We live in an increasingly digitalised and flexible working environment where many employees may work remotely or from home. Nevertheless, the office is still the major feature in the life of most businesses and organisations. The office, as with the comedy TV programme of the same name, comes with its own plethora of problems, from office gossip, who sits where, and open-plan decisions to serious IT issues. All of this can contribute to reducing the effectiveness of productivity in the office.
Open-plan offices started springing up everywhere over the last decade. Employers felt that we all wanted to work like millennials with no barriers, more hot desking and being able to be more collaborative about our work. The reality, however, meant that no one could hear themselves think. Most schemes were poorly designed, and people found that they had no desks to work from, not to mention the rapid spread of office germs and related increase in absenteeism!
What we now see is a more blended approach to office styling. Try moving to some open-plan areas with collaborative space for innovative work, meeting rooms, and private offices where needed! Your teams will thank you, and your productivity should rise.
Technology is critical. As most move to cloud hosting for easy access to remote data and sharing with more social media-based communication and tools such as Yammer and Skype for Business, we recommend you take a look at what you have and overhaul it.
Consider reviewing how you deal with documents and data and how you convert documents like PDF to Excel; it’s worth learning how to make PDF into an Excel.
We’ve all experienced the never-ending meeting, where most people are asleep and certainly not productive.
Minimise meetings where you can, and try holding them standing up to help with this. Encourage walking meetings to get some exercise and keep the brain and body working (it’s hard to fall asleep on your feet), and above all, use agendas.
Develop a wellbeing strategy to show your employees you care. Encourage them to work to their own rhythms where it is possible. Subsidise gym memberships, encourage healthy eating with free fruit, and have a mental health support programme. Healthy and cared-for employees tend to work more productively.