5 Practical Ways to Increase Staff Productivity

Every business owner’s dream is to have a team of staff that are highly productive, as this contributes to their success as a business. The reality, however, is that people don’t tend to run on one hundred percent productivity one hundred percent of the time. Luckily, you can still reach a level of productivity that meets your standard if you put a few measures in place. It will require demystifying your staff and for you to figure out what motivates them and how to keep that momentum going on a daily basis. To figure this out, you’ll have to engage in a bit of trial and error and then find what works best for you. Below we discuss five practical ways to increase staff productivity.

Show You Care

One of the ways that you can attempt to improve staff productivity is by showing them that you care about their wellbeing. It may come as a shock to you, or perhaps not so much, to know that a recent survey carried out by the NPD Group found that at least 31 million Americans don’t bother eating breakfast in the morning. Seeing as breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day, your staff skipping breakfast could result in them having decreased levels of energy and being less able to concentrate. It will ultimately affect their productivity and how well they perform at work. A solution to this problem could be providing free fruit, bread rolls, and tea or coffee every morning if your budget will accommodate it. It should give staff the boost they need to start the day off on the right note and help increase their output. Try and see if you can get a grocery store or restaurant to deliver fresh fruit and bread every morning. You could also get the office secretary or assistant to look for Office Coffee Deals that deliver. Staff should appreciate this for the most part, or at least have something to look forward to every morning.

Offer Support

You usually hire an employee because they seem to be knowledgeable and suitable for the advertised role and have been able to pass the assessment given to them impressively. It, however, doesn’t mean that they won’t need support throughout the time they’re working for you. Consider supporting your staff by providing them with opportunities to progress such as dedicated training to help them perform better if you can afford to squeeze it into your budget. There is a tendency for organizations to focus on training for people in leadership positions. However, staff who are at the incipient stages of their career may need it more. Other ways to support your staff include giving them flexibility, so they have time to de-stress and don’t feel overworked. You could also think about replacing old equipment so they can work better and be understanding when they’re enduring work-related or personal issues. This kind of support is a way to build trust and loyalty amongst your staff.

Give Feedback

You can’t always control the way people will react to criticism. However, ensuring that it’s constructive could go a long way in improving employee productivity. It is a management skill to understand each employee’s unique personality and be able to find a way to provide feedback in a way that encourages and motivates them. Also, make a note to give feedback as regularly as possible and ensure it is detailed enough as well as balanced. Let them know areas in which they’re excelling as well as where they need to improve. Take the time to find out what their challenges are, and again, what support you can offer to help.

Offer Incentives

Offering incentives and rewarding good behavior might help increase work productivity. Not only does it make people feel good when they’re recognized and rewarded for achieving, but it also gives them something to look forward to. Common incentives you can try are bonuses for those who meet targets or free coupons to enjoy some form of entertainment. You could also try gift vouchers at stores that you think they’re likely to shop at. Explore different incentives and see which works best to encourage staff to be more productive. Better still, it might be a good idea to conduct a survey and simply ask staff their preferences. Bear in mind, that incentives alone most likely won’t give you long-term results for increasing productivity. Combining incentives with the opportunity to grow and feel like a valued part of the work community should create more long-lasting results.

Don’t be too strict

Putting too many restrictions in place at an office can make employees feel like they’re working in a jail. While it may be helpful in increasing productivity, it can likewise be counterproductive as it may affect their enthusiasm towards work. An example of this is imposing internet restrictions in the office. There is a plethora of valuable information on the internet in this day and age, and on social networks too. You may then find that allowing them to be free to browse and visit social media may help spark their creativity or give them a wider variety of information. It could improve their work productivity, especially if you’re in the media or digital marketing industry or your company has social media platforms. It is understandable that you don’t want your staff spending valuable office hours liking their friend’s pictures. Remember, however, that staff can be unproductive even with all of the restrictions in place.

To increase productivity, you have to think of ways to create an environment that your staff enjoy being in. Although people have different reasons for joining an organization, they’re more than likely to give it their best when they feel its adding value to their lives. This value could be in the form of money, support, and personal development as well as feeling like they’re a part of something significant. Hopefully, these tips help improve productivity, and you’ll have a happy owner and happy employees.  Ultimately, the most productive people are those who feel deeply connected to the work they do and what it contributes to society.

