How is productivity defined?

It’s a measure of how much work employees are doing. The definition of “work,” of course, varies depending on your organization, your goals, and your industry, but ultimately it’s about the output of workers.

Employee productivity is one of the most important considerations within any workplace. The more productive your employees, not only the more overall work is being completed, but fewer resources are being used, and the more competitive your organization will likely be.

So how can productivity be improved as we begin a new year?

Here are 7 Ways to Boost Productivity This Year:

  1. Create an Environment That Encourages Collaboration and Social Interaction.

Research shows when employees are encouraged to work together and develop social connections their well-being is not only improved, but their productivity numbers rise. You can foster collaboration through weekly brainstorming sessions encouraging everyone to get involved, open office design, or even through the use of social networking and apps.

  1. Ask for Feedback

Many employers don’t realize the value of simply asking employees for their thoughts and opinions. It’s a great way to improve not only overall productivity but also employee morale and loyalty.

  1. Reconsider Lighting

Lights are something that can be simple and inexpensive to change, yet many employers fail to do so because they don’t realize the strong connection between office lighting and productivity. Try to incorporate at least some natural light throughout the office, and work to create lighting concepts that correlate with the work being completed in a particular space. For example, make sure there’s ample lighting in a place where someone may be doing tedious tasks requiring visual focus throughout the day. In places where the focus is more on brainstorming it can be a little less bright, to create a more relaxed atmosphere. Also, if you want your employees to feel better about work and get more finished in a day, eliminate fluorescent lights.

  1. Set Aside Time for Employees to Move Around, Get Fresh Air or Exercise

You may think this will detract from productivity, but it’s typically quite the opposite. By allowing a few minutes every hour, or for a brief allotted time during the workday, for movement or the chance to get outdoors, employees will feel refreshed and more equipped to tackle the challenges of the workday.

  1. Embrace Creative Workspace Concepts and Design

One novel workplace design idea that can be used to improve productivity is the standing desk. Increasingly employers are moving toward the idea of standing desks because it not only seems to make employees more productive, but research is also showing these unique workspaces can reduce the risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, among other serious health concerns associated with a sedentary work life. When employees are healthier, they miss fewer days of work and are better able to focus on work, instead of their health, all of which is great for jump-starting productivity.

  1. Be Flexible

Employers can be rigid and demanding, yet in the organizations where the leadership demonstrates a willingness to be flexible and let employees complete tasks in the way that’s best suited to their individualities, workers are getting more done. Make 2016 the year you embrace flexibility and see big changes in overall productivity.

  1. Invest in Training

There are abundant new opportunities to train employees using online methods, reducing costs and improving efficiency, so take advantage in 2016. A better-trained workforce is one that’s going to make fewer mistakes and offer an improved output.

Paving the Path to a Productive 2016

Don’t let lagging productivity sideline your business, put you behind the competition or lead to sluggish growth. With smart, creative office design, tweaks in workplace culture, and a focus on the needs of your employees you can jumpstart productivity ensuring everyone in your office is getting more done in a day while using fewer resources.