulfilling their job duties and executing required tasks.
An employee’s productivity contributes to the assessment of how valuable an employee is to the organization. In 2017, Business Insider investigated precisely how much revenue giant tech companies make per employee.
A productive employee is hugely valuable to an organization. In fact, there is no better remarkable asset than him/her.
It doesn’t matter if you are the team leader or an employee; you need to assess productivity in the workplace and determine where there is room for improvement.
So, if you’re here to learn how to be more productive, here are 18 ways to improve productivity in the workplace.
1. Be Efficient
Evaluate how your organization is currently operating – if you notice that you lack in one way or another, be open to changing how you work right now.
This is where making lists and prioritizing tasks can come in handy.
You can also use other tools; for example,
- To-do lists allow your employees to keep moving forward.
- Checklists enable you to track progress.
- Reminders and calendars help employees stay on schedule.
To help employees be more productive, encourage them to structure a list on a regular basis to enable them to achieve their daily goals.
Be efficient and keep an eye on these lists to ensure that your employees have completed the prioritized tasks on time and whether or not they stayed on the jobs they were assigned to.
2. Investigate Reasons Behind Unproductivity
As a leader, you need to understand why an employee is unproductive.
The employee might not have the right resources or might not have been adequately trained before starting his or her job. In addition, there might be some outside factors distracting the employee from doing his or her work; thus, he or she could use some support.
Instead of making assumptions, try to understand the issues and tackle them accordingly.
3. Encourage Communication
Effective and clear communication is one of the areas to improve at work, as it is directly connected to an employee’s performance and productivity. However, it is unrealistic to expect employees to improve without providing concrete feedback and specific action points to work on.
Receiving negative feedback can be quite challenging, both for the employee and the management, but it is essential to foster an environment of direct communication and transparency.
Team communication should also be encouraged, and team members must communicate with each other about their deadlines, progress, expectations, ideas, and more.
A culture that rewards collaboration can improve its team’s productivity and performance levels and help employees be creative.
4. Foster a Positive Environment in the Office
Happy employees are the ones who genuinely care about your company and have a desire to help your organization achieve success. According to SnackNation, 36% of employees would happily give up $5,000 a year to be happier at their workplace.
This is why you need to boost team morale and ensure that your team members feel valued.
According to Single Grain, happy employees are 12% more productive, while unhappy employees are 10% less productive.
5. Set SMART Goals and Offer Support
You have probably heard of SMART goals, but ask yourself, are you following the rule while setting goals?
For your goals to be powerful, they have to be SMART; thus, the goals should be
After setting goals, provide clear instructions to your team and clarify what you expect. This will help increase their productivity, as they will have clear goals and a clear focus.
6. Measure Employee Performance
In today’s digital era, many platforms and tools can be used to measure an employee’s performance. In fact, by using certain analytics, employees can see their performance analysis, and managers can identify areas employees need to work on.
If employees know the metrics that will be measured, they can monitor their own performance better.
7. Provide Feedback to Each Other
After measuring your employees’ performance, instead of talking to them in front of everyone, hold individual meetings to let them know where they are excelling and what areas they need to work on.
After reviewing your employees’ performance, ask them what you can do to help them improve work performance. For example, they may want more guidance or some space for creative freedom.
Asking for feedback will provide you with ways to help your employees and encourage a culture of open dialogue.
8. Train Your Employees
New employees are given a lot of training during their first few days at the company. However, this should not be the only training that employees receive.
Ongoing training plays a massive part in keeping employees motivated and productive. According to the Lorman Blog, 70% of employees would likely leave their current job to work for a company that invests in employee learning and development.
It is challenging and overwhelming for employees to retain a lot of information. Thus, continuous training would allow employees to get refreshers in case something was missed during the initial onboarding.
9. Take Care of Your Team’s Health
This one is easy to understand – the healthier your team is, the fewer days of work they will miss, and the better they feel, the better they work.
Your employees need to be healthy, both physically and mentally, to be productive.
According to a survey by United Healthcare, 53% of employees with access to an organization wellness program stated that wellness programs improve their health.
These programs also help them
- Pay more attention to their physical and mental health.
- Lose weight.
- Prevent and detect diseases.
- Cut down on sick days.
- Improve their productivity.
