Methods for Becoming a More Productive Employee

According to Gallup employee research, only 13 percent of employees are invested in their work. The employee feedback survey also indicated that 63 percent of people are not at all engaged or motivated in their work. With only 24 percent of employees reporting being actively engaged in their work, it’s no wonder why employees are very concerned about employee productivity.

What are the top reasons people enjoy their jobs?

Employees who enjoy their jobs often report in employee surveys liking their co-workers. People who love their jobs report a high degree of autonomy and flexibility in their roles. Individuals who enjoy the culture and the work environment are more likely to have job satisfaction. Job variety is another commonly cited reason why people report enjoying their job. Employees thrive in environments where they are being adequately challenged.

Job satisfaction and employee productivity

Employees who feel satisfied with their jobs are more productive in general. According to an article called the “Current Directions in Psychological Science” published in the Association for Psychological Science, employees need several things in order to feel more engaged in their positions. Autonomy, variety, growth, social support and feedback are all essential in improving employee performance. In satisfying these basic needs, employees can be much more effective and engaged.

Getting and opinion

Management can create more productive employees by meeting the basic social needs. Managers may take it a step further and use an employee feedback survey as something of a barometer to assess employee satisfaction. Conducting employee research, focusing on areas like benefits, recognition and supervisor feedback can all be instrumental in improving work conditions that promote productivity. Many employees make the mistake of not tracking job satisfaction. Having access to key data made available through employee surveys improve the company’s ability implement the right incentives and measures that can increase job satisfaction. 

Companies must be capable of meeting basic needs. Employees can be much more engaged with the right balance of autonomy, employee recognition, feedback, challenge and social support. In measuring key indicators tied to employee performance and job satisfaction, employers can dramatically increase productivity with their employees.

For more information on how to become a happier, more productive employee, please view our inforgraphic, “5 Key Factors That Affect Your Employees’ Productivity.”

Infographic-5-Key-Factors-That-Affect-Your-Employees-Productivity

Shelly Duell has been writing since she can remember, and blogging professionally for the past five years. The National Business Research Institute (NBRI) is the world’s leadin business research and consulting firms for companies that are commited to quickly achieving and sustaining their full potential. To learn more about this research institute, please visit their site at http://www.nbrii.com/about/

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Is Your Productivity Stifled Because You’re Working TOO Much?!

i_heart_my_job

If you want to be successful in your career, you have to take your job seriously. While other people try to get by with minimal effort, you need to do the dirty work required to make your way to the top. It should be no surprise to you that hard work is a requirement.

What may be surprising, however, is that too much work can often be counterproductive. In fact, it’s a good idea to take a break at some point during the day to keep your mind sharp.

Burning out really does happen, and if you give yourself some time to step away from your work, you’ll be able to come back with a better perspective.

How Breaks Help

The biggest thing a break can do for you is keep you fresh. When you work too much, your mind becomes dull. It’s easier to make mistakes, and you’ll probably end up slowing down.

Working for too many hours in a row will drain your energy. If you’re feeling tired, you’re not going to be able to give your best effort. Believe it or not, it’s often a better idea to give a few hours of solid work than several hours of mediocre production. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can incorporate breaks into your workday to increase productivity.

gone_fishing

Go For a Walk

Going for a walk is a great way to clear you head. It gets the heart pumping which sends extra blood to your brain. This will ensure you stay sharp throughout the day, helping you to eliminate mental errors and think of more innovative solutions.

 If you can, try to walk at a park. Studies have shown that seeing green from nature allows people to de-stress. If you come back to your work with a more relaxed attitude, you will find yourself working better with others, and thinking of ideas that wouldn’t have come to you, if you were stressed out.

Meditate

If you can find a quiet space to sit, meditation is a great option. It doesn’t require a tremendous investment of time either. Just a few minutes to sit alone with your breath or a mantra can do wonders.

This practice will allow you to clear your thoughts, and it will even train you to concentrate better. You’ll learn to focus on a single task, while excluding other distractions. Needless to say, that is a very valuable skill in the workplace.

Some people even find that they are able to tap into their subconscious with a greater ease after meditation. This can help you to think of interesting and creative ways to solve problems, which is sure to impress your boss.

Play a Game

This is especially great if you can get your co-workers on board. It is great for building team morale. Everyone gets a chance to interact without the stress of work. You’ll learn about each other’s strengths and weakness, while bonding.

It also helps to break the ice between people. Maybe you’ll meet someone from a department that you don’t normally interact with. This can open up entirely new avenues for problem-solving discussion. You may not realize how much someone can help you accomplish your goals until you have the opportunity to speak with them one-on-one.

