Productivity is talked about a lot when it comes to our modern workplace and the trends for 2018. Productivity levels are generally considered to be at an all-time low, when it comes to the general workforce: poor levels of physical and mental health, high levels of stress, unreachable targets, and financial influences leftover from the 2008 financial crash, are all obvious reasons why the contemporary workforce are overstretched and not able to work to their most impressive levels.
These are issues that affect many, if not all businesses. However, when it comes to actually defining productivity, and what constitutes the right level of productivity for your workplace, answers can vary wildly.
Are your ideas of what is peak productivity for your employees realistic? Is it achievable, and do you have a plan to achieve it?
Setting goals seems an obvious answer, but goals must always be the right side of ambitious – too difficult, and you’re setting employees up for more stress when trying (and failing) to achieve them. This kind of mistake is thankfully easily avoided, simply by talking to employees and keeping a dialogue open.
An often-overlooked approach to enabling higher productivity levels in the workplace is using the working environment to boost the yield of production. This can be done in many ways: workplace design is the obvious answer, and this can be as simple as improving the office layout, to as complicated as an office re-fit.
Of course, there are many shades in between, and they also go hand-in-hand with other workplace initiatives and working styles – much has been discussed about the benefits of bringing flexibility into the workplace, whether from flexible working styles or desk booking systems. There has also been much discussion around how bringing small changes to the workspace can help improve employee wellbeing; small touches of greenery can help improve mood, for example, which could be all you need to help give productivity levels a small but significant boost.
Deriving productivity from the working environment is nothing new, but it is something that we should be considering in these high-stress, low-productivity times. Ultimately, the resolution to this issue is available, but you’ll have to do some digging, and maybe some experimenting, to find it.