Last updated on November 28th, 2022
After researching the different causes of low productivity in the workplace, I thought it would be a great idea to cover different ways you can tackle these issues and improve productivity.
Some of these methods I have used myself to improve my own productivity. Others are changes that some businesses may need to introduce to change the way their company works to benefit their employees.
Either way, here are 15 ways you can improve productivity in your workplace. Take a look and I hope they inspire you!
1. Put Away The Cell Phone
Personally, I’m really bad at picking up my cell phone and burning away 10 to 20 minutes just scrolling through – and I’m not the only worker who does this!
Two thirds (66%) of US employees admit to using their cell phone when they are at work.
In a different study by CareerBuilder, they found that cell phones were the top distraction for employees with 52% of survey respondents admitting that they used their cell phones to kill time.
Also, another survey by Screen Education showed that employees waste around 2.5 hours each workday on their phones.
This means that the cell phone is one of the biggest productivity-killers for businesses. So – put it away!
2. Focus On One Task At A Time
Multitasking is actually a myth and negatively impacts your productivity by 40% rather than boosting it. This is because multitasking lowers your ability to do certain tasks well and so, simple tasks take longer to complete while multitasking.
So, it’s important to try and focus on one task at a time.
While I myself find it a lot easier to do things one at a time, I don’t see the point in waiting around for data to load.
While my reports are loading or my computer is running an analysis, I tend to do a quick menial task while I am waiting to help boost efficiency!
3. Take Breaks
This may sound counteractive but taking regular breaks actually helps improve your productivity.
A study in 2014 found that 85% of employees believed that regular breaks helped their productivity and 59% believed that regular breaks would help improve their happiness in their role.
So, don’t be afraid to step away from your work and ensure your employees are doing the same.
4. Get A Good Night’s Rest
34% of US workers have reported difficulty sleeping due to stress and this can affect your productivity.
Insomnia and a lack of sleep has a huge impact on a person’s productivity, so it’s important to do what you can to get a good night’s rest.
There are lots of ways to improve your sleeping pattern that go beyond my field of expertise, so check out these very useful and science-backed tips here.
Exercise is proven to help increase your confidence, your energy levels, and sleep better at night. As a result, exercising can also help improve your productivity at work!
One study found that a workday exercise also helped 72% of its participants with their time management and they completed more of their workload. So, try to fit in a quick exercise on your break!
6. Respect Your Employees
Unhappy employees are 10% less productive than those who are satisfied and happy with their role. So, if you want to keep your productivity high, you need to keep your employees satisfied with their work.
A basic way to do this is to simply show them respect. According to Zippia, 72% of employees believe that respect is a key factor in job satisfaction.
By being transparent, honest, polite, and thankful for your employees, you can automatically make them more productive by boosting their overall happiness in their role.
7. Reward Your Employees
Another key factor towards employee satisfaction and happiness is recognition.
So, I would recommend putting a reward system in place to help your employees feel more appreciated and recognized.
Some examples of how you can reward employees include bonuses or vouchers, praise in writing or verbally, and even trophies.
8. Limit Your Meetings
A surprising cause of low productivity in businesses are meetings. While meetings have a ton of benefits, organizing one can take up to 4 hours of your time – and that’s just for simple status update meetings.
An average of 15% of a company’s time is spent in meetings and in reality, they’re not all that productive. According to this survey from Atlassian, half of workers consider meetings a waste of time and 96% of workers don’t even show up.
For the ones who do, 91% daydream, 39% sleep, and 73% do work instead of listening. So keep your meetings to a minimum in order to boost productivity.
9. Offer Hybrid/Remote Working
There are many studies which show that allowing workers the ability to work from home can help boost their productivity.
There is this study from Stanford which showed workers who worked from home were more productive by 13%, this study from CoSo which showed that workers who work from home are less likely to request time off, and much more.
So, if it’s possible, allow your employees to work from home – or try it out yourself!
10. Offer Flexible Hours
Like with remote working, offering employees flexible working hours also increases productivity.
According to a 2021 report, 41% of digital workers said that working flexible hours helped them achieve better productivity. This means that if it’s possible, I would try and offer your employees more flexibility with their work hours so they can work more productively.
11. Offer A Wellness Program
I mentioned earlier how taking breaks helps boost productivity when working and this is because breaks from work decrease your stress levels.
A 2022 study found that high stress levels in employees result in higher rates of burnout (40%) and that 65% of employees find that stress affects their ability to work.
So, you need to combat high stress levels in yourself and your employees if you want to boost productivity.
For your employees, implementing a wellness program is a great way to tackle this. They will have the resources and support they need to improve their mental wellbeing and you get to reap higher productivity in return.
12. Automate What You Can
If you either run your business yourself or have a very small team, then sometimes there will be too many tasks to do around.
This can lead to employees feeling overworked. 95% of employees feel overworked and this can increase their stress while decreasing their job satisfaction – all leading to low productivity.
This is where automation comes in. I have found that automating a lot of menial tasks helps free up my work time to focus on other important areas.
Not only has this helped me feel less stressed but helped me improve my business overall. Here are some of the things I have automated, along with others that may be relevant to your business.
13. Use The 1-3-5 Rule
I mentioned earlier how multitasking is actually a myth and with US workers among the most stressed in the world, it’s important to know how to manage your tasks efficiently so you can stay productive while keeping stress to a minimum.
I love to use the 1-3-5 rule to help organize my tasks to achieve just that. If you have never heard of it, then here is a great explanation.
14. Build A Better Work Culture
Toxic work culture has a negative impact on the productivity of workers in many ways. One study found that 38% of employees feel less engaged with their work, 21% take more time off work, and 29% quit as soon as possible to escape it.
So, I’d recommend you try your best to build a positive work culture in your business. Here is a great guide with ideas on how to do that!
15. Communicate With Your Team
There are many reports out there which talk about how communication helps boost productivity within teams.
One study found that 71% of employees felt more productive when well-connected with their colleagues, another found a productivity boost of 20% – 25% in well-connected teams, and one study found that employees who work remotely can work 5 times more productively when they feel more included in workplace communication.
So, communicate as much as you can with your team – but don’t become a distraction for them!
Those were just some ideas of how to improve productivity I found through my research and personal experiences. Of course, not all will work for you and your business – but it doesn’t hurt to try! Good luck!