Unproductiveness – we’ve all experienced it. Whether it is down to the post-lunch lull, disorganisation or an unstimulating environment. We have surveyed a number of our customers and asked how they increase staff productivity. From the survey, we have hand-picked seven of the best ways to overcome workplace weariness and motivate your staff.

1. Food, Glorious Food

A study done by the World Health Organisation showed that better nutrition could increase national productivity by 20%. It’s important to ensure your staff are aware of the best eating habits – posters can help, as well as providing healthy snacks such as fruit and nuts. Eating well is the first step to ensuring your brain is working on full power and energising your output in the workplace. Nutrition experts advise that to get the best from your breakfast it should contain an even mixture of fats, protein and carbs. Foods such as oatmeal, fruit, yogurt, whole-wheat bread and eggs ensure your body will be kept ticking over throughout the day. These help avoid a mid-morning slump which results from consuming sweet cereal or too much caffeine which spike your blood sugar, sending it crashing back down at around 11am leaving you tired, hungry and unproductive.

2. Tidy House, Tidy Mind

The old saying also applies to the workplace! On average, our client told us their staff spend 16 to 55 minutes a day trying to find misplaced items. Organisation equals efficiency, and instilling in your staff the benefits of clean and organised space is essential if you want them to bring these values to their work. Productivity should begin at home, as a tidy house can better your sleep and health ensuring your staff are on tip-top form for their day at a desk. Clearing out your desk means you can work quickly and easily see what requires the most urgent attention. 

3. Comfort is Key

It’s important that staff aren’t held back by eye, back or neck strain, all of which are common factors that result from a badly set-up office. Everything from chairs to screens should be carefully considered in terms of ergonomics. A study developed by VIBE indicated that more than one computer monitor can increase efficiency and productivity by 50%! Screens should be around 25 inches away from you and the top of the screen at eye level. The same study showed uncomfortable chairs can cause a drop of 16% in terms of productivity and 24% in terms of job satisfaction. 

4. Art for Art’s Sake?

A lot of interesting research has been done by the IAC and the British Council for Offices to show exactly how businesses have profited from incorporating art into their offices. In our survey, we found that 8% of the companies had a specific art budget and 6 out of 10 companies believe a colourful workplace inspired creativity, helped communicate the values of a brand and increased staff retention. Of course, a fun and colourful office is always a refreshing welcome when visitors and clients drop in.

5. The Sound of Music

We also found that 77% of the companies we surveyed said that playing music boosted staff morale and improved the office atmosphere, which in turn leads to better productivity. Loud music with lyrics tended to have a detrimental effect, whereas mid-level soothing music increased creativity and mood levels.  This technique can also be seen in supermarkets, which have had surveys proving that loud music makes people move quickly through the store, whereas slow music makes people take their time and spend more money. Choosing the right type of office headset can go a long way to upping the productivity of your staff.

6. Take A Break

It is especially important to allow staff to take breaks from their work in order to retain the optimum levels of focus and productivity. It is recommended that computer users take a break of at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes to look away from their screens and rest their eyes. Only 15% of the companies we surveyed were doing that. Companies are creating break-out areas more and more, to establish an informal environment where colleagues can meet and bounce ideas off each other in a relaxed way. Clear examples of this in practice are the Red Bull and Google offices, which include things such as ping-pong tables for employees to use, and the Innocent offices (pictured) with a fake-grass floor and football tables! 

7. Keep To-Do Lists


Small to-do lists are extremely efficient for keeping staff motivated and organised. Lists of three tasks appear much more manageable and provide a boost of morale once they are completed, and more can be added on. By completing hardest or most time-consuming jobs firsts, employees can overcome initial hurdles and fall into a good working rhythm for the day, feeling a sense of achievement for having finished a daunting task.