Maintaining productivity in the workplace isn’t always easy. Whether it’s a private office space or a new co-working space, office environments are often hectic and keeping on top of the daily workload can be challenging as a result. Finding creative ways to work efficiently can go a long way in easing the pressure, helping you to continually deliver results whilst minimising the stress involved.
In need of some quick and easy tips to stay productive? Here are 20 office productivity hacks that will revolutionise your work approach. Let’s get started.
Resist the Urge to Look at Your Phone
The potential effects of excessive mobile phone usage have been widely discussed over the years, but the scale of the issue nonetheless justifies its position at the top of our list. As one of the most common distractions, it’s definitely a major culprit as far as reducing workplace productivity is concerned.
From the eternal temptation of checking social media to the pressures of being permanently reachable, resisting the urge to look at your phone can help you maintain focus on the tasks at hand.
Ease Yourself Into the Day
The steps you take to increase productivity in the workplace can sometimes be taken long before you even reach the office. The most obvious examples of this include getting enough sleep and eating a healthy breakfast, but there are many other things you can do.
Taking time to ease yourself into the day can help to significantly ease stress at the beginning of the day. If you’re hitting the snooze button and rushing in just one minute before you’re due to start, chances are you’ll be on edge before the workday has even started.
For that reason, try to give yourself just a little bit more time to start up – even if that means setting the much-dreaded early alarm.
Stick to Your Schedule
When it comes to managing your time effectively, planning is everything. Treating every task with equal urgency is often the death of any effective prioritisation, so try to stick to your schedule wherever possible.
Of course, there are times when work needs to be urgently completed on an ad hoc basis. If you’ve learnt to prioritise well, you should be able to identify which tasks are absolutely crucial and which ones are not. In some cases, this may require you to stick to your guns and say no – and that’s quite alright.
Set Your Goals & Monitor Your Progress
Sometimes, staying productive requires you to keep yourself in check. One of the best ways of doing this is to set the goals you wish to achieve and monitor your progress towards achieving them.
From scheduling catch ups to crossing off project milestones, there are many ways in which to keep track of your progress. Doing so will help motivate you to keep working towards project completion.
Use Organisational Tools
Repetitive and tedious tasks can go a long way in sapping the energy you need to stay productive. From completing timesheets to dealing with expense requests, not every professional task is equally inspiring.
At the same time, tasks such as these are incredibly important to the overall functioning of any business. For that reason, there are a variety of tools available that can help complete these tasks more easily and efficiently – driving your productivity in other areas.
Prioritisation makes the commercial world go round. Almost every challenge you face in the workplace can be prioritised accordingly, and getting into the habit of doing so can work wonders for your workplace productivity.
Once you know which tasks need to be completed first, it’s time to start planning out your workload for the coming days, weeks or even months. That way, you’ll never be lost on what you should be doing, saving precious time in the process.
Decluttering your office is an important step towards optimising your work processes as a whole. The idea behind this is simple; the more you are able to push yourself to organise the simple things, the easier it becomes to apply the same approach to more complicated and challenging tasks.
Create a Greener Office
The traditional office environment is changing as the demand for flexible office space in cities is catching up with that of private office space. According to leading office brokers, Office Freedom, last year, the number of new flexible offices in London grew by 42% and this trend is continuing across the globe.
Adding to that, businesses are also beginning to realise the positive impacts of bringing the outdoors in. According to research by The University of Exeter, placing plants in the office can help improve staff happiness and productivity – so why not give it a go?
Make Sure Meetings are Productive
Unproductive meetings are the scourge of many an office worker, and it regularly tops the list of common workplace complaints.
One way of making meetings more productive is to develop clear action points prior to the meeting taking place. That way, you can minimise time spent in meetings and instead complete whichever task is next on the list.
Another way of avoiding unproductive meetings is to ensure meeting rooms are equipped with high-quality facilities. Technical difficulties or a lack of suitable facilities can be one of the key obstacles to any productive meeting.
For that reason, flexible office spaces offer purpose-built meeting areas that incorporate every amenity imaginable, whether that be high-speed internet, large monitors, dedicated IT, whiteboards, flip charts and of course those all important refreshments.
