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10 Things You’ll Never Find In A Productive Office

10 Things You’ll Never Find In A Productive Office

To ensure that work is completed, deadlines are met and workflow is steady throughout an office, employees must be productive. There was a time when this meant employees should work at full capacity constantly and that they must prioritise their tasks above all other responsibilities.

Fortunately, this is swiftly becoming an outdated idea. Today, many bosses are encouraging their members of staff to be creative, sociable and happy as well as proactive, accurate and productive. These new work environments that avoid an uninviting, bureaucratic setting or situations where employees feel overwhelmed often result in a significantly more productive atmosphere!

To ensure your office is a constructive and dynamic workplace, check out these 10 things you’d never find in a productive office:

1. They Avoid Progression

As I mentioned above: times are changing. Employees can no longer be viewed from a head office as stock-humans that must dedicate all of their attention to work between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

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For productivity to flow, trust to build and overall employee happiness to flourish, you must encourage it. By following these steps you can begin to evolve, progress and improve.

2. Leaders Set Unclear Expectations

When it comes to working with others, be it in an office or everyday life, it’s important to remember that your group is not comprised of psychic super beings. If you are unclear about your expectations your team will have no real idea of what they’re supposed to be achieving.

Be sure to set clear, attainable goals for both the team and the individuals within it. Be accommodating to each individual and make sure you are fully understood by all before sending them on their way.

3. Nobody Plans Ahead

It’s far easier to plan ahead than to regret a project’s flaws in hindsight. Worse still, trying to work out a plan whilst in the middle of a task can completely drain your productive energy and focus.

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Make sure you construct a few guidelines and goals before beginning an assignment and you’ll have it done in no time.

4. Delegating Is Discouraged

Have you ever wondered why potential employers always want to know whether you work well in a team? Well one of the reasons could be because they expect you to delegate work to increase productivity. Each individual in an office has different skills that are better suited to different tasks, so it makes sense to assign tasks to those best suited instead of becoming overwhelmed and disheartened.

5. Multitasking Is Encouraged

Whilst delegating is a great idea, multitasking isn’t. Switching and sharing your attention between tasks may mean you get more done, but it doesn’t necessarily guarantee a satisfactory level of quality. Focus all of your attention on one task and your dedication will show though.

6. There Are Interruptions And Distractions

Whilst were on the topic of focus: nothing is more detrimental than being constantly interrupted or distracted. Whilst you’re working, close your email and other tabs to ensure you are 100% disruption free. If it’s an employee or manager that’s causing the interruptions, it may be time to hold an interruption intervention.

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7. Breaks Are Few And Far Between

If you’ve ever seen a movie or TV show set in an office then you’ll know those who have breaks around the water cooler are often seen as slackers. Meanwhile, those who skip their breaks are depicted as productivity champions who are more dedicated to their work than their social lives. This could not be more wrong!

Breaks are a fantastic way to allow employees to decompress their brains, relax, get their thought juices flowing and most importantly: enjoy work. Walk around, grab a coffee, go on social media or call someone: these are not time wasters! When you return to your work, close your tabs and put your phone away you’ll feel refreshed and ready for another focused, productive few hours.

8. Games Are Forbidden

Speaking of breaks: what could be more fun than a game of pool or ping-pong? Games areas are becoming more and more popular in work environments, particularly in the tech industry and in start-ups. Allowing games into your office will encourage bonding, develop team dynamics, relieve stress and advance activity.

9. Working From Home Is Not An Option

Another idea that’s becoming more popular is telecommuting. Many employers believe working from home will lead to a decline in productivity, when really many employees will work harder in order to disprove these misconceptions and maintain the privilege.

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Working from home has never been easier, with new video conferencing apps, chat tools and task sites being developed almost every day.

10. No Flexible Work Times

For decades now, a 9 to 5 day has been the usual and for most this just isn’t beneficial. Modern life and workloads can be unpredictable, meaning some people may need to come in earlier or work later into the day. To accommodate this, try trusting your employees with their working hours. For example, if somebody stays late on an evening, why not allow them to come in later the next morning.

