Do you ever feel unproductive at work? Like the time you spend reorganizing your desk or learning to use new office tools would be better spent finishing up that huge project you’ve been working on all quarter?
Well, some of the things that you think of as an unproductive use of your time can actually make you more productive. And there are probably other factors affecting your personal productivity that you’ve never even thought about.
Here are 3 things about workplace productivity that you might not know, but need to know.
1. Busywork can be a good thing.
Many employees are actually at their happiest when doing mundane tasks that don’t require much brain power, like organizing an email inbox at the end of each week or filling out a spreadsheet.
Busywork gives people a feeling of fulfillment, minus the frustration felt with more challenging tasks. Accomplishing a task makes you happy, and happy employees are more productive employees. A recent study showed a group of participants a comedy clip or provided them food to make them happy and afterward gave them tasks to do. The “happy” participants increased their productivity on average by 12%, and productivity levels got as much as 20% higher than the control group.
2. Office temperature makes a difference.
When you’re too cold, your lips turn blue – and so does your mood. Studies show that low office temperatures increase feelings of loneliness and sadness, and one study found that employees committed 44% more errors and were less than half as productive when their office temperatures were low.
But cranking up the heat isn’t the solution. Temperatures that are too warm, on the other hand, make people feel sluggish and therefore less productive. To keep employees comfortable – and effective – maintain your office temperature around 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Cornell University says workers are twice as productive when working at that temperature vs. 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Workplace tech matters more than you think.
Mental and physical wellness methods of improving employee productivity, such as helping employees set goals and providing in-office yoga, can make an impact. But they don’t outweigh the need for having access to the right tech tools.
If today’s employees are going to be productive at their jobs, then they need the right technology that allows them to better manage their time and streamline everyday processes. Streamlining processes means tasks get done faster, some even automatically, so workloads are reduced and time is freed up to work on other projects.
Teem’s inaugural workplace happiness survey found that 38% of workers are motivated by innovative tech tools. Social media and social tools, often thought to make people less productive, can actually improve productivity. According to a 2013 Ipsos and Microsoft survey, 46% said their productivity had greatly or somewhat increased because of using social tools.
When everyone in the office knows what affects workplace productivity, everyone can work toward improving the office environment and their own personal productivity levels. That allows employees to place more emphasis on other things, like accuracy and creativity.