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Highly Effective Habits That Make You More Productive at Work

Whether you are a business owner or an executive, staying effective at work can be a challenge. There will be times when you are less productive and can’t seem to focus on the tasks in hand. Other times you cannot do things correctly and keep making unnecessary mistakes.

After speaking to a lot of successful entrepreneurs and professionals, we discovered that this issue can be solved by developing a few effective habits. We are going to take a look at those habits in this article.

Develop a Morning Routine

Having a solid morning routine is a must. It helps prepare the brain for a busy day ahead and it allows you to enjoy little, pleasant things as you start the day. Some entrepreneurs love to start the day by having a cup of coffee and reading the news. You can tailor your Google News feed based on your interests or catch up with the latest financial news from America Herald online.

Remember that you are free to develop a morning routine that works for you. You can add a short exercise – a 30-minute walk or jog can be very refreshing in the morning – and fine-tune every part of the morning routine to suit you personally. The only thing to keep in mind is staying consistent. You want the brain to know, unconsciously, that the morning routine means it is time to start the day.

Work in Short Bursts

Staying focused for a long period of time can be challenging, which is why it is often better to work in short bursts. Most entrepreneurs love to work for 30 minutes, and then take a break for 15 minutes before repeating the cycle. Others opt for shorter bursts with a longer break between them.

The time you allocate for working doesn’t matter. What matters is that you devote your entire attention and energy to getting some work done during those short bursts. You will be surprised by how much more productive you can be, even when the day is a difficult one to handle.

You can also use the breaks for productive yet relaxing activities. You can read books, check the latest news and updates, or deal with easier tasks that also help you refresh.

Get Enough Rest

Going the extra mile and working long hours are very tempting, especially when you’re trying to get your business or your career of the ground. That said, spending 5 out of 5 workdays a week working late is not necessarily something you want to do if you want to stay productive in the long run.

Keeping a balanced life is still important. In fact, multiple studies have shown that professionals who are able to maintain a more balanced life are also more productive at work. When it is time to leave the office, stop worrying about work and shut that part of your brain for a moment. Focus on leisure activities or getting enough rest instead so that you are ready for the challenges that come tomorrow.

These habits are easy to get into with a bit of practice, but they are known to be very effective in helping you become more productive at work. Give them a try and be sure to share your experience in the Comments section below!

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Unlocking the Full Potential of Your Business Software

When it comes to building up a business, there are many different factors that will determine your overall success. However, one of the least considered points that many business owners overlook is the way they utilise technology. In particular, one problem area that they fail to notice is the use of software. Now, it’s not to say that companies don’t use software. In fact, it’s clear that in order to survive in the current business landscape, the use of software is paramount. However, there’s a clear divide between companies that understand how to make the most of their software and companies that barely use 10% of the features.

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Common Examples of Underutilisation

Let’s take the common word processing software packages that companies use. The three most common applications (as of writing) are Microsoft Office, OpenOffice and Google Docs. We could write an entire article comparing the three and what type of businesses they cater towards, but that wouldn’t be the point of this article. Instead, we’re going to show how businesses fail to utilise their full list of features and how it’s both costing them money and time.

Collaborative Features

Despite Google Docs being a free-to-use cloud application, many people fail to realise the full potential of a cloud-based office productivity suite: collaboration. Google Docs offers one of the simplest ways for multiple people to collaborate on a single document. Whether it’s a technical document that is being written by several authors or a project document that has to be edited by several people, Google Docs offers the necessary tools to take advantage of it. Sadly, far too many people use Google Docs as a simple word processing tool and nothing more. This can, of course, be done with other office programs, but it’s a good example of how even a free piece of software contains unique features that are often underutilised.

Remote Working

A great feature that has been enabled by cloud services is the ability to work from almost anywhere. There are still people that save their work to flimsy USB flash drives and pass them around between the office. Those days are over (for the tech-savvy, at least) and it’s now possible to not only use the cloud to transfer files across greater distances and keep team members updated, but you can also access and edit files from virtually any piece of hardware. You can edit it on your Mac laptop, Windows desktop, Android smartphone or even iOS tablet. No matter what operating system or type of device you use, there’s a good chance that the software you use can actually be used across multiple different platforms. The industry calls this cross-platform compatibility and it’s something that far too many companies forget about.

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Finding Problem Areas to Fix

Now that you understand the effect of software and how it can optimise your business, let’s take a look at ways that you can actually find problematic areas to fix.

