Do you ever feel unproductive while you're working? Or like the time you spend reorganizing your desk or learning how to use new office tools and systems would be better spent finishing up that huge project you’ve been working on all quarter?
Well, some of the things that you think of as an unproductive use of your time can actually make you more productive in the long run. And there are a myriad of other factors affecting your individual workplace productivity that you’ve probably never even thought about.
Here are three ways technology increases workplace productivity that you might not know yet, but need to know.
Many employees are actually at their happiest when doing mundane tasks that don’t require much brain power, like organizing an email inbox at the end of each week or filling out a spreadsheet.
Busywork gives people a feeling of fulfillment, minus the frustration felt with more challenging tasks. Accomplishing a task makes you happy, and happy employees are more productive employees. A study from 2015 showed a group of participants a comedy clip or provided them food to make them happy and afterward gave them tasks to do. The “happy” participants increased their productivity on average by 12%, and productivity levels got as much as 20% higher than the control group.
The bottomline: When employees are busy at work, they can get a sense of accomplishment when finishing their tasks, and that can lead to an overall happier — and more productive — workforce.
Did you notice the asterisk? There's some conditions on this statement.
Leaders should keep in mind that their efforts toward increasing employee productivity in the workplace can easily be hampered if employees are bogged down by technology that is difficult to use. Make sure you invest in workplace technology that increases productivity, rather than impedes it. For instance, and employee experience mobile app that's user-friendly, easy to adopt and learn how to use, and has lightning fast integrations with your other workplace applications and systems.
When you’re too cold, your lips turn blue — and so does your mood. Studies show that low office temperatures increase feelings of loneliness and sadness, and one study found that employees committed 44% more errors and were less than half as productive when their office temperatures were low.
Naturally, you might come to the conclusion that warmth is the answer.
But cranking up the heat isn’t the solution. Temperatures that are too warm, on the other hand, make people feel sluggish and therefore less productive. To keep employees not only comfortable, but also effective at work, maintain your office temperature around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Cornell University says workers are twice as productive when working at that temperature versus working in an environment kept around 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mental and physical wellness methods of improving employee productivity, such as helping employees set goals and providing activities such as in-office yoga, can make a significant impact. However, these perks don’t outweigh the need to have easy access to the right tools and systems at work.
If today’s employees are going to be productive at their jobs, then they need the right technology that allows them to better manage their time and streamline everyday processes. Streamlining processes means tasks get done faster, some even automatically, so workloads are reduced and time is freed up to work on other projects.
Teem’s inaugural workplace happiness survey found that 38% of workers are motivated by innovative tech tools. Social media and social tools, often thought to make people less productive, can actually improve productivity. According to a 2013 Ipsos and Microsoft survey, 46% said their productivity had greatly or somewhat increased because of using social tools.
Wondering how to increase productivity in the workplace? Well, these days you can't have a conversation about workplace productivity without first addressing the pandemic.
From spring of 2020 to now, there's been a major shift in how people perceive the office's purpose. It went from being viewed as the place for employees to work to being seen as one of the places employees can choose to work.
That being said, flexibility introduces some challenges for employers. Variability in schedule, which employees are coming into the office on which day, what resources and equipment are needed and when, etc., complicate things.
One way to uncomplicate them is to give employees a simple way to reserve space to work in advance, whether they are doing so from home or on their commute into the office. Workplace productivity is only possible if people don't have to waste time wandering around the office trying to find a place to work.
If mentioning hot desking instantly puts people into a panic — consider more modern ways of implementing flexible seating arrangements. We wrote an entire guide about getting people on board with modern flexible seating options, and the key is to center your seating strategies around what your workforce wants. Ultimately, improving workplace productivity requires designing an environment that supports employees and giving them the means to perform their best.
The most successful organizations know the importance of a good workplace. When employers do everything they can to get out of the way of their employees, their people are enabled to use the very skills they were hired for.
If your company, like so many others, grew during the pandemic, you also have some novel obstacles to overcome. Managing meeting rooms can quickly become a nightmare for both your employees and for the staff whose job it is to make that happen. That is, unless you have a built-in meeting room manager that helps get the job done without any hassle.
For example, the Teem conference room scheduling software gives employees the ability to choose from available meeting spaces across a single office, different buildings, or even at different campuses. Meeting organizers can use our app to explore conference rooms by real-time availability, specific amenities and resources like whiteboards or videoconferencing, capacity limits, and proximity to other locations.
Ghost meetings happen more often that you might realize. Here's an example: One of Margaret's calls is running way longer than planned, Gillian went home with a cold, and Jill's brother needs her help managing a family emergency. All of a sudden, that meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. is off the table and not going to happen this week. You might think no-show meetings happen. No big deal, right?
Wrong. According to our exclusive workplace productivity data, more than a third of scheduled meetings (34%) end up as no-shows. On average, a quarter of employees schedule a meeting every month that goes unattended.
That's reserved meeting space is then wasted, as other employees can't reserve it and it shows as unavailable on the calendar. It stands in the way of effective collaboration and that's a big problem.
When everyone in the office knows what affects workplace productivity, everyone can work toward improving the office environment and their own personal productivity levels. That allows employees to place more emphasis on other things, such as accuracy and creativity.
You need a way to gain the insights into what's happening in your workplace — how your space is being used, what types of spaces employees use, when can space be reclaimed, etc. – but you're not sure how to get them.
There's some good news. Some tools are designed to help employers get the analytics for these discoveries. For example: Teem offers solutions that are easy to learn, easy to use, and easy to scale — and when end-user adoption is at an all time high, there's more information collected for employers to explore. That means there's more information accurate and more helpful for uncovering how you can optimize the office to best support workplace productivity.
Want to learn more about increasing workplace productivity and improving the office? Sign up for our upcoming webinar, Leading Change: The Quest for a New and Improved Workplace in 2022.