Think holding employees’ feet to the proverbial fire will improve their productivity?
It very well may, but we’ve found research to support a decidedly different approach to performance management:
Sometimes employees work their best when you leave them alone.
To clarify, we’re not suggesting you stop managing them entirely (that would backfire, for sure!). But if you take a look at recent research from global design firm Gensler, the need for alone-time becomes pretty clear. According to their survey:
- 53% of respondents said that other people disturb them when they need to focus.
- More than two-thirds of U.S. employees are dissatisfied with noise levels at work
- Employees are spending more time on focus work now than they did five years ago (54% now vs. 48% then), suggesting an increased need for alone-time.
Over the past few decades, more organizations have incorporated open layouts and common work areas to attract fresh talent and spur creativity. Communal work spaces do have their advantages, but in some cases, the concept is backfiring. Lack of privacy, higher noise levels and continual distractions are undermining performance – and increasing frustration – for employees who work in these open environments.
The truth is, most office employees need a modicum of privacy to perform at their peak. Use these tips for boosting productivity from our Cool Springs staffing agency – by helping your employees to get the alone-time they need:
- Build the right culture. Encourage employees to create an unhurried morning routine that sets the tone for the day. It can be as simple as taking five minutes to grab a cup of coffee, or to make small talk with co-workers, before getting down to work. Employees can use these first few minutes to get mentally prepared for the day’s tasks.
- Teach employees to use microbursts. Research has shown that a small change of activity (i.e., a microburst) can yield big returns in terms of energy and productivity. Encourage employees to take a minute or two for themselves, several times each day, to renew their focus and boost performance. Simple things like stretching, playing a game or texting a friend can make a real difference; just make sure employees commit fully to the change of activity (no multitasking!) – and keep the break brief (under two minutes).
- Designate quiet areas for focus work. If you have an open floor plan, set aside space employees can use to get away from the hustle of your work environment.
- Allow employees to “get off the treadmill.” Create a policy for focus work, making it okay for employees to close their instant messaging and email, and to set their phone to DND to block out preventable distractions.
- Lead by example. Your employees will model your behavior, so make sure you carve out alone-time when you need it, too.
- Provide the temporary support employees need. When things get busy, Wood Personnel is ready to provide the extra help your team needs to stay productive and focused – especially through the upcoming holidays! Give our Cool Springs employment agency a call.