7 Sure Ways To Increase Workplace Productivity Backed By Science
Chad is the hardest working guy in his office.
“An employee” as his boss put it, “worthy of emulation”. He grinds hard all day long, pulls more overtime than others, willingly takes on his colleagues shifts, never burns out, delivers on the job, and comes in every day looking fresh with a “can do” attitude.
What’s his secret?
Meet Stacey, Chad’s colleague. She doesn’t know why she “even bothers coming to work”, she is always tired, feels sleepy before 10 am, needs at least two cups of coffee to get through her mornings, delivers late on tasks, has 5 emotional break-downs a day, questions her career choices twice a day, and burns out easily.
At our workplaces, we are either like Stacey or Chad? We are either productive and thriving at work like Chad? Or burnt out, slow, and unproductive like Stacey?
If you are Stacey, don’t waste any more time. Try these 7 sure ways to increase workplace productivity (and it is backed by science!)
1. Plan A Performance Cycle That Works For You
According to science, in order for you to increase productivity, sync your work pattern according to your body’s natural energy cycle. Try to manage and conserve energy as much as possible.
One thing you could try to achieve this is to take a 20-minute break after every 90 minutes of intense work.
The reason is, your body is hard-wired to pulse and for it to function well, you need to renew your energy at a 90-minute interval.
2. Break Up With MultiTasking, Your Relationship Isn’t Working Out
Contrary to popular belief, multitasking doesn’t actually make you more productive, if anything it makes you less productive. Your brain doesn’t multitask, it just switches rapidly from task to task and even declines more when we are distracted by other things like emails, text messages, and our phones.
Multitasking makes your brain less efficient than you think it does. And when you multitask, your productivity drops by 40 %.
3. Take A Nap
Before lunch hours, our bodies dopamine and serotonin level drops, which is why we usually feel drowsy and sluggish in the afternoon, and our mood may automatically drop. So, to replenish your strength and be better productive, take a quick nap
Note, Dopamine is the neurotransmitter that regulates movement, learning, attention, emotional responses, and wakefulness. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter that regulates mood. A drop in these two neurotransmitters can result in the feelings mentioned above.
To attain the best nap, nap at any of these times:
● Between 1 pm-4 pm
● Sleep for 20 minutes or more than 90 minutes to avoid feeling drowsy
● Find a quiet place to sleep for a little while
Exercise is good for both your body and your mind, and it works wonders for your productivity and performance level. Always cut out time to do it, no matter how busy you are at work.
You mustn’t go to the gym, you can just stand and work at your desk, stretch for a bit, walk around the office, or just go outside to get something.
5. Listen To Music
Listening to your favourite song when you are feeling down is a great way to boost your productivity and performance level, and your mood.
How? Music releases the pleasure neurotransmitter, Dopamine, which activates the reward system in our brains and in turn lifts our mood, making us happy.
Your favourite music enhances your mood, which leads to better performance and decision making on your part.
But, increasing workplace productivity shouldn’t be done by you alone. Your employer should also put initiatives in place to see that you and your colleagues don’t lag behind at work.
Here are 2 other things an employer can do.
6. Try New Seating Arrangements
Changing the way employees seat can increase creativity and productivity level. It can also curb the number who experience sadness at the workplace.
Professor Sigal Barsade of University Of Pennsylvania pointed out that workers’ dispositions (moods and emotions) can be contagious, so grouping them based on their various temperaments, can impact the working environment.
As Professor Barsade rightly states; “people literally catch emotions from one another like a virus”. Adding that if you want to cheer up a stressed-out employee, pairing them with an energetic and cheerful one is the best strategy.
Co-founder of Kayak.com Paul English also advice to seat new employees at specific places, based on their personalities and work habits.
7. Decorate With Bright Colours
Colour affects our mood and stares up many emotions in us, so it is everything when it comes to decorating our buildings.
Decorating and painting with the right colours can make all the difference when it comes to painting your office. Add a splash of bright happy colours, instead of just doing plain white or off-white.
Let the room look bright and happy so that your employees will feel the same way.
As an employee working a 9-5, it is easy for you to burn out and your productivity level to dwindle. It is important that you find healthy ways to top-off your energy and good mood so that you can stay productive at the workplace, in as much as you are trying to finish projects and meet deadlines. Your health comes first, don’t forget that.
Another good point to note is that increasing workplace productivity isn’t just a duty that falls to employees alone. Employers should do right by their workers, by making the office as comfortable and uplifting as possible, so that their employees can be able to work with less stress. Happy employees equal to a progressing and successful company.
Do whatever you can- to make sure that your workers leave your company every day with their moods and energy intact, that way they won’t think of their jobs to a slaughterhouse and if you are struggling with being productive, you can try some of the productivity apps for busy professionals mentioned in this article.