To find out how to best increase staff productivity levels, we surveyed a group of our clients and asked them what they did. Using the answers that they gave us, here are some of the most effective ways to increase staff productivity levels.

Eat up, eat well

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has researched the topic and found that productivity levels could be increased by as much as one-fifth with improved nutrition. For this reason, it is important to encourage your employees to eat as healthily as possible. You could provide a range of healthy foods to snack on such as bowls of nuts or fruit. A good diet is a big step towards making sure that the brain is in gear and productivity is at it’s highest.

Breakfast, as we all know, is the most important meal of the day. Protein-packed food such as egg is a great way to get off to the right start, as are things like yoghurt, porridge, wholemeal bread, and fruit. These will keep you going until lunchtime and help avoid that highly unproductive mid-morning flop from consuming too much coffee or sugary cereals. 

Tidy office, tidy mind

We have all heard of the phrase; ‘tidy house, tidy mind’, and that goes for the office as well. Our clients reported that between 16 and 55 minutes every day is lost to finding items that have been misplaced. This is a huge drain on time and resources and can be easily managed - by simply keeping everything tidy. Being tidy and organised is automatically going to make everyone more efficient. Aim for a clear desk policy; before people go home for the evening, they should ensure their desk is clear, tidy, and ready to start work the next day.

Comfort is king

If your staff are struggling with sore eyes, neck strain and aches in their shoulders, they are not going to be performing at their best. A study from VIBE showed that uncomfortable chairs can decrease productivity by as much as 16 per cent and job satisfaction by 24 per cent. Sorting this out is an easy fix; make sure the furniture is ergonomically designed and has their comfort in mind. 

All things bright and colourful

The British Council for Offices and the IAC have looked into how having art in the workplace can help a business - and it turns out quite significantly. Our survey found that eight per cent of the businesses we asked had a budget set aside for art, and 60 per cent of businesses believe that a workplace with some colour on the walls can help to inspire creativity, communicate brand values, and increase the retention rates of staff. Also, let’s face it - an office that has some personality and colour is always much more welcoming to clients and visitors.

Let the music play on

More than three-quarters of the businesses that we surveyed believed that having music playing in the background improves the atmosphere in the office and helps to boost staff morale - both of which increases productivity. Of course, we are not talking about blasting music with words - this can actually have an adverse effect - but soothing music played at an appropriate level increases mood and creativity levels. This can be seen in shops - loud music gets people throwing their shopping in faster and getting out of the store, while slow, relaxing melodies makes people shop more leisurely - and spend more.

Take a break

If you want to get the very best out of your employees, give them a break. There is a 20:20:20 rule to follow for computer users - taking a pause of at least 20 seconds to focus the eyes on something at least 20 feet away at least once every twenty minutes. Unfortunately, out of the businesses that we asked, only 15 per cent are doing that. If you can, create break areas where staff can relax, socialise, and share ideas in an informal way. The Google and Red Bull offices are great examples of this - with football tables and table tennis for staff to use. 

To do or not to do

One way to make sure all the tasks that need doing get done is by having to-do lists. Don’t make them too long; three priority tasks are enough, but they can give a great morale boost when they are ticked off. By getting the priority tasks done and dusted, employees can deal with any issues that may arise and get into a productive rhythm for the rest of the day.