Five ways to make your office more productivePosted on 29/08/19
Small changes can make a huge difference in making your office happier and more productive
Whether you’ve been off for a week or a weekend, when you come back from a break it’s good to take a moment to reflect before plunging back into your routine.
Time away from the office, or time in the office without all your co-workers, gives you the opportunity to see your job in a different light. Which parts of your job did you miss the most? Which were you glad to be away from?
Research by the University of Warwick discovered happy workers are 12% more productive, while unhappy workers are 10% less productive than average. This is thought to be because when we’re happier at work, our brains are invigorated so we carry out tasks more effectively, and we are more likely to collaborate efficiently, working towards common goals.
According to Engaging Works, a workplace engagement consultancy, the average workplace happiness in Jersey is 584 out of 1000. This compares with 573 for Guernsey, 601 for the Isle of Man, and 656 for the UK.
Scores vary around the world, with highs of 785 in Argentina, 718 in Switzerland, and 810 in Turkey, with a global average of 655 out of 1000, based on companies that have asked staff to complete a happiness survey.
Shelley Kendrick, Managing Director, Kendrick Rose, said: “There’s a trend among global firms to put the happiness of a workforce into the hands of one person. However, you don’t need to employ a Chief Happiness Officer to improve the way employees feel.
“Often it comes down to small changes, that cost little to implement but which show that management is listening, and that the company respects its employees. Whatever industry people work in, in whatever role, people need to feel valued if they are going to be happy at work and perform well for the long term.”
Every job comes with its positives and negatives, but if we want to feel fulfilled at work, and enjoy our careers as much as possible, there are things every organisation can encourage to create a better working environment.
We all feel good if we know the people around us see what we’re good at. Public praise of employees, recognising what they are good at helps increase their sense of value.
A study by Globoforce found that 83% of employees who were recognised for their performance reported a positive working experience. The Employee Experience Index surveyed over 23,000 workers around the world, measuring employee experiences at work related to belonging, purpose, achievement, happiness, and vigour.
Researchers found that if employees don’t feel appreciated only 38% report having a positive experience at work, while only 30% report having a positive experience if the work doesn’t align to their core values.
Organisations that scored in the top 25% on employee experience in the survey reported three times the return on assets and two times the return on sales compared to organisations in the bottom 25%.
Inspire through language
It’s not me, it’s you may be the refrain of many broken courtships, but in the workplace, replacing ‘I’ with ‘you’ can lead to a more harmonious relationship.
According to language expert Darlene Price, using ‘you’ helps you directly include and address your audience, making the content more inclusive.
By speaking openly and positively to a group, rather than to individuals, we can reduce the risk of conversations turning to negative gossip.
Confusion can lead to disengagement. Be sure to communicate any changes quickly and clearly so people understand what the organisation is trying to achieve.
Set up an office mentor scheme
People who have senior colleagues or mentors who care about their progress can be more productive and more inclined to stay with a company.
According to a CNBC survey, nine out of 10 workers with a mentor are happy with their jobs. Workers with a mentor are more likely to say they are well paid (79% v 69%), and believe their contributions are valued by colleagues (89% v 75%) – two important factors contributing to happiness at work.
Setting up a mentorship scheme can give employees the opportunity to discuss issues with someone who can steer them in the right direction.
Mentors can also gain satisfaction from passing on their knowledge and helping someone progress and can help share the story of the company, explaining how it has progressed to help newer employees understand where they are in the journey.
Start every day on a high
If people arrive at the office already stressed from a difficult commute, or a tricky morning dealing with family problems, you don’t want them to take those feelings into their work.
Research from Ohio State University found the way you feel first thing in the morning can carry on throughout your day, and that a bad mood in the morning can lead to a 10% drop in productivity.
Give employees time to switch from personal to professional through a simple task such as making a tea round or talking about something other than work as everyone settles into the day.
By the time clients start to call, team members will feel calmer and better prepared for the day ahead, hopefully giving them chance for their mood to perk up.
Offering employees more flexible working, where staff can make up time at lunch or later in the day can reduce the stress people feel if they’re running late.
Give new employees a warm welcome
Research by Gallup indicates up to 75% of people leave a company because of management, not because of their job, meaning management play the biggest role in helping staff make the most of their roles.
Everyone feels nervous on their first day, but the way colleagues and employers treat you can make a huge difference in how much you think you will enjoy your job. Be prepared for new arrivals and have an action plan of what they will do, introduce them to the team, show them around the office, and perhaps even take them out for coffee or lunch.
Set out career advancement opportunities early on and give regular reviews to monitor development and help employees track their progress.
"There’s a trend among global firms to put the happiness of a workforce into the hands of one person. However, you don’t need to employ a Chief Happiness Officer to improve the way employees feel." Shelley Kendrick, Managing Director, Kendrick Rose