Featured photo credit: Workspace Desk from Above via picjumbo.com

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Siobhan Harmer

Siobhan is a passionate writer sharing about motivation and happiness tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 23, 2021

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

Manage Your Energy so You Can Manage Your Time

One of the greatest ironies of this age is that while various gadgets like smartphones and netbooks allow you to multitask, it seems that you never manage to get things done. You are caught in the busyness trap. There’s just too much work to do in one day that sometimes you end up exhausted with half-finished tasks.

The problem lies in how to keep our energy level high to ensure that you finish at least one of your most important tasks for the day. There’s just not enough hours in a day and it’s not possible to be productive the whole time.

You need more than time management. You need energy management

1. Dispel the idea that you need to be a “morning person” to be productive

How many times have you heard (or read) this advice – wake up early so that you can do all the tasks at hand. There’s nothing wrong with that advice. It’s actually reeks of good common sense – start early, finish early. The thing is that technique alone won’t work with everyone. Especially not with people who are not morning larks.

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I should know because I was once deluded with the idea that I will be more productive if I get out of bed by 6 a.m. Like most of you Lifehackers, I’m always on the lookout for productivity hacks because I have a lot of things in my plate. I’m working full time as an editor for a news agency, while at the same time tending to my side business as a content marketing strategist. I’m also a travel blogger and oh yeah, I forgot, I also have a life.

I read a lot of productivity books and blogs looking for ways to make the most of my 24 hours. Most stories on productivity stress waking up early. So I did – and I was a major failure in that department – both in waking up early and finishing early.

2. Determine your “peak hours”

Energy management begins with looking for your most productive hours in a day. Getting attuned to your body clock won’t happen instantly but there’s a way around it.

Monitor your working habits for one week and list down the time when you managed to do the most work. Take note also of what you feel during those hours – do you feel energized or lethargic? Monitor this and you will find a pattern later on.

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My experiment with being a morning lark proved that ignoring my body clock and just doing it by disciplining myself to wake up before 8 a.m. will push me to be more productive. I thought that by writing blog posts and other reports in the morning that I would be finished by noon and use my lunch break for a quick gym session. That never happened. I was sleepy, distracted and couldn’t write jack before 10 a.m.

In fact that was one experiment that I shouldn’t have tried because I should know better. After all, I’ve been writing for a living for the last 15 years, and I have observed time and again that I write more –and better – in the afternoon and in evenings after supper. I’m a night owl. I might as well, accept it and work around it.

Just recently, I was so fired up by a certain idea that – even if I’m back home tired from work – I took out my netbook, wrote and published a 600-word blog post by 11 p.m. This is a bit extreme and one of my rare outbursts of energy, but it works for me.

3. Block those high-energy hours

Once you have a sense of that high-energy time, you can then mold your schedule so that your other less important tasks will be scheduled either before or after this designated productive time.

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Block them out in your calendar and use the high-energy hours for your high priority tasks – especially those that require more of your mental energy and focus. You also need to use these hours to any task that will bring you closer to you life’s goal.

If you are a morning person, you might want to schedule most business meetings before lunch time as it’s important to keep your mind sharp and focused. But nothing is set in stone. Sometimes you have to sacrifice those productive hours to attend to other personal stuff – like if you or your family members are sick or if you have to attend your son’s graduation.

That said, just remember to keep those productive times on your calendar. You may allow for some exemptions but stick to that schedule as much as possible.

There’s no right or wrong way of using this energy management technique because everything depends on your own personal circumstances. What you need to remember is that you have to accept what works for you – and not what other productivity gurus say you should do.

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Understanding your own body clock is the key to time management. Without it, you end up exhausted chasing a never-ending cycle of tasks and frustrations.

Featured photo credit: Collin Hardy via unsplash.com

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