Whether you’re a manager in a formal office environment or a remote team lead, improving workplace productivity is top of mind. But where do you start? How can you spend less time micromanaging and more time helping your employees work wiser?
In this article, we’ll show you some of the best ways to boost productivity, improve company culture and increase employee engagement in your organization. Even better? We’ll explain how you to use a workforce analytics solution like ActivTrak to help employees work wiser and determine if your efforts to increase employee productivity drive positive change.
Top 10 Tips To Help Improve Workplace Productivity
1. Measure and track employee productivity
This might be the most important tip for increasing workplace productivity. After all, you can’t fix what you can’t see, and measuring productivity is the best way to understand current productivity levels and identify where and how you can improve.
An employee productivity monitoring solution like ActivTrak gives you data-driven insight into employee performance. Getting these real-time insights is particularly valuable in the era of remote work when it’s harder to assess how remote employees are working and whether or not they’re struggling with burnout, work-life balance or teamwork.
From visibility into time management, to insights about burnout and workflows, productivity metrics provide the information you need to create initiatives that improve productivity, employee engagement and overall well-being while at work.
2. Provide employees with the right tools and resources
Employees in any workspace — office, home or somewhere in between — require the right tools and resources to be productive. To increase workplace productivity and efficiency, you must provide those tools from day one.
Investing in communication and collaboration tools like Slack or Zoom that support remote work are key. And remember to establish a formal onboarding process to ensure all team members are confident they can use these technologies effectively.
3. Invest in training and development
Beyond offering in-depth onboarding, a great way to improve employee performance and workforce productivity is to give your team opportunities to develop their skills through training and professional development. Showing employees you’re invested in their personal and professional growth can make them feel like they’re an integral part of the company’s broader vision and motivate them to go above and beyond, increasing productivity. Plus, having an exciting new project to dig into or a new skill set to learn can be fulfilling and improve employee engagement.
4. Don’t micromanage
Micromanaging employees is one of the worst things you can do as a manager. Keystroke logging and constantly checking in to monitor how a project progresses can wear away at team productivity and morale. These behaviors create a stressful work environment and can make both in-office and remote workers feel like you don’t trust them to do their jobs.
Instead of micromanaging, use workforce analytics to take an open and transparent approach to productivity management that empowers managers and employees to collaborate on ways to improve.
5. Establish and commit to deadlines
With so many items on the to-do list and often not enough time to complete them, employees sometimes have to triage their projects. Unfortunately, it’s easy for tasks to fall by the wayside when there isn’t a structured workflow or deadline in place. Set and stick to deadlines for each project, so employees have set dates to work toward — making effective time management much easier, while also helping maximize their productive time.
6. Reduce distractions
Every work environment has its distractions. There might be a cute pet begging for your attention at home, a chatty coworker walking past your cubicle on their way to the break room, or something interesting happening outside your favorite coffee shop window.
It’s impossible to eliminate distractions, but there are many strategies you can use to reduce them. Try scheduling short breaks throughout the day to give your team dedicated time to check social media or take a quick stretch before diving back into productive time. Also, encourage both in-person and remote workers to pause their Slack notifications when they need to focus, discourage unnecessary multitasking, and leverage automation to take small tasks off your team’s plate.
7. Limit meetings
Teams need to stay connected and up-to-date on where projects stand, but too many meetings can drain employee productivity. Not only do they eat up precious work time, but excessive meetings can be a source of frustration among otherwise engaged employees.
Focus on reducing meetings to only the essential ones. If something can be communicated in an email, do that instead of scheduling a meeting or phone call that pulls employees out of their focus time. Another popular approach is to collaborate asynchronously in a shared working doc, so people can contribute regardless of schedule or time zone.
8. Establish trust and transparency
Establishing a company culture where employees are in the loop on what’s happening within the organization and feel comfortable coming to leadership with their concerns is essential. This is particularly important if you plan to measure employee productivity using workforce analytics software (a practice we highly recommend!).
Be open when you tell your team that you’ll be creating new initiatives to improve workplace productivity and using tools that will gather their employee activity. Tell them what data you’ll be looking into and why, and be sure to let them know that productivity management is a collaborative endeavor. Assure them they’ll have access to their productivity data and the information you gather will never be used to micromanage them. It’s also a good idea to schedule one-on-one check-ins or team stand-ups where employees are encouraged to share their positive or negative feelings openly.
9. Offer flexible work schedules
Part of being an excellent manager is recognizing that not everyone works in the same way. Some employees like to work a typical 9-5 work day, while others prefer to start and end the work day early so their schedule matches when their children are in school.
Offering flexible work schedules empowers employees to plan their day according to when they’re most productive, which naturally increases employee productivity and facilitates a healthy work-life balance. Also, showing you trust your team members to complete their work on their timetable is a huge win for employee engagement.
10. Emphasize health and wellness
Wellness and productivity go hand in hand. When your mental and physical well-being is in a great place, it’s easier to make the most of your work day and meet new projects head-on. Managers should encourage employees to take care of themselves and emphasize that prioritizing employee health and wellness is vital to your company. Consider offering robust health insurance coverage, subsidizing in-person gym memberships or subscriptions to fitness apps, providing healthy snacks, and requiring that each employee take a certain number of mental health days each year.
Maximize Your Workplace’s Productivity Through Workforce Analytics
There are many ways to increase workplace productivity in an organization — but how do you know if those initiatives are working? Workplace productivity is too important to guess at, and you can’t improve what you can’t see. To proactively measure employee productivity and uncover the data-driven insights you need, add ActivTrak to put workforce analytics in your toolkit.
ActivTrak’s employee monitoring solution is a modern productivity tool for the modern workplace, offering visibility into your employees’ work habits without compromising employee trust or security. ActivTrak analyzes employee activity data to see how your employees work and uncover productivity trends. You’ll be able to examine the influence your initiatives have had on employee performance and make adjustments as necessary. If you need a more granular view, out-of-the-box productivity reports break down data by date, time, user, computer and more so you can dig into the details that matter. ActivTrak’s Productivity Coach feature puts this data in context so you can make effective interventions that empower each employee.
Request a demo of ActivTrak to learn more about how workforce analytics can help you increase workplace productivity within your organization.