Today’s post is brought to you by SocialMonsters.org. I particularly like the library idea.
Short of whips and other devices not used since the dark ages, you cannot force employees to be productive. Productivity comes from within and is related to self-efficacy and subjective well-being, reports the China Safety Science Journal. When workers are happy and feel knowledgeable in their jobs, they will naturally become more effective team members. As a HR executive, your job is to create an environment where employees can find their own drive. Some of these environmental changes are as simple as a good cup of Joe and a nice place to sit.
Lose The Plastic
Researchers at the School of the Built Environment have found that real plants, not their plastic doppelgängers, have a positive effect on worker’s productivity. Obviously, a fern will not make up for a $10,000 per head quality assurance training program, but studies show natural plants and lighting create an atmosphere in which most workers thrive. Though the exact reason for this is unknown, it is thought living flora creates a feeling of well-being which increases both happiness and productivity.
Come For The Coffee
You actually want your workers to congregate around the coffee pot. A couple of things happen in the break room. First, the caffeine found in coffee and tea is known to make people function faster. Caffeine blocks the neuro-inhibitors in the brain, thus making your neurons fire quicker. Depending on your staff’s coffee consumption, you can either have a single serving coffee maker or leave a pot brewing all day. Second, studies show a lot of out-of-the-box thinking gets done during these non-working times. What may start as a complaint about an unruly procedure can end with a viable new operational technique.
Get A Comfy Sofa
Not only do you want employees to use their coffee breaks as a brain storming session, you want them to be comfortable while doing it. A relaxed atmosphere gives a positive perception of work. People who think work is fun, enjoyable, and homey are more productive. The more engaged they are with their coworkers, the more work they will get done, reports Sage Journals. Keep them comfortable and keep them working.
Develop A Library
This may be a physical library or a virtual one, but productivity is linked to a person’s self-evaluation of his skills. By having open access to learning, employees increase their self-efficacy. The belief in one’s ability not only increases productivity, but studies show that it decreases accidents. There are many free on-line educational platforms, including TedEd and Coursera. Offering perks for those who avail themselves of this education can increase the productiveness of your workforce.
Since the goal is to have a positive perception of the office, let your people create their own surroundings. A study published in the Journal of Building and Environment showed the perception of workplace comfort is intrinsic in each person. You cannot force your form of happiness and company satisfaction onto another person. They need to find it themselves. Allow your staff to bring in their own creature comforts. These may include treats, games or decorations. An internal locus of fun will yield high returns for the company.