Published 02 August 2017 Category: Compass Tips, Business, Workplace

Tips On Office Productivity

Productivity is a big topic these days. In an era of always-on technology and constant interruptions, getting more done in less time is the holy grail. Evidently, the answer is simple: Get out of the office.

Of employees who work remotely at least a few times per month, more than three-quarters of them report greater productivity while working off site,  30% complete more work in less time, and 24% get more done in the same time. What makes the difference, you ask? No one is popping into your home office to ask if you watched the game last night or if you can help them with that spreadsheet.

Don't panic! There are ways to cut down on interruptions when you're on deadline.

That’s great for those workers whose employers let them telecommute for work, of course. But what if you’re chained to your desk? What if you can’t do your job from someplace else, or your boss simply isn’t inclined to let you? There are ways to mimic the experience of working remotely—you just have to cut down on the interruptions in the workplace.

Here are some pointers:

Look at the big picture. Spend a little time thinking about why you’re getting interrupted at work. If it’s because you sit by the printer and people are constantly strolling by your desk, that’s one thing. But if you’re a manager and you’re fielding questions from the same people all day long, you might be at fault. Are you giving your team enough information to be able to do what they need to do and enough authority to be able to move forward without having to come back to you? If not, now is the time to figure out what needs to change.

Set no-interrupt times. If there’s a time of day when you really work efficiently and can get a lot accomplished, try to preserve it as your own. Post a sign on your cube or your door indicating that you’re working between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and unless it’s an emergency, to please leave a note or come back later. If you’re consistent, your team will learn not to bug you during those hours.

Move. If you work in an open-space office or a cube farm, you might be better served by going elsewhere when you’re on a deadline - even if it’s just a quiet serviced office space.

Wear headphones or a headset. People are less likely to stop and chat if you look like you’re concentrating or that you’re already on the phone. You can also try setting up visual barriers, such as plants or a lamp, that make it harder for people to glance over and make eye contact.

Change your office culture. Suggest a no-meeting day once a week, or every other week…just to get you started.

Take advantage of quiet times. Think about the times that your office is deserted. Does everyone arrive at 9 a.m. and leave at 5 p.m.? Consider coming in at 8 a.m. a couple of times a week, or working until 6 p.m. now and then. You can get a lot done in an hour of focused time.

Silence all the beeps. Coworkers aren’t the only ones who interrupt. You’re probably also dealing with a steady stream of emails, texts and other notifications from your computer and smartphone. When you’re under the gun, close your email program and put your phone on silent to avoid getting thrown off track. There’s a statistic that every time you’re interrupted, whether it’s by notifications or somebody at the door, it generally takes 20 minutes to get back to where you were.

Let’s face it, an office isn’t the most fun place to hang out during the week. We all have a million things we’d rather be doing, and a ton of exciting places where we’d rather spend our time. If you take these suggestions to heart and really own your office space, minimise distractions, understand why it is important to have smart office layout, take breaks and disconnect when you need to, you’ll find that your work will take less time and you’ll have a lot more fun doing it!