You’re probably already familiar with several common ways to boost productivity in your workplace—for example, only scheduling meetings when necessary, cutting down on interruptions and taking breaks throughout the day. However, there are a few other simple and unexpected ways to increase productivity in your office that you may not have considered.
Here are five unexpected productivity boosters to try out this week.
1. Get the Temperature Right
Research has shown that workplace productivity goes down if the work environment is too hot or too cold. The highest level of productivity tends to occur when the office thermostat is set between 71 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Be sure to allow employees who prefer lower or higher temperatures to use fans or space heaters.
2. Listen to Music Before Starting Work
Many people believe listening to classical or instrumental music helps drown out office noise and co-worker distraction, but neuroscientist David Levitin says music is actually most helpful to productivity when listened to in the 10 minutes prior to starting a task.
According to Levitin, listening to music while working often creates the illusion of productivity because it makes the worker happier, but it’s actually still providing a distraction to the brain. Instead, he suggests listening to music for 10 to 15 minutes before beginning work to get in the right frame of mind for the task at hand.
3. Stay Hydrated
Even mild levels of dehydration can impair cognitive function and mood, which can easily derail productivity. Encouraging hydration in the workplace is an inexpensive way to keep your employees operating at their peak.
4. Have “Standing” Meetings
Though fewer meetings in general has been shown to improve productivity, one way to keep the meetings you do need to have on track is to avoid sitting around a conference table. Rather, have meetings where everyone in attendance remains standing. Not only will this help your employees stretch their legs and take a break from their desk chairs, it’s also more likely to keep everyone engaged.
5. Make Vacations Mandatory
Taking breaks throughout the day is important for daily productivity, but hitting the reset button with a more substantial break—like a vacation—is beneficial to your employees’ overall productivity. According to Forbes, only about 25 percent of Americans take full advantage of their allotted vacation time.
Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t necessarily the rest and relaxation of a vacation that improves productivity. When your employees know they’ll be taking time off, they’re more likely to make better use of their time when they’re working to make sure everything still gets done.
Try incorporating these productivity boosters in your office this week and see how they affect your focus and work environment. Just be prepared—you may need to take up a new hobby to fill all that time you’ll be saving.
Stressed-out employees are less productive employees. Download the free SlideShare, 10 Ways to Make Your Workplace a Stress-Free Zone, to learn how to transform your workspace.