Productive Activities in Office Environment
Productive activities are actions or tasks that develop a valuable output or contribute to creating goods or services. They are activities that result in tangible or intangible benefits, such as increased efficiency, improved quality, and the innovation of new products or services. Examples of productive activities include:
- Designing and manufacturing products.
- Providing customer services.
- Managing a business.
- Conducting research and development.
- Learning new skills applied to work.
Productive activities are essential for economic growth and development, as they increase an individual’s or organization’s overall productivity, leading to higher output and profitability.
Tips for Productive Activities and Vibes
If you own or run a business, you would know the importance of making your employees ultra-productive with productive activities.
Note: Don’t expect it will only be about the office environment. It will go much deeper.
1. Focus on Core Values
The organization’s core values will ultimately decide whether it increases the chances of building productive activities. Eventually, the organization’s core values stem from your core values (if you’re the company’s founder). If your core values revolve around an autocratic way, the working environment will support values like being obedient, not thinking independently, and always following orders. But being autocratic doesn’t ensure productive activities in the background. You’ve hired people because you want them to be productive for you, not to command them to follow your orders. Humans are not good at following orders; robots are. If you want to make your office ultra-productive, change your core values from commanding to collaborative.
2. Supportive Leadership
Imagine working for someone who doesn’t support you for whatever new ideas you come up with to implement; how would you feel? Will you be productive under the leadership of that leader? You would say a resounding no. Then why do that with your employees? According to the recent McKinsey study, being supportive is one of the most important traits of leadership. You don’t need to push your employees to be productive if you’re supportive. With your support, your employees will work voluntarily, develop new ideas, innovate independently, and make your company stand out. Be a supportive leader, and your office will become ultra-productive by default.
3. Working With, Not For
Have you seen that language difference? It matters a lot. Founders and entrepreneurs describe their smart employees as – they work for me. Why? You don’t hire those smart employees because they can work for you but because you can work with them and use their skills, knowledge, and experience. And when you say that your employees work for you, subconsciously, you feel superior to them, and there are chances that you want to control them to follow your doctrines and decorum. But know in your heart that if you don’t value a smart employee now, s/he will join your competition, and all your production practices will fail.
4. Work On Your Culture
Your office culture starts and ends with you. When employees follow some decorum in an organization, they don’t take out the company policy and check; rather, they look at you, the owner. For example, if you ask your employees to come on time, they don’t look out in the company book for policies. Rather they see whether you arrive on time or not. If you want your office to be productive, work on yourself, and maintain integrity, then go out and declare the office decorum. With a sense of integrity, you can inspire people to maintain decorum, and office culture will improve. Once the culture is conducive, the ultra-productive office would be its direct output.
5. Value of a Learning Organization
Organizations realize the value of learning. Knowledge management is the new word for productive activities. If your employees are not learning more, they’re decaying. So, build systems that support learning and acquiring knowledge. When an employee comes to an organization, s/he should be able to learn more, develop more skills, and improve. Peter Senge brought the concept of a learning organization in his book “The fifth discipline.” If you have not built a system yet to encourage education and acquiring knowledge, begin now. Your office will naturally be ultra-productive.
6. Create Good Vibes
When your employees enter the office, they should feel productive at work. And you can create that environment. Find some great inspirational quotes, make posters, and then paste them on walls, cabins, toilets, mirrors, and places where people can see them. Put a book of inspiration on every employee’s desk and paste a deadline to read it on their cabin with a thank you note. Be creative. You can do a thousand things to make the office a place for ultimate productive activities. Ensure that once your employees enter the office, they should not feel like leaving it even after a stipulated time. That’s how you will make sure that your office is ultra-productive with the help of productive activities.
7. Mission Statement
Most organizations don’t encourage employees to align their mission statements with organizational goals. If they do, the mission statement will encourage employees to be more productive at work without needing external influence. Simply arrange a meeting and show your employees how to set a mission statement. And ensure that each employee finds out what makes them tick and how that quality will help the organization achieve its goals. Frame their mission statement after a careful look and put that on their desk. Every day they will be reminded of what they must do to validate their mission statement and contribute to achieving organizational goals.
