Want to Achieve A Productive Work Environment? Flexibility is Key!
You may say potato, but others say potahto. You may be an early bird, but others are night owls. You may do your best work while listening to music. Others are at their best when enveloped by complete silence.
You probably readily agree that people’s preferences, habits, likes, and dislikes vary tremendously. If you live with a significant other, you probably make compromises so that he or she feels just as comfortable at home as you do. If you run a business and you want your employees to be their most productive selves while they’re at work, you’ve got to think outside the box and let go of that one-sizes-fits-all, matchy-matchy mentality that many business owners have toward the work environment.
Making little changes and learning to tolerate behaviors that you assume are counter-productive, but may not be, can have a huge impact! They’ll you’re your employees feel more comfortable at work, which will make them feel happier, which will allow them to focus on their jobs and will make them feel like they want to do a great job for you, because you’re such a great boss. Here are a few examples of small physical and policy changes you can make to up your workspace’s productivity factor for all.
1: Be tolerant of quick, occasional social media checks and Internet mini breaks. Employees spend large blocks of time at work. It’s unreasonable for them to be “on the clock” every single minute. Sometimes, a quick distraction helps to cure a mental block, reenergize the brain, and spark ideas. The key word here? Quick. Don’t be rigid about the Internet. But do be very clear that you expect 50 out of 60 minutes of each work hour to be spent on work.
2: Encourage camaraderie. Does your space have a casual, comfortable space where employees can interact with each other? If you’ve got a lunch room, make it appealing and comfortable so employees will be more likely to spend their breaks there and get to know each other. If you don’t have a lunch room, a couple of cozy chairs and side tables will suffice.
3: Ask for Opinions. If you’re planning to upgrade your computer equipment, ask employees for input. If you’ve got a vending machine, ask them what they want it to be stocked with. If you’re brave enough, encourage feedback by placing a “How are We Doing?” box in your breakroom and inviting employees to share their opinions about what they like and don’t like about the work environment.
4: Be flexible. If an employee needs to leave early to pick up a sick child or needs to come in late due to a doctor’s appointment, don’t make it a huge deal. Allow flexibility with the understanding that they’ll just need to make up the missed time another time.
5: Invest in sit-stand desks. There are tons of studies out there concluding that too much sitting has all kinds of negative ramifications. Sit-stand desks allow employees the flexibility to quickly and easily alter their work environment to achieve optimal comfort.