While nice weather and too many meetings rank high on the list of things that decrease productivity in the office, more than 70 percent of both office workers and managers believe that workers are more productive today than they were five years ago, according to a recent survey from Staples Advantage, the business-to-business division of Staples, Inc. Both office workers and managers agree that the following elements are essential to a productive work day:
- Mobile technology (29 percent office workers / 37 percent managers)
- Break times (23 percent office workers / 33 percent managers)
- Telecommuting (19 percent office workers / 35 percent managers)
- Technology limitations (31 percent office workers / 43 percent managers)
- Non-collaborative work environments (25 percent office workers / 33 percent managers)
- Collaborative workspaces – Businesses should take steps to create workspaces where employees can easily communicate and share ideas for group collaboration. Office furniture options now go far beyond the traditional chair, desk and cubicle. Companies should consider designing an open office environment by including a mix of casual and formal meeting areas to encourage spontaneous conversation and teamwork.
- Breakrooms – Stepping away from work in nearby breakrooms helps foster productivity by allowing healthy mental breaks, an opportunity to refuel and casual conversations. To help make a breakroom inviting and effective, companies should include comfortable furniture and offer a variety of snacks for workers.
- Technology – Companies should equip their employees with the technology needed to get work done efficiently – from printers and PCs to products that help enable telecommuting, such as tablets and remote access VPN’s. Implementing a managed print services program can also increase productivity by eliminating the need for workers and in-house IT staff to supply and maintain printers throughout the office.
BYOD & ProductivityOffice workers and managers also weighed in on how a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy impacts productivity. Thirty-five percent of workers and 54 percent of managers believe BYOD policies increase productivity. With Gartner predicting that half of employers may impose a mandatory BYOD policy by 2017, companies should consider effective policies that can grow with demand. One key requirement for BYOD is a strong security policy, for which Staples offers the following tips:
- Implement a strong password policy on all devices that “times out” every 15 minutes.
- Use data wipe software with the ability to “wipe” the data off a device if it's lost or stolen.
- Avoid saving data to a personal device, only to corporate servers.