5 steps you can take to improve productivity in the workplace

Everyone works differently and whilst some may find they’re on top form after lunch, there may well be others falling asleep at their desks. That’s not to say you can’t do something to help keep productivity going throughout the whole working day, though. Here, we look at 5 small changes you can make to help keep your employees motivated until home time.

Temperature

If your workplace is too hot or too cold, this could not only be a huge distraction for your employees, but it could also be a breach of the HSE requirement ruling that employers are legally obliged to provide a ‘reasonable’ temperature. Whilst this isn’t an exact science, it’s suggested that your workplace should always be over 16 degree Celsius or 13 degrees for work which involves rigorous physical effort. It’s impossible to determine a higher limit of what is ‘reasonable’, though, as workplaces may be inherently warmer than others.

Music

Does your workplace have a radio which is permanently set to Smooth FM? You might want to reconsider subjecting all your office employees to background noise which they can’t control, as it’s proven to negatively affect productivity in some individuals. For those in retail, music is often essential in creating an atmosphere in your shop, but make sure the noise level and genre is appropriate. Music has been found to help those undertaking repetitive tasks to work faster and more efficiently so providing music for factory workers may help speed things along.

Background noise

Research has found that employee productivity can drop by as much as 66 per cent when they’re exposed to nearby conversations, background TV noise and even loud keyboard bashes. Counteract this by reviewing your office acoustics, layout and staff behaviour. Encourage employees to avoid having phone calls on speaker phone, closing meeting room doors and moving longer discussions to a communal area. If appropriate, allow your employees to wear earphones so they can choose a background noise which suits them.

Air quality

Whilst it is unlikely your employees will consciously note the quality of the air in your workplace, it can still have a surprising impact on their productivity. To improve the air quality in your workplace, assess ventilation which removes the air of pollutants. Ensure you allow for sufficient ventilation both into and out of your workplace, but a more cost-effective solution is to consider the removal of common air polluters in the enclosed area, including used supply air filters and personal computers.

Colour

It is believed that the colour of the walls in your workplace can subconsciously affect the mood and productivity levels of your employees and it is much easier to control than some of the previous variables listed. Studies suggest that using bland colours including grey and beige can invoke feelings of sadness and sluggishness amongst your employees. Greens and blues were found to increase efficiency and focus, along with a heightened feeling of personal wellbeing. Yellow is thought to be useful in creative environments as it’s believed it triggers innovation.