One of the biggest challenges most human resource professionals face on a daily basis is keeping employees concentrated on the job. A distracted employee can cost an employer more than $10,000 dollars a year. Just think, what could you be doing with $10,000 more dollars a year for each employee? That’s a lot of money that is being wasted. To help combat the problem, we’ve come up with the top seven ways you can increase productivity in the workplace by having your employees concentrate harder.
1. Break the Workday into Segments: Studies suggest that breaking the workday into segments allows employees to re-energize and stay focused in the midst of the many distractions in the workplace. Don’t spend your entire day trying to work on one task—instead, break your projects down into smaller, more manageable tasks that you can actually accomplish.
2. Gamification: Employers can use gamification to increase productivity in the workplace, by rewarding those who are the most productive. It’s as easy as using a simple To-Do list program, such as Todoist. This tool tracks the number of items you check off on your list and gives you points if you finish early, and dings you if you postpone a task for another day.
3. Music: Finding the right music to play in the background can be a good way for employees to become more energized and keep them motivated throughout the day. When I listen to music at work, it’s usually the same kind of music I’d work out to at the gym, because it pumps me up and gets me going. Encourage employees to use earplugs and find their groove, or find a happy medium in music you can all listen to, to help the day breeze by.
4. Design Your Office for Work: One of the things that make an office more conducive to increased concentration is the type of furnishings you choose. Look for furniture with rounded edges and make sure you have good feng shui in the office by arranging desks to face incoming doorways and keeping the clutter down. This will create an atmosphere of productivity.
5. Use Calming Colors: You might not think of it, but having certain colors in the workplace has been shown to enhance performance. When painting your walls or selecting furniture, go for calming colors like blue or green, instead of abrasive colors like bright orange or red, to take productivity to a whole new level.
6. Working in Teams: Whether you’re self-employed or you work for a larger company, finding a partner or team to work with can help you stay on track. If you work from home as a freelancer, consider joining a co-working space in order to stay motivated.
7. Avoid Work Overload: Creating an environment where work overload is a constant struggle will greatly decrease the productivity in your workplace. A feeling of being behind on a constant basis will decrease productivity because workers begin to feel discouraged and overwhelmed. Instead, try to make workloads manageable while rewarding achievements, small and large. A positive environment will encourage each individual to do his or her best.
Eric Friedman is the founder and CEO of eSkill Corporation, a global platform for complete candidate skills and job fit assessment. eSkill’s online skills testing is used by thousands of employers for pre-employment assessment and staff benchmarking. Eric has degrees in Psychology and Business, and a fascination with matching people with roles they're best at, and that they enjoy.