Although people work an average of 45 hours per week, 17 of those hours are considered unproductive, according to an oft-cited survey by Microsoft. The need to enhance employee productivity and increase output is crucial in any business. There are only so many hours in a day, so making the most of that time is essential.
Becoming more productive at work requires that you be more deliberate in how you manage your time. The following are 6 simple things you can do at work to increase your productivity.
1. Take regular breaks
It might sound counterintuitive, but taking breaks can actually help improve your concentration. If you work on a task without taking breaks, it leads to a decline in performance, whereas if you take short breaks, it allows you to maintain a consistent level of performance. You can also try alternating between sitting and standing at a standing desk throughout the workday. Sitting down all day limits productivity. Standing at your desk leads to higher energy levels, better concentration, and increased efficiency.
2. Limit the number of meetings you attend
People spend an average of 5.6 hours per week in meetings, yet 69% of people feel that the meetings they attend are not productive. Before you book or attend a meeting, ask yourself whether you can reach the same outcome by sending an email or making a phone call.
If you absolutely must schedule a meeting, consider making it a “standing” meeting rather than a traditional sit-down meeting. As their name suggests, standing meetings require all participants to remain standing. Standing meetings tend to cut down on meeting time because of the discomfort of standing for long periods of time. Participants usually want to end the meeting as quickly as possible, so they are more efficient and thoughtful. Standing also releases endorphins and increases your energy level and alertness.
3. Avoid multitasking
While we tend to look at multitasking as something that helps our productivity, the reality is that trying to do several tasks at once backfires. Multitasking leads to lost time and hurts productivity. According to the Harvard Business Review, multitasking can cause your productivity level to go down by as much as 40%.
4. Turn off notifications
During work hours, turn off notifications like text messages, emails, and voicemails. These distractions can cause you to lose focus, which is why it’s important to limit them as much as possible. If your role allows for it, set aside just two to three times a day for checking messages and reserve any personal calls or errands for lunchtime.
5. Get the right software
Your productivity is directly related to the technology you use. There is software that can significantly increase your productivity in the workplace. Collaborative solutions like team calendar software and meeting booking software can help make employees more productive, particularly in organizations in which employees are geographically distributed or work remotely.
Take advantage of all the collaboration tools and applications available. Cloud-based software facilitates sharing and teamwork across your enterprise while ensuring that employees stay informed, even when they are working outside of the office or are on the move.
6. Display your availability on a personal calendar
If you use your personal Microsoft Outlook® calendar to register your activity, software like Skype4Business / Exchange Central will display that you’re busy working. This will prevent people from messaging or calling you on Skype, and they’ll likely send you an email instead. You can respond to any emails when it’s convenient for you, so your productivity isn’t interrupted.
The use of technologies and systems enables employees to perform their jobs more effectively and efficiently. Add-On Products offers a variety of collaboration tools for Microsoft Outlook® and Exchange, including resource booking software and group calendar software. Sign up for a free 15-minute online demo to try out our workplace productivity solutions!