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5 Working Conditions That Damage Employee Productivity

Featured Best Practice on Visual Workplace

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One of the best ways to increase profits is to improve employee productivity. One of the best ways you can enhance productivity is by eliminating substandard working conditions. Below are some of the ways you can improve employee working conditions and boost productivity. 

Poor Space Utilization

Did you ever hear someone say ‘set up to fail’? If your workers do not have the resources and space to complete high-level work, you set them up to fail. And it isn’t just about giving each worker a certain amount of square feet. Your workers need proper space to maximize productivity, but they also need the appropriate mix of space to be comfortable. 

Be sure to have access to quiet spaces where they can focus on intense work. There also should be attractive common areas for teamwork and collaboration. And there should be easy ways to reserve these areas as needed. 

Poor Workplace Technology

Author Jacob Morgan says that workplace technology is one of the essential parts of the worker experience. Technology that’s outdated, slow, or ineffective is annoying to use. Over time, annoyance and frustration can decrease employee morale and send them out the door. 

Inefficient technology in the workplace damages productivity. Think about what happens if you are using an outdated payroll system when a modern, highly efficient system is available. Or you use an old system to host meetings, so you have to continually restart sessions and log everyone back in to get things on track. 

By cutting these types of distractions, you can give each worker at least 20 minutes back per day to work on critical tasks. Multiply that by 500 workers making $85,000, and you can put $1.5 million back into company coffers. 

Bad Lighting

If there is one thing most employees can agree on that they want in their workspace, it’s more natural light. Poor lighting causes eye strain, lower productivity, and fatigue. On the other hand, access to sunlight can boost productivity. 

According to a Future Workplace study, 70% of surveyed workers said accessing sunlight makes them more productive. But more than 30% of those surveyed said they had insufficient lighting in the workplace. 

Poor Workplace Processes

It is critical to analyze your work processes and pinpoint areas for improvement. Often, employees and managers accept company processes based on the idea that they were always done that way, so why change them? But times evolve, and employees and customers change. Talk to your team and ask them if workflow problems are slowing their progress. You will be surprised how much your workplace can change by changing a few simple processes. 

Poor Flexibility and Balance in the Workplace

Things have changed since Baby Boomers entered the workforce. The contemporary workplace isn’t all confined to a single office building anymore. Work goes with us everywhere. Gallup estimates that almost 30% of Americans work 45 to 59 hours per week. They work while commuting or waiting for their meals to be ready. 

However, the right work/life balance is essential to worker productivity. Another Gallup survey found that 52% of employees said having a better work/life balance is critical. Also, 51% of those surveyed said they would switch jobs to have a more flexible work schedule. But only 45% said their current firm offered it. 

If your company can improve these workplace areas, you’ll find that worker productivity and retention will almost certainly rise over time. Happy employees almost always make for a more productive workplace.

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About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.

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