Should your office let employees bring their pets to the office? Here are some of the benefits and watch outs in building an in-office pet policy.
The Maximum Productivity Formula | Greetly Ipad Receptionist
Is there a productivity formula to maximize employee output? New research suggests yes! And here it is.
As a manager, your primary responsibility is to facilitate employees to get more done. You have set the ideal office environment and given employees the digital office tools they need.
So what else can you do to maximize productivity? Does the productivity formula suggest you should encourage employees to work longer hours? Should you minimize breaks? Or peer over workers’ (virtual) shoulders for time-wasting activities? The answers: no, no, and no.
Working Longer ≠ Increased Productivity
A recent study used the DeskTime app to measure the habits of high productivity employees. The most productive workers, it turns out, do not work the longest hours. Rather, the old cliche is right: “work smarter, not harder.” The research suggests our brains were not built to focus for eight hours — let alone more — continuously.
Take Regular Breaks
According to the same study, the highest productivity employees followed a similar work pattern: they took 17-minute breaks for every 52 minutes of work. The extended breaks seem to refresh the brain and allow it to focus during the next work block.
Employees spent these breaks in a variety of ways — many entirely unrelated to work. Favored activities included finding a quiet place to read, chatting with co-workers socially, and even light exercise like taking a walk.
A Little Goofing Around Can Boost Results
A team of Japanese researchers recently studied the impact of all those cat videos on YouTube, and the countless other distractions available to employees. It turns out, many common distractions, in moderation, of course, appear to push productivity.
Participants performed tasks before and after viewing various stimuli. These included looking at pictures of baby animals, adult animals, and popular foods. Performance improved across the board. Aligned with the implications of the productivity formula study, the researchers suggest that viewing these photos provided the brain with a mental break versus how it operates when fully focused.
Surely there is no one exact productivity formula that works perfectly for everyone. The two studies do provide some clear implications for managers though:
- Make sure employees schedule regular breaks. If employees cannot seem to step away from their work, consider building designated time periods throughout the day for no work. You might conduct group activities during that time, put out snacks at a particular time to encourage mingling or simply give employees the freedom to use their breaks as they please.
- Avoid signaling that participating in certain activities imply workers are lazy or being counterproductive. Spending a break surfing Reddit or chatting with friends may be exactly what employees need to rejuvenate their focus.
- Help employees focus during work sprints. Minimize distractions, which otherwise would cause employees to lose nearly 30 minutes of productivity.
Now, strictly for the purposes of having a productive day, we present “Kitten Message Therapy”.
Photo credit: DonkeyHotey