Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question,“what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
As a business owner, you might think you need to compete with the perks of working at places like Google or Apple to keep your employees happy. The truth is you don’t need to offer unlimited soda or a playground to keep your employees happy and productive.
Performing the same tasks over and over can leave employees bored and frustrated. While the task might require some creativity or variation, if it is mundane it can start to feel like a grind. Consider letting your employee find ways to make the task faster or more efficient. You could also give them additional responsibilities or different responsibilities. Obviously, this doesn’t mean dole out menial tasks you can’t be bothered to do yourself, instead the new responsibilities should be relevant to their position.
For decades, business owners have resisted allowing employees to work from home. To an extent, that’s understandable. Being able to see what your employees are up to is certainly comforting. But the evidence is in: more flexibility in work times and locations can increase productivity. It’s not just because people can be happier working from home (and thus more productive). It’s because people actually often find it easier to concentrate at home, contrary to popular belief. So you should think about giving a flexible approach a trial run if appropriate. Using cloud services can allow people to work on documents remotely, as long as they have home computers or smartphones.
Ever notice your employees massaging their wrists? Getting up to stretch? Rubbing their necks? They could just be doing some smart, quick exercises to keep their blood flowing. But they could also be in pain, or at least in some discomfort. It’s not rare for people to be uncomfortable at work. The problem, in fact, is that people don’t often expect to be comfortable at work. Have a look around for good furniture suppliers to find workspaces that would make your employees (and yourself!) more comfortable. A good office furniture supplies should have solutions. Visit their website to see if there might be a cost-effective solution.
Fewer meetings, fewer emails
When people think about the modern office, two things usually come immediately to mind: meetings and emails, which are two of the most distracting elements of any office environment. Meetings and emails are often overused. As a business owner, you can look into ways to reduce the number of emails that get sent around at work. As for meetings, look into how they kill productivity and work on ways to reduce them, sometimes the answer is an email other times there is a better solution to both.