For starters, always start from your workflow. From start to finish, your workflow should be seamless and without any hitches. You can’t just take a look at your workers and just guess if something is going right or wrong, however. The key here is to use analytics in order to get a better idea of what your business is up to or capable of. For example, keep track of where the bottlenecks in your business are. If a certain department or employee is constantly causing the rest of your company to halt, then it might not be their fault. It could be the fault of a piece of software or it could be that their job is just so tedious they can’t finish it on time. It might not be a case of getting an extra employee either—they could just need some new software

Realising What Software Can Do

At the end of the day, computers are dumb, Without input from somewhere, they don’t know what to do because they don’t serve a purpose. A computer that calculates numbers has a purpose, but even then, it needs input in order to function. You should think of software in the same way—it needs to serve a purpose and it’s often to make something easier.

Let’s say your financial department is having issues with calculating your incoming and outgoing money. As a result, it’s causing delays in paying and receiving invoices and you’ve even had a couple of complaints from the rest of your staff because they aren’t getting paid on time. You might think about hiring a new employee because it seems like your finance department isn’t being productive enough. However, there’s a better way to solve that issue.

Fixing the Issue With Software

Take note of how much it costs to hire an employee and keep it aside. Next, take a look at what the financial department’s workflow is like. If you find that they’re having troubles calculating numbers and filling out spreadsheets because they’re doing it manually, then it’s possible that a piece of cloud accounting software could fix the issue. If it’s a specific problem, such as payroll management or asset management, then things like fixed asset management software or a dedicated program to manage staff wages could be a great alternative. In other words, software is fantastic for fixing things or improving productivity as long as you’re willing to research the possible solutions and consult a tech-savvy employee for assistance.

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Some Final Words

This article has been brief, but it should have given you some insight into how you can unlock the full potential of your business software. It’s an expensive investment, which is why you need to make the most of your software. Read guides, learn if you find that you’re not utilising more than half of the tools available to you, then you might want to consider downgrading to another piece of software that will help reduce your business expenses.

Stephan Aarstol

Demystifying the Workplace “Unicorn”: The 5-Hour Workday

The five-hour workday isn’t just this mystical “unicorn” you’ve heard about around the water cooler. It’s real, and it can work for your team.

Why is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. the magic time? It’s been used for so long that it’s become immortalized in song. While the traditional 40-hour workweek remains the norm, you’ve changed the way you work.

What used to take all day — making phone calls, waiting for the mail, driving for hours to buy supplies — can now be done with much greater efficiency.

Being an entrepreneur requires you to be efficient and productive. But filling the traditional eight-hour day by churning out more work just means you’ll burn out or run your health into the ground. It’s almost impossible to produce high-quality work for eight hours straight.

I think you can do a better job in five hours.

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About the Author

Stephan AarstolStephan Aarstol is the author of The Five-Hour Workday: Live Differently, Unlock Productivity, and Find Happiness. He is CEO and founder of Tower, a holistic beach-lifestyle company, which includes Tower Paddle Boards, Tower Magazine,, and a direct-to-consumer surf- and beach-lifestyle company at .For more information, please visit and and connect with Stephan on Twitter, @stephan.aarstol.

Johan Gunnars

3 Simple Ways Productivity Leads to Your Best Self

What do you think of when you hear the term “self-improvement”? If you’re like a lot of people, you might imagine working your way through giant stacks of self-help books, starting an intensive new exercise regimen, or devoting more time to charitable causes – all of which are certainly worthwhile ways to improve oneself.

However, the path to self-improvement isn’t always about drastic lifestyle changes. Sometimes the easiest way to get started on the journey to a better version of you is just by doing the little things to get organized, make a plan, and recognize the everyday effort it takes to get there.

Improving your productivity is a simple place to begin – and with World Productivity Day upon us, there’s no better time than now to start discovering your best self! Here are 3 ways to do it:

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About the Author

Johan GunnarsJohan Gunnars is an entrepreneur and CEO and co-founder of Simpliday – Meetings, Reminders & Email in One, a new iPhone calendar app allowing users to achieve a more organized and efficient life by bringing together meetings, reminders and email in one customizable, beautiful, user-friendly app. Johan experience in productivity, software, e-commerce, consumer electronics, among others, leads him to focus on how companies and products can make a difference while connecting to the overall vision and strategy. Johan is based in Malmo, Sweden. For more information about Johan and Simpliday, visit Simpliday.