Want suggestions of quite, simple games to play at the office? Try cornhole (get your supplies here), ladder golf, or washers. These games are usually played outside but can be just as fun in the conference room. If you don’t have a place to store bulky things like cornhole boards, see if your boss would allow you some cupboard space for Jenga, a pack of cards (spoons, anyone?!) or some board games. If all else fails, play a game of Simon Says.

Enjoy Your Lunch

Make sure you take the time to enjoy your lunch every day. Too many people spend their lunch break hunched over their desk while eating a sandwich. The chance to step away for 30 minutes to an hour will be much more helpful to your work efforts than spending that time multitasking.

Always Take the Stairs

Taking the stairs may mean it takes you a bit longer to make it to your office, but the benefits are well-worth the lost time. The added exercise is good for both your body and your brain.

Don’t Let Work Hurt Your Productivity

A strong desire to be productive is very commendable. Unfortunately, too many people associate productivity with spending countless hours working. This will only lead to a drop-off in your efficiency. It’s important that you take breaks, so that your mind can remain focused on the tasks at hand.

As difficult as it is for some to grasp, stepping away from a problem is often the best way to find a solution.

Sometimes, it seems guest author Juli Richardson lives in her cubical. Over the years, she has learned the best ways to maximize her mental output. Now, Juli shares her tips and suggestions with others.

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Concept of employee engagement – why is it becoming subject to revision?

Employee engagement is an important factor in retaining top talent in your company’s
workforce. It is also important when it comes to recruiting skilled employees. The recent global recession had a negative impact on many businesses, with challenges when it came to human resources. Many companies were forced to downsize their staff. Now that the economy is recovering from the recession, businesses want to get back to “normal.” Research shows, however, that getting back to normal could be difficult.

Employee engamange

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Top 24 unproductive applications of 2014 and what that tells us

We recently pulled out the statistics of the most-used unproductive applications so far used in 2014. Some of the results are predictable, like social networks like Facebook and Youtube taking the top spots. Other results show us a change in working dynamic, for example, that Gmail is marked as a top unproductive app. Check out the rest:

Social media is dominating our work lives

Of the top 24 unproductive apps, 5 of those are social networking sites. Facebook, the undisputed leader of unproductive time spent at work, being by far the largest piece of the pie. Together, time spent on social networks accounts for about half of all of the unproductive time spent at work.

As social media takes an increasingly large role in our daily lives, it’s more relevant than ever that companies consider their policies on social media. One side of the debate maintains that time spent on social media is wasting company time, and therefore company money. Another side of the debate considers web surfing on social media as a necessary break throughout the day, saying that employees can’t be expected to be constantly engaged and productive for 8 hours straight.

It is not the presence of the technology itself that influences productivity but how it is used -Bulkey & Van Alstyne, 2004 

In this study by Bulkey and Van Atstyne, they conclude that using social media itself isn’t what’s unproductive, rather than the reasons for using it. For example, social media can be beneficial for sharing information, gathering knowledge, networking and communicating with customers.

Email is no longer considered productive

The fact that enough people have designated email as unproductive application is a telling sign. It used to be that being in your email was a symbol of productivity. And while it is a helpful tool for communication, and can at times be very productive, recent tendencies in the workplace are showing people’s addiction to email, constantly checking, etc.

However the latest productivity specialists suggest that constant email checking is a habit that decreases productivity, as it pulls you out of a certain task, and you’re not left with a long enough stretch of time to delve deeply into your work. A study by Altos Origin says 40% of employee time is spent working on internal emails alone. Productivity experts say that 80% of those emails are a waste of time, bringing no value to the company.

Suggestions and best case practices offer creating a habit to limit email checking time to a few times per day, and working on them in batch. Other suggestions suggest to avoid email first thing in the morning, and rather tackle the day’s most important task right off the bat.

Some research shows that those employees who use social media throughout the day produce the same amount of results as those who do not, due to the mental break that it allows, and the resulting spur of productivity that occurs from a rested mind.

Video-watching at work is a thing

According to a study, 64% of employees watch videos at work. Our collected data shows that within the top unproductive applications you’ll find Youtube, Netflix and Hulu. This brings video-watching at work to 23% of all wasted time.

Similar to the argument on social media usage, breaking and relaxation is a necessary part of the working day to rest the mind so that the employee is able to return to their work at a higher level of productivity.

Food for thought

The working climate around us is changing. It’s up to you how you manage your time and build habits. A manager or business owner will have to decide on the policy on social media, email communication and leisure time at work. Will it be

Employees want to have fun as well. Besides social media, top visited unproductive applications include sites that are just plain fun(ny), like 9gag, imgur, and even just a site to play puzzles and logic games. We can see that employees are looking for entertainment throughout the day.