Develop Positive Habits
Everybody has their own unique habits when it comes to organising their workday. Whether it’s starting the day with a cup of coffee or taking a walk outside during breaktime, consistent productivity is all about reinforcing positive habits and attempting to change negative ones. If you regularly run into an afternoon slump, this may mean switching up your routine to keep things varied.
Spending 8 hours a day seated at your desk can have an impact on both your physical and mental wellbeing. For that reason, it’s important to seize every opportunity to stay active.
Whether it’s moving around the office or getting involved with an office yoga class, keeping active is a crucial component of productivity.
Luckily, flexible office spaces offer ample opportunity to keep fit before, during or after the working day. From bicycle racks to gym areas suited to both solo workouts and group fitness classes, the right flexible office ensures staying in shape has never been more convenient.
Listen to Music
Listening to music at work doesn’t necessarily work for every person or role. Having said that, drowning out the sounds of a busy office can help boost productivity for some.
Whether it’s listening to your favourite band or immersing yourself in the relaxing sounds of nature, music has the power to soothe and boost work efficiency.
Take Short Breaks
Everybody needs a break once in a while, and taking short breaks within reason can help you clear your head and approach challenges in a new way. Getting away from your desk – even for a minute or two – can be immensely beneficial to your ability to consider a problem with fresh eyes and a fresh mind.
While the need for employees to enjoy some much-needed rest in the break room has remained largely unchanged, flexible office spaces have gone a long way in revolutionising break out spaces as we know them.
From canteen-style lunchrooms to open plan lounge areas, flexible offices provide break out spaces of all shapes and sizes. Furthermore, the range of amenities available helps to further strengthen their suitability for both work and play.
Minimise Multitasking Where Possible
When the clients and projects come pouring in, it’s likely you’ll be spending much of your workday multitasking. While almost every role will require you to multitask to some degree, knowing when to set your sights on a single task is equally important.
This is especially the case when a task requires a keen eye and attention to detail, so try and reserve a dedicated time slot to give a project your full attention.
Don’t Put Off the Tougher Tasks
Pushing yourself to complete the most challenging tasks is far from easy, and many are tempted to put them off to the very last minute.
Changing your approach to get these tasks over with first can help make the most of the energy you have at the start of the day, leaving you to focus your efforts on the more comfortable tasks for the remainder of the day.
Set Your Own Deadlines
What could possibly make you want to voluntarily set more deadlines than you already have? Counterintuitively, setting your own deadlines could actually help to ease pressure and be more productive.
By setting personal goals that exceed the bare minimum, you can more accurately keep track of your performance. The result? Peace of mind and increased productivity.
Small wins are what makes the journey towards success worthwhile. As such, it’s important to celebrate the little things at every chance you get.
Whether you’ve received excellent client feedback or have just met a challenging internal deadline, appreciating these successes can spur you on to achieve an even greater feat next time around.
Applying a logical structure to every work-related task helps to break down major challenges into smaller chunks. While some people may be planners by nature, even those who excel at delivering agile, improvised solutions can drive their productivity in this way.
One of the best ways of doing so is to take that extra half hour at the start of every project to figure out the who, what and when in detail – even when you’re pressed for time.
Don’t Suffer in Silence
Everybody needs a little help once in a while, and feeling lost and drowned in work is one of the biggest threats to workplace productivity.
Although you may be reluctant to do so, reaching out to a colleague for help can go a long way in finding the solution you’re looking for. You are part of a team after all.
Co-working spaces are undoubtedly a standout environment when it comes to working collaboratively, a fact that can be particularly beneficial for freelancers and those working in solitary roles. Through being surrounded by professionals working across a variety of organisations and sectors, a helping hand is never far away.
Focus on the End Goal
Our final tip appears in virtually every motivational publication ever to have seen the light of day – and for good reason. No matter how far away it may seem right now, achieving your end goal should be at the forefront of your mind at all times.
Having something to strive towards is the single most important driver in both your professional and personal lives. What’s more, the sheer number of challenges you’ll meet on the way is often enough to make you lose sight of what it is exactly you’re trying to achieve.
By making a conscious effort to focus on the end result, there will always be something to keep you going – even when you’re faced with overwhelming odds.