Pay attention to your employees: notice if they seem too tired or stressed out and look into ways to help them.
10. Implement a Rewards and Recognition Program
Encouragement, motivation, recognition, and reward are vital for employees’ productivity. It can also lead to increased employee retention and engagement.
Following are some of the benefits of the importance of employee reward and recognition:
- Increases motivation among employees.
- Shows employees that their efforts are recognized.
- Improves work performance.
- Improves employee retention.
- Creates a positive atmosphere.
- Fosters more engagement.
- Results in less sick leave.
Tell your team that they are doing a great job and provide them with constructive criticism. As well, offer them personal incentives, for example, a day off, a letter of recognition, or free food for performing well.
11. Equip Employees with Technology
Employees who are not equipped with the right tools for their job are found to be unproductive and frustrated. Thus, providing employees with the right technology can effectively increase their work performance.
According to Ultimate Software, 92% of employees reported that having technology helps them do their job efficiently and affects their work satisfaction. Therefore, providing employees with relevant tools is an excellent step in increasing employee productivity.
12. Introduce Flexible Work Arrangements
The global COVID-19 pandemic changed the work landscape dramatically. With that, the concept of working remotely became a lot more common, which has several benefits for employers and employees alike.
According to Facility Executive, 41% of individuals reported that flexibility improved their creativity and communication.
Working remotely frees employees from spending their time traveling. It also allows them to pursue additional studies for career advancements or engage in productive activities.
13. Avoid Micromanaging
Anyone who has ever been micromanaged can testify that this behavior is one of the most demoralizing practices. Nothing is more annoying than a superior constantly monitoring what employees are doing, how they do it, when, and with whom.
According to a study by Accountemps, more than 50% of employees stated that micromanagement reduces their efficiency.
Thus, you need to instill trust in your employees as they are hired due to their talent, capabilities, and skills.
14. Don’t Be Scared to Delegate
As discussed above, we understand that you think of your company as your baby, so you might want to micromanage everything that goes on with it. However, hovering over your employees and checking over every tiny detail yourself rather than delegating can waste everyone’s time.
Instead, give responsibilities to your employees, and trust their judgment and skills. This will allow your employees to gain leadership experience, ultimately benefiting your organization.
15. Reduce Distractions
According to Udemy’s 2018 Workplace Distraction Report, approximately three out of four workers feel distracted while working.
This is why you need to reduce distractions at the workplace, but remember that you can never wholly remove distractions.
Sure, social media addiction might be an issue for many of your employees, but it just isn’t practical to have a no-phone policy. Instead, encourage your employees to turn off their phones once in a while and allow them to take regular breaks.
16. Get the Right Furniture
We spend eight hours a day at our desks, so it is crucial that the office furniture is comfortable.
Well-designed furniture can increase the productivity level of your employees as their minds will be at ease, and they will not be distracted by the constant congested feeling of sitting in an uncomfortable chair.
However, even in a comfortable chair, prolonged sitting can cause some severe health issues. Therefore, it is a good idea to equip ergonomic office furniture for your employees if possible.
17. Install Better Lighting
Natural lighting has the power to reduce headaches and eye strains. Natural lighting has also been linked to increased productivity in the workplace.
Putting employees with the most computer-based work in seats that face windows will provide them with a significant productivity boost.
So, if you’re thinking about how to be more productive, open the blinds up and let the sun in!
However, we understand that many offices nowadays are not designed in such a manner – many offices also don’t have enough windows to ensure everyone gets some sunlight. In that case, consider installing LED lighting or getting daylight lamps to imitate natural light in the workplace.
18. Encourage Employees to Take Ownership
Encourage your employees to take ownership of their physical space, environment, and culture. You can also ask for their input in areas to improve at work.
Allow them to provide their input regarding the design of their workspace. For example, do they need more light? Do they want to update the old paint? Adding something new and fresh to their space could increase productivity and improve work performance.
Boosting employee productivity is not a difficult task! You do not have to spend thousands of dollars on events and high-end perks for your employees to improve work performance, efficiency, and productivity.
You simply have to put yourself in your employees’ shoes and figure out what needs to be done and what areas to improve at work. This will automatically enhance your employees’ productivity and performance, and they wouldn’t have to ask themselves “how to be more productive.”