Posted on: January 18, 2021
New Year’s resolutions for your office to boost productivity
The typical Australian worker produces in five days what takes their United States’ peer just four days, according to the Australian Productivity Commission. That’s not for lack of effort. The commission says Australians work harder, notching the fifth-highest hours worked per capita among the 37 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
At its crux, productivity sees individuals and businesses maximise their usefulness, given the resources available. This also increases Australia’s overall economic efficiency, which boosts the wellbeing of everyone in society.
With the New Year upon us, how can your office be more productive? Here are some proven strategies to boost office morale and efficiency.
Tech to bridge the challenges of distance
Australia’s geography of sprawling cities and vast distances between them is the main reason we struggle as a nation with productivity, says the Australian Productivity Commission. But, supercharging our digital management capability can overcome that and significantly improve productivity over time.
That’s why technology could hand you the right tools to a more productive workforce. There is a suite of free and paid apps for time management, collaboration and communication. You could even build collaboration skills through group video games. Research has found just 45 minutes’ play could increase office productivity by 20%.
Do your staff measure up?
As management guru Peter Drucker has said, if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it. Here’s why quantifying helps improve office productivity:
- Tracks your employees’ effectiveness and capabilities
- Lets you compare labour time to outcomes and customer satisfaction
- Gives you near real-time feedback and ideally shows consistent progress
- Allows you to schedule resources and time
- Helps pinpoint weak areas of your business
- Better informs your decision-making and investment moves
However, be mindful in your approach to managing staff.
The dangers of micromanaging
Do you tend to check in multiple times a day with your staff on their work progress? If so, you’re effectively removing their sense of accountability. Their morale shrinks, and office productivity can nosedive.
Build trust with workers in the office, or remotely, with these tips:
- Set clear expectations
- Transform staff mistakes into learning opportunities
- Ruminate over why you don’t trust particular staff members – do they need upskilling, for example? Maybe a free mobile learning app could get them there.
You might feel you have to micromanage staff who are still working remotely. The global research firm, Forrester, has free online resources on how to make your remote workforce thrive.
Staff wellbeing could be the missing link to lifting employee and company productivity. As a manager, you can help them be more aware of self-care through a healthy diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep and meditation.
Some offices ditch the unhealthy snack vending machine for a bowl of free fruit and bottled water in the staff room. Get your workforce active. The long-running and popular 10,000 steps program is a free app encouraging people to challenge themselves and workmates to achieve that goal daily.
Consider, too, if your office meetings contribute to staff stress. Take a note out of How to be a Productivity Ninja. Use the 40-20-40 continuum: focus 40% of your attention on prep before you meet, then 20% of your energy on the meeting and, lastly, 40% on follow through.
As for psychological health, tap into the Black Dog Institute’s free mental health toolkit. They also offer free training for NSW managers and staff. Heads up is an organisation promoting better mental health in the workplace.
Boosting the productivity of your staff needn’t be difficult. Use the above to help set the 2021 productivity agenda for your team.