Office Productivity is a general term used to describe the amount of work output by individual workers, teams, and departments. It is viewed by employers as a highly desirable quality in knowledge and creative employees.
Through the advancement of technology (computers, software, email, applications) office workers were able to increase their productivity significantly compared to past decades.
Personal motivation, wage, work environment, benefits, rest and leisure, and overall life satisfaction play an important role in individual productivity while Management, Communication, Company culture, and Inter-coworker relationships seem to strongly affect team and department productivity.
The productivity section of Office Topics is dedicated to improve the work capacity of office-based workers and teams. Its main concern is the identification and classification of office productivity drivers and killers as well as the formulation of actionable strategies that can improve work performance. Currently it consists of five main subcategories shown and described below.
List of Contents
What are the key drivers of productivity?
‘Productivity drivers’ is a broad term that describes various measures which can boost the work output of individuals, teams, and departments. The ‘Productivity’ section of Office Topics is divided into 5 categories that are dedicated to what could be considered the main drivers of productivity:
The most common killers of productivity
The term ‘productivity killers’ refers to a wide spectrum of factors that are detrimental to work output and production. It is essential for supervisors and manager to be able to identify killers of productivity within their respective teams and departments in order to come up with strategies to tackle them. The most common killers of productivity at the workplace are:
- Lack of motivation
- Occupational dissatisfaction
- Personal and lifestyle issues
- Inter-coworker conflicts
- Work environment problems
Office productivity tips
#1. Plan your tasks for the day. Dedicate at least ten minutes to imagine how your workday will go.
#2. Keep a tab on the time it takes you to perform certain tasks. This way you will gain a better understanding of your workflow.
#3. Based on the time it takes you to finish certain tasks, start setting your own deadlines so you can do more work in a shorter span.
#4. Take small breaks from time to time. This will energize you and you will return more focused.
#5. Take on a new work task only when you have finished the previous one. Otherwise you will get lost into multitasking and sabotage yourself.
#6. Spend your first hour at work focused on the most important project without any distractions. This will put in an effective work mode for the rest of the day.
#7. Bring order to your email. Use tags and create folders to organize everything. Unsubscribe from sources that are distracting and minimize the spam.
#8. If you have to listen to music to concentrate, opt for something low-sound with no lyrics. Listening to your favorite emotionally charged tunes might actually be taxing and distracting.
#9. Stay hydrated. You might the type to forget about the basic human needs when you immerse yourself into work. Just fill a bottle of water and keep on your desk. Take a sip or two from time to time.
#10. Make your workstation/desk a no-food-zone. Don’t be tempted to snack on something while you work. Instead, take a reasonable break and have a wholesome meal for lunch.
#11. Declutter your desk. Take a good look at what you have on it and get rid of things that you don’t really need. Maybe keep one or two sentimental items but make sure the rest is gone.
#12. Leave personal matters for the afterhours. Don’t distract yourself with things that you are unable to solve at the time anyway because you are at work.
#13. Less meetings. Think about all the work meetings that happen throughout the week and how many of them are essential. Attend those and skip the rest.
#14. Use your commuting time to do something useful. Check your email, reply to a few messages, whatever. Avoid that mindless state of scrolling through your social media.
#15. When you arrive at work, turn off the social media notifications. Answer only to emergency calls and messages
#16. Don’t interact with your coworkers when they send you distracting content. They’ll probably get the message and stop bothering you.
#17. Don’t be a distraction yourself. Think twice before sending that cat video the team chat.
#18. Carefully delegate tasks and outsource them when possible. This way you will have more time to work on the really important stuff.
#19. Collaborate with your coworkers more often. As they say, two heads think better than one. Teamwork is fun and it usually produces better results.
#20. Automation is your friend. Consider what processes at work could be done in a more efficient manner and look into automation solutions.
#21. Don’t be a yes-man. You have a role in your team that comes with certain main duties. In case someone is trying to push a task on your that interfere with those duties, then politely decline.
#22. Do you have to alt-tab a lot? Then ask for a second monitor. Just think of how much time this save you in a year.
#23. Create templates for repetitive tasks such as reports, tickets, mass emails and so on.
#24. Have a designated time to take care of mundane recurring tasks. This way you won’t skip them and forget doing them the next week.
#25. Back up your work regularly. That feeling of losing something you’ve worked on for hours is absolutely soul-crushing and it can ruin your day.
#26. Do you use a lot of software in your line of work? Then it is high-time you learn all the shortcuts to start saving time. All of them.
#27. Eat smart. Resort to foods that keep you alert and energetic. Don’t be tempted by greasy and sugary meals that will make you want to nap for a couple of hours.
#28. The 2 minute rule (whatever the fuck that is)
#29. Move more. Walk more. Exercise regularly. Do cardio. Be active. This will translate to your ability to focus on work and be more productive. You will feel better and you will look better.
#30. Is your team easily distracted? Do they need constant reminders of what is important? Start your workdays with small meetings and discuss what needs to be done for the day.
