Did you know that the average employee in the UK completes only 3 hours work each day
, irrespective of how many hours they are in the office.
In fact, the longer they spend in the office the further their productivity decreases after 50 hours, according to a study by Stanford University
Productivity in the workplace is a perennial problem no matter the size of the business or organisation. There are, however, some things both employers and employees can do to maximise productivity.
In our list of are:
- 1. A soild onboarding process
- 2. Scheduling email time
- 3. Focusing on one task at once
- 4. Being prepared and informed
Let's take a deeper look at them.
A Solid Onboarding Process
Businesses that have a solid onboarding process for new employees improve productivity by more than 70%
. Bringing in new employees can be the responsibility of one person e.g. the line manager or a team of people e.g. colleagues, line manager and HR.
Whether you are a small business or a large organisation the key is to have a process that includes training, technology and socialising with other employees.
Schedule Email Time
The average worker spends 13 hours each week
on emails, making up 28% of the hours at work. New and current employees will benefit from time being set aside for checking, responding to and sending out emails.
This can be scheduled into their weekly work tasks in blocks e.g. 1.5 hours per week or 30 minutes per day, depending on which system suits the business best. Scheduling in this time during the week as a priority also has the benefit of employees not needing to check at home after coming back from work.
Also, make sure emails are addressed to those that need to be in the email rather than sending out blanket emails. Those who are not in the email can use calendars, daily bulletins and schedules to check for important information.
Focus on One Task at a Time
Traditionally, multitasking was a skill to be envied as it meant multiple tasks could be completed at the same time. However, multitasking in the modern era has moved away from classic multitasking and now it often means stopping one task and going onto another task before the previous task is finished, known as interrupted task switching.
This impacts productivity in the workplace by as much as 40% reduction
, as well as taking 25 minutes to get back into the task
that was previously being worked on.
Try going one week with on the task at hand, e.g. in meetings avoid using phones and laptops and concentrate on participating.
You also want to encourage employees to prioritise these tasks. Using Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle
to understand the difference between important and urgent tasks
is critical. Eisenhower's Urgent/Important Principle helps you quickly identify the activities that you should focus on, as well as the ones you should ignore.
Being prepared and informed
Employees know that when they come to work, they are on company time. While employees respect that, they still like to know what is going on, and what they are going to be doing each day.
They like to have access to the information that is important to them, such as what work is planned for them, when they might be required to work overtime, how much vacation time they've accrued. Scheduling software can keep track of such information and offer easy access for employees and planners.
When employees can access tomorrow's or the week's schedule, they know what's planned, and that leads to a feeling of certainty for the future.
If they happen to be assigned to a person, product, or project they don't particularly care for, they have the time to prepare themselves mentally, whereas coming in and finding out can be the beginning of a bad day. Additionally, by knowing what's coming the next day, employees can set up their mind, workplace, equipment and bring the proper tools.
Most don't want to have to keep contacting their managers repeatedly to find out what is planned or how much time off they've accrued, or how much vacation/holiday time they have left. They would much rather have the ability to check this on their own.
It also offers an element of trust, privacy and autonomy by not having to have someone else look it up with them. If your company allows it, scheduling software can also let employees swap shifts, tasks, and plan their work to accommodate their work and personal lives. Allowing this level of access also eases the burden of managers.
Employees thrive in a well-organized workplace where they have easy access to information that is important to them. Being able to freely check planned work and up coming activities, is highly useful and beneficial to employees and employers alike.