8. Invest in Employees’ Projects
Google has a policy. Every day at Google, people who work there can spend 20% of their working hours on their creative projects. Google does this to encourage its employees to be autonomous in their way. They can pick any time and do their own thing. These sorts of productive activities foster belongingness for the company. If you want to make your office ultra-productive with productive activities, leave some time for your employees and let them pursue their own thing. Leadership has evolved a lot in these many years. It has transmuted from spoon-feeding the employees to allowing employees to create the spoon. And that’s why being productive now is all about offering more autonomy than encouraging obedience.
9. Encourage Creativity
If you have a conception that creativity only belongs to people who are artists, painters, authors, and sculptors, then you are wrong. All people who can create are creative. And the only thing that ensures creativity is a steady stream of thinking to improve a place, an idea, an item, or a project. Don’t just tell your employees how to solve your problem if you have a project. Sit with them and brainstorm. Ask them to devise ideas and ways of execution and reward the best idea. If you encourage creativity in your office, naturally, it would be an ultra-productive place to work with the help of productive activities.
10. Distribute Books
It’s simple, but very few people think about it. Go to a store and find the best books on productive activities at work. Then start an employee development program. Each month provides each employee with one book on work productivity and another the next. Create a feedback loop by asking them to implement one big idea from the book on office premises. If you encourage them to develop themselves and take action to make them productive, then they will also be sincere and accountable for your efforts and will improve their output as a result.
11. Conduct Internal Training Programs
If just pasting some inspirational posters on the desk would do the trick, then all organizations would do the same and would be able to create ultra-productive activities in a working environment. Even if it helps, it’s not the holy grail of making your office productive. The roots are much deeper, and you need to work on them.
Instead of conducting programs externally, it’s always good to organize internal training programs to bridge the gap between what they’re producing now and what they can. And if you conduct internal training programs, the training cost will also reduce, and you will get a productive office.
12. Create an Instant Feedback Loop
An organization thrives with a built-in control mechanism in its execution structure. If you create a benchmark for each performance and ask your employees to perform at that level, you don’t need to use any performance measurement mechanism. You will get instant feedback, and you can take action based on that. If an employee exceeds the expectation, reward the employee and, if not, train them so that now s/he is equipped with the skills and knowledge to perform at that standard. Being productive at work is easy if the proper system is in process.
13. Find Inherent Motivation
As an employer, you should know that not all employees are motivated by external factors like money, benefits, or vacation. Many people are inspired by intrinsic factor-like appreciation to be able to do something for a non-profit organization, to create something unique, and to feel important. No matter what it is, the core motivational factor drives each individual to be productive at work, and the lack of it makes them unproductive.
So, finding out what drives them is the most important part before you can improve it. Simply use a questionnaire and ensure that they must be honest with you because that will also help them.
14. Set a Productive Activities Measurement System
Everyone loves extra benefits. Create a system with key areas where your employees will perform at a certain level. Ensure the key result areas are not more than 5 to reduce confusion. Simply set a benchmark each employee should reach. Make it an easy target. And then set up brackets – within 5% of extra productivity, 5% of extra cash, from 5-10%, 10% of additional compensation, and so on. If you create and execute this system, then not only will your office become ultra-productive, but each employee will reach their highest level of productive activities.
15. Get Rid of Distress
Stress is the worst enemy of productive individuals. Stress is of two types – one, eustress, which is good because it encourages people to perform better; two, distress which is the killer of the ultra-productive individual. So, as an employer, your first concern would be to get rid of stress. What can you do to ensure that? Ensure your employees push their envelopes but not as much as they feel distressed. Ask them enough not to be comfortable but not so much to make them distressed. You can offer them a better work-life balance. You can give them the flexibility of where they should work.
Be creative. Think long-term and then decide what you can do to ensure they are not stressed out. Recently, Infosys has asked its employees to work from home nine days a month. If they face any personal difficulty, arrange a counseling session instead of pressing them for more work.
You can see that being productive at work is not a matter of the environment only. But its roots are much deeper than that. If you value your employees, they will provide value for you. And with all your efforts, your office will ultimately become a place where being productive at work is the default mode.
Here are some articles that will help you to get more detail about the productive activities in the Office Environment, so just go through the link.