#31. Prioritize your tasks in a sensible way. Make sure there is constant progress on the most important things.
#32. Do you need complete isolation to focus better? Maybe do a work-from-home day or just lock yourself somewhere in the office and tell everyone to give you a few hours.
#33. Do you have a messy sleep schedule? This shouldn’t go on. Consider how much sleep you need to function properly the next day and make sure you get those precious Z’s.
#34. Have you considered a standing desk? Sure, it looks and feels a little weird at first but you can get used to it pretty quickly and time comes with numerous health and productivity advantages.
#35. Wear your headphones even if you don’t listen to music. Surely they will tune out some of the chatter and you will be able to focus better.
#36. Make a habit of reading something inspirational each day. A daily dose of positivity can go a long way.
#37. Learn to reward yourself when you complete some important work. This way you will be more inclined to do even more great work.
#38. Don’t fall into procrastination. Instead, rewire your mindset toward the idea that getting over with unpleasant tasks will free you from their mental burden.
#39. Even if you are the most negative person on the inside, act optimistic and spread positivity among your coworkers. This will boost team morale and should translate into improved productivity.
#40. Add plants to your work environment. Surely there are several studies out there showing that a little green in the office is far better than no green at all.
#41. Don’t beat yourself up about past mistakes. Instead, take the most important lessons and focus on improvement.
#42. Use caffeine strategically. Don’t sip on coffee just because you like it. Otherwise your body will build resistance to caffeine and it won’t be as effective when you really need that power boost.
#43. What can be done about the lights in the office? Too much artificial light can be detrimental to the people under it. If possible, resort to whatever light comes from the windows during the day and don’t overdo it with the lights when sun goes down.
#44. Establish a clear line of communication with your team. Set proper channels for the types of information that is being exchanged.
#45. Ask your colleagues how they stay productive and if they are even aware of the idea that they can do something about it.
#46. Add colors to your office that make everyone more productive. Here is how to approach this: http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/the-colour-affects-system
#47. If you have clients or work partners are only trouble, then maybe it’s time to ditch them.
#48. Do brainstorming sessions the proper way. Everyone is allowed to say whatever they like and no idea is too wild.
#49. Learn how to have fun at work but without causing distractions.
#50. Think carefully about the people you involve in your projects. Don’t include a person just because. Make sure everyone involved serves a purpose.
Personal and work-related habits seem to have a profound effect on one’s productivity at the workplace. A worker who follows well-known office productivity tips is able to bring themselves to high levels of alertness and energy through concentration, daily routines, and multitasking.
Resting periods and small breaks also have a profound impact on a worker’s ability to be productive as this allows the person to recharge their energy and restore their mental fortitude. Resting and relaxation are important factors for the prevention and delay of Occupational burnout, which is considered a strong productivity and creativity killer.
The ‘Habits’ section is dedicated to crafting guides which the users can follow in order to make behavioural changes that can improve their performance at work. Certain habits can be strong productivity drivers while others can be killers.
Personal and external motivation are highly correlated to one’s ability to perform their work duties at peak levels. On the other hand, the lack of motivation is a strong productivity killer. Organizations and companies invest in a wide variety of motivational factors in order to increase the satisfaction levels and productivity of their employees.
The most commonplace motivational aspects include social and health benefits, paid leave, incentives, workplace improvements and amenities. In recent years, gamification of the work processes and integrated services have also been introduced.
The ‘Motivation’ section aims to carefully outline what employers, managers, and employees can do to motivate themselves and others in terms of professional goals and productivity.
Individuals, teams and department can increase productivity in the office through improved efficiency. Depending on the nature of the work and the company’s financial capabilities, the efficiency can be improved through technological solutions and various strategies.
For example, a company’s financial department might decide to invest in a software that reduces certain operational costs or the architectural department of a building company might benefit from a 3D printer. Outsourcing is another common strategy that has been used by companies in the last few decades.
The ‘Efficiency’ section is dedicated to strategies and methods that optimize the work of teams and departments which ultimately leads to higher productivity.
Creativity (in the sense of ‘inventiveness’) is another highly desirable quality in individual workers and managers. Alert and creative individuals are often noticed and promoted due to their superior problem-solving skills and ability to form new and valuable concepts.
Creative thinking finds application in the optimisation of processes which is why it can be considered an indirect driver of productivity. It is generally considered that the creativity of a person can be evoked if they are provided with certain resources and levels of autonomy.
This section of the site is dedicated to boosting the inventive and ideation qualities of team members.
Technological advancements have revolutionized efficiency and production. Nowadays it is common for companies and organisations to invest in technological solutions in order to boost productivity. In certain areas of production and professional fields, technological automation has entirely replaced the need of human resource.
In turn, many specialists are looking into ways to boost their efficiency and productivity through technology. This section is dedicated to figuring out viable applications of technology that can improve the work output of individuals, teams, and departments.