We all have those co-workers who look like they are absolutely getting nothing done during the work day. A survey from company FlexJobs reveals that this may actually be the case, but also that the employee may not be the one to blame.
Instead, you can fault the unproductive atmosphere of most office environments.
Wait, work is unproductive? Absolutely, at least according to 76 percent of respondents. They all say that they can get far more work done outside of, well, work.
They cite many reasons for feeling this way, not the least of which has to do with the brutal psychological and physical effects of a daily commute.
In lieu of subjecting employees to an environment where little work gets done every day, FlexJobs suggests implementing policies that allow employees to feel less pressured at the office. Give them perks that help them focus instead, or by taking steps to reduce the amount of commute trips altogether.
With advances in online productivity tools and collaborative software like Google Drive, many office tasks no longer have to get done at a physical office. Add to this the fact that 50-percent of surveyed employees indicated they got their best work done at home and 12-percent preferred working at a public place like a coffee shop or library, and you can begin to see why people are so strongly in favor of telecommuting policies.
In fact, 30-percent of survey participants said they would even take a pay cut to have more opportunities to work outside of work, and 42 percent were willing to waive access to perks.
FlexJobs suggests that companies unfamiliar with telecommuting try it out as a pilot program with a few trusted employees and then objectively evaluate the results before jumping in head first. If they can get it right, offering employees even just one or two days a month of telecommuting can brighten dispositions and up productivity.
Reduce Distractions at the Office
When explaining why they can’t get any work done at the office, 76-percent of respondents cited colleague interruptions and 74 percent cited distractions in general. In such a community space, some distraction is inevitable, but FlexJobs suggests offering a quiet room removed from distractions where employees can isolate themselves. Offices may also want to rethink their floor plans in general to reduce ambient noise and allow employees a deeper feeling of privacy during the day.
Help Employees Avoid Commuting
You don’t have to skip work to reduce commutes! FlexJobs offers some more suggestions:
- Stagger office hours away from commute times
- Adjust the schedule to offer one work day a week with a reduced commute, such as on a Saturday and give them Monday off
- Consolidate work into four long days, giving employees a recurring three day weekend
- Establish co-working offices closer by employee residences
Shaking Out the Work Week Employee Productivity Problems
FlexJobs’ final suggestion is to provide employees with exercise opportunities during, before and after work to help shake out the doldrums and motivate their metabolism-based energy levels.
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