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4 Productivity Intensifiers No Employer Should Ignore

4 Productivity Intensifiers No Employer Should Ignore

"Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort" - Paul J. Meyer

Productivity, at the same time is also a shape shifting troublemaker everybody wants a credit for; the cause behind hard workers thumbing their noses at smart workers and vice-versa.

Organizations across the world, create and quash policies, brainstorm, and keep its Human Resource on its toes, all to find the best ways to use their greatest resource-Employees. Their efforts have paid off decently too. From 1973 to 2013, the productivity of workers in the United Stated soared to an unbelievable 80%.

So, let's go through some of the productivity boosters, employers mustn't overlook!

Flexibility- the breeding ground of productivity
If your employees have to complete an 8 hour shift, allow them a little flexibility. Let them avoid traffic hours by coming in a bit early or late. They'll only perform better if they're more relaxed. People have their family priorities to juggle with and rigid work hours often hamper their peace of mind. Just make sure they have clearly defined schedules, that are known to everybody concerned in the hierarchy, so no appointments or deadlines are missed. Offering flexibility also ensures to some degree that your employees aren't sleep deprived. A Harvard study found that sleep depravity costs $ 63.2 million/ year to companies in the United States.

Understanding the 'Grey Area' of productivity
Between the quintessential 'productive' and 'unproductive' lies the 'grey area'. Most of your workers would fall into this domain. It's a constant to and fro between spurts of deep concentration and distraction. Grey area essentially means that people will take 2-3 hours for a piece of work that requires 1 hour. For it to fall in the 'Productive' zone (90-100% attention) you require a Zen like focus.


Grey Area


90-100% Attention

50-70% Attention

0-20% Attention

Work Only


Leisure Only

1 work

Work, roam, ramble-Work, roam, ramble

No work

You can do all you want to get your employees into the productive zone. But, when their spurts of attention increase, the need for a break intensifies too. As a manager/employer, you have to understand that your employees' minds need break.

Whenever workers aspire for a Zen kind of focus they exhaust themselves equally, and the length of their breaks also increase, which means you eventually get dragged to the 'grey area'.

To summarize, for making optimal usage of the 'grey area', emphasis must not only be put on breaks, but on other aspects too that contribute to a healthy work-life balance of the employees.

Identify their 'Best Productive Hours'
Proper placement of the players is integral to effective teamwork. Different work hours do suit different people. Some are most cheery during the nightly hours; for the early risers nothing's better than a dose of fresh morning air; others prefer a regular 9 to 5 routine. Everyone has their best productive hours . If you can leverage from it, there's a greater chance of stepping-up the productivity. Let's say if you're running a call center or retail outlet, it would be great for employees to have this freedom.

Likewise, if employees who like to multitask can be productive doing multiple things, why not give them that?

Encourage them to regulate their own ways
Employees should take efforts to 'stay focused'. The visual and interactive appeal of social media sites is far more distracting than even the casual banter you share with your fellow worker. This regulation should also be extended to their Smartphones. Apart from encouraging them to keep it on a silent mode, persuade your employees to keep them off their desks, so they're not distracted every time it "lights up" with a new notification.

If they're researching on a topic they shouldn't wander away from it by looking at extraneous content. Devising more such simple hacks can do you a lot of good.

In a classic sense, productivity as a construct must contribute to better business outcome or something that leads to a gain or some semblance of achievement. In Sales, it's the moolah you rake in; in business development, it's about the deals you strike; in creative pursuits it's the quality of work you accomplish.

Productivity can't be instilled or forced into employees. Just show them a direction, support them, but do not think too much about perfecting it.

(Image Credit: Thinkstock)

( About the author : This article has been contributed by Amit Pankaj, a Digital Content Marketer who currently leads content efforts at OSSCube LLC )

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