How to Improve Office Worker Productivity
Ergonomics is as much about productivity and efficiency as improving the health and well-being of staff. A more relaxed and more comfortable workforce are often more productive. Some simple things that can be done are:
Make the workplace presentable - adopt a clear desk policy
A tidy workplace is a more efficient one. Clutter is a constant distraction and as much as your staff may try to convince you that they “know where everything is”, the reality is often far different.
People find things quicker when an office is tidy and well organized and this makes a huge difference in productivity. If it takes 5 minutes to find each file and an employee needs to access 12 files a day, they spend 1 hour of their day hunting around the office.
Keeping pathways around the office clear is important so that staff can move from one area to another without disruption. This also provides a much more professional appearance.
Many companies adopt a clear desk policy now. It is partly for security but does help to reduce stress and improve production.
Good quality lighting can make a huge difference. People are rarely conscious of slightly poor lighting conditions, however, these can reduce the speed at which they read and communicate. Lighting can also be used to give extra warmth to an office which is important during the winter months when some people start to suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder).
Ensure that there is not too much direct sunlight from windows. Glare across computer screens can rapidly reduce productivity and many employees just put up with the annoyance rather than raising it as a problem. Installing a good office blind can really help.
A dreary workplace can lower the spirits of staff which will reduce productivity. Neutral shades for walls can work well but ensure that your workplace is always well decorated and vibrant. Decorating a workplace with art and photographs is a great idea.
Corporate slogans and posters that promote business core principles may seem like a good idea to the top management but few of staff will appreciate them.
One of the easiest ways to improve a workplace is to add plants. Placing them at the ends of banks of desks and by the entrances and exits can help to lift the mood of an office.
Some colors are thought to promote different responses. For example, yellow breeds creativity, red boosts sales, blues and greens provide serenity and orange is social. Pick your colors wisely, you do not want your sales team surrounded by blue!
Make work stations ergonomic
Ensure that you and your staff are all comfortable while working and ensure that they are sitting in an ergonomically correct way.
This means that if they are using computers their screens should be directly in front of them and just out of arms reach. The top of the screen should be in line with their eyes to ensure that they maintain a natural neck position. Their arms should be supported by the arms of a chair and not on the desk to prevent repetitive strain injuries and trapped nerves. Feet should be rested on the floor, or on a foot stool, to ensure that there is not excessive pressure on the backs of the legs while seated (that causes circulation problems). The chair should be slightly reclined to reduce pressure on the lumber region. These are the basics of office ergonomics.
Use larger monitors
Not so long ago a 17 inch monitor was considered huge for an office. Now a standard sizes monitor is around 22 inch widescreen. Many offices use larger monitors still. If your staff is predominantly using computers in their work a larger monitor makes a real difference. Two monitors are even better still - you can literally do two things at once. It may seem like a huge additional cost but if you can increase productivity by just 10% an additional monitor will soon pay for it.
There are really many ways to improve workplace productivity; these are just a few to get you started. If you need some new office equipment then one of the best options is to source some high quality used office furniture. Used office furniture can be high quality but much cheaper than new furniture.
Improve IT Infrastructure
The policies have just been updated to comply with all mandated requirements and include electronic forms that can be Emailed, filled out completely on the computer, routed and stored electronically -- a total solution.
We have just completed a major update of most of the individual polices and almost all of the electronic forms.
- CIO IT Infrastructure Policy Bundle (All of the policies below are included as individual MS Word files and a single PDF file. Electronic forms are all individual documents that are easily modifiable)
- Backup and Backup Retention Policy
- Blog and Personal Web Site Policy (Includes electronic Blog Compliance Agreement Form)
- BYOD Policy Template (Includes electronic BYOD Access and Use Agreement Form)
- Google Glass Policy (Includes Google Glass Access and Use Agreement Form)
- Incident Communication Plan Policy (Updated to include social networks as a communication path)
- Internet, e-Mail, Social Networking, Mobile Device, Electronic Communications, and Record Retention Policy(Includes 5 electronic forms to aid in the quick deployment of this policy)
- Mobile Device Access and Use Policy
- Patch Management Policy
- Outsourcing and Cloud Based File Sharing Policy
- Physical and Virtual Server Security Policy
- Record Management, Retention, and Destruction Policy
- Safety Progam
- Sensitive Information Policy (HIPAA Compliant and includes electronic Sensitive Information Policy Compliance Agreement Form)
- Service Level Agreement (SLA) Policy Template with KPI Metrics
- Social Networking Policy (includes electronic form)
- Technology Acquisition Policy
- Telecommuting Policy (includes 8 electronic forms to effectively manage work at home staff)
- Text Messaging Sensitive and Confidential Information (includes electronic form)
- Travel, Electronic Meeting, and Off-Site Meeting Policy
- Wearable Device Policy
- IT Infrastructure Electronic Forms