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5 Reasons to Have Fine Art in the Workplace

Guest post by Andre Smith

For years, millions of employees and customers across the nation have been consigned to working in drab, uninteresting offices with painfully bare walls. Fortunately, times are changing: business owners are beginning to realize the tremendous benefits to decorating their workplaces with fine art. Last year, a study from the British Council for Offices found that over 90% of employees believe that featuring art prominently in the workplace boosts overall productivity, while 86% of those surveyed explicitly agreed that art is “more relevant than ever” in today’s office environment. While the reasons to display artwork in the office are endless, today we will be focusing on just five, as follows.

office_pic

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Problematic Employee Situations and Easy Solutions

procrastinating-man

Arguably the most important task for a company owner or manager is to make sure that work is getting done, and everyone’s moving in the same direction. Each employee is like a cog in a complex machinery, and everyone has to be doing their job to reach the common goal.

However all too often managers and owners alike run into the challenge of dealing with unmotivated employees not doing their jobs. That can range from not coming to work, taking leisurely lunch breaks, not clocking in or out, and ultimately cheating the system.

Fortunately, there are ways to deal with unmotivated employees, here we’ll go through the common problems, and what can be done to solve them through using DeskTime software. Of course, not all problems can be solved with software along, but this is a beginning to help identify the problem, and that’s the first step to learning to deal with the problem at a deeper level. (see our post on employee empowerment).

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Build a culture of high performance – start looking at your staff’s needs

This is a guest post from Christopher Austin from PeopleInsight.co.uk

Several years of practice and research have been devoted to improving performance management in companies worldwide. However, the conventional understanding of the performance review process is inefficient in the eyes of employees, managers, CEOs and company owners. Studies have shown that annual reviews are not helping increase employee engagement and performance; what really makes employees happy is the day-to-day process of offering feedback, leveraging talent and communicating expectations.

Employees

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New Feature! Cuztomizable Employee Time Table

Because not all employees work the same hours every day of the work week. Now you can customize your employees’ timetable to reflect their actual working day, even if it changes every day. 

What this really means:

You can now set a specific working time for any employee. Account admins and owners are able to set unique starting times and workday lengths to any individual employee. Whereas previously, it was only possible to set one working time for the entire company. This will lead to improved data accuracy in reports, with individual start times, employees working on later shifts aren’t marked as “late” simply because they begin work at a later time.

This is most beneficial for companies that have employees that work different shifts throughout the day

Setting up customized working time

Go to Settings -> Employees. Find the employee whose work time you would like to customise. Select “Edit”. The scroll down to the section “Customized Work Schedule” and choose “Edit”.

A new window will appear with a calendar, that will look like this:

This calendar will pop up, where you'll be able to create a customised schedule

This calendar will pop up, where you’ll be able to create a customised schedule

You’re able to change the working time for all days, or you can select, for example, every Friday of the month. Then you can alter the starting time and workday length for every day that you’ve selected.

Here you see every Friday has been selected. You can change working time for those, exclusively.

Here you see every Friday has been selected. You can change working time for those, exclusively.

Make sure to hit “Save”!

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New Feature – Archiving Employees to Pay Less and See More

Now account owners and administrators have it even easier – they can archive employees when there will be an extended period of absence, so that the company doesn’t have to pay for the employee while they’re away, and so that they don’t affect the company’s productivity statistics.

Archive employees when you know they’re coming back

Situations when you would wand to use the employee archiving function is when you have an employee that will have an extended period of absence, but you know that they’re coming back. Situations when you might want to archive an employee:

  • the employee has gone on maternity or paternity leave
  • the employee is going on a sabbatical
  • the employee is a contractor who works with your company periodically, but not constantly

You don’t pay for archived employees

When an employee is archived, they’re no longer part of the amount of employees you’re paying for monthly. This way your company can avoid paying for inactive employees.

Archiving employees

Archive employees to keep them out of your reports

The benefit of archiving employees (besides not having to pay for them) that you know won’t be showing up at work for a while, is that they won’t be constantly showing up in your reports as “absent”, and messing up your statistics. Their data will still show up in previous months when they had been active. At any point it’s possible to restore an archived employee. That can be done at the sample place the employee was archived – under “settings”->”employees”. Have any questions? Be sure to get in touch at support@desktime.com!

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Should I Stay or Should I Go? – Staying Late at The Office and How to Make it Work For You

This is a guest post from Rebecca Fox, a business graduate who enjoys writing about office life and productivity for Foxhall Business Centres.

late in office

It’s no great secret that the job market is more competitive now than it ever has been. Not only are there fewer jobs to go around, but there are more skilled workers with degrees, ambition and experience waiting in the wings to take those jobs. As such, many employees have started upping their game at work in order to create promotional opportunities for themselves or simply to secure their current jobs in the face of budget cuts, and younger, more qualified competition. One method being employed is to put in extra hours at work.

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