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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Fortunately, this is swiftly becoming an outdated idea.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 January 21, 2020

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

Do you think of yourself as a creative person? Do you play the drums or do watercolor paintings? Perhaps compose songs or direct plays? Can you even relate to any of these so called ‘creative’ experiences? Growing up, did you ever have that ‘artistic’ sibling or friend who excelled in drawing, playing instruments or literature? And you maybe wondered why you can’t even compose a birthday card greeting–or that drawing stick figures is the furthest you’ll ever get to drawing a family portrait. Many people have this common assumption that creativity is an inborn talent; only a special group of people are inherently creative, and everyone else just unfortunately does not have that special ability. You either have that creative flair or instinct, or you don’t. But, this is far from the truth! So what is creativity?

Can I Be Creative?

The fact is, that everyone has an innate creative ability. Despite what most people may think, creativity is a skill that everyone can learn and hone on. It’s a skill with huge leverage that allows you to generate enormous amounts of value from relatively little input. How is that so? You’ll have to start by expanding your definition of creativity. Ironically, you have to be creative and ‘think out of the box’ with the definition! Creativity at its heart, is being able to see things in a way that others cannot. It’s a skill that helps you find new perspectives to create new possibilities and solutions to different problems. So, if you encounter different challenges and problems that need solving on a regular basis, then creativity is an invaluable skill to have.Let’s say, for example, that you work in sales. Having creativity will help you to look for new ways to approach and reach out to potential customers. Or perhaps you’re a teacher. In this role you have to constantly look for new ways to deliver your message and educate your students.

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How Creativity Works

Let me break another misconception about creativity, which is that it’s only used to create completely “new” or “original” things. Again, this is far from the truth. Because nothing is ever completely new or original. Everything, including works of art, doesn’t come from nothing. Everything derives from some sort of inspiration. That means that creativity works by connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value.From this perspective, you can see a lot of creativity in action. In technology, Apple combines traditional computers with design and aesthetics to create new ways to use digital products. In music, a musician may be inspired by various styles of music, instruments and rhythms to create an entirely new type of song. All of these examples are about connecting different ideas, finding common ground amongst the differences, and creating a completely new idea out of them.

What Really Is Creativity?

Creativity Needs an Intention

Another misconception about the creative process is that you can just be in a general “creative” state. Real creativity isn’t about coming up with “eureka!” moments for random ideas. Instead, to be truly creative, you need to have a direction. You have to ask yourself this question: “What problem am I trying to solve?” Only by knowing the answer to this question can you start flexing your creativity muscles. Often times, the idea of creativity is associated with the ‘Right’ brain, with intuition and imagination. Hence a lot of focus is placed on the ‘Right’ brain when it comes to creativity. But, to get the most out of creativity, you need to utilize both sides of your brain–Right and Left–which means using the analytical and logical part of your brain, too. This may sound surprising to you, but creativity has a lot to do with problem solving. And, problem solving inherently involves logic and analysis. So instead of throwing out the ‘Left’ brain, full creativity needs them to work in unison. For example, when you’re looking for new ideas, your ‘Left’ brain will guide you to a place of focus, which is based on your objective behind the ideas you’re searching for. The ‘Right’ brain then guides you to gather and explore based on your current focus. And when you decide to try out these new ideas, your ‘Right’ brain will give you novel solutions outside of the ones you already know. Your ‘Left’ brain then helps you evaluate and tune the solutions to work better in practice. So, logic and creativity actually work hand in hand, and not one at the expense of the other.

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Creativity Is a Skill

At the end of the day, creativity is a skill. It’s not some innate or natural born talent that some have over others. What this means is that creativity and innovation can be practiced and improved upon systematically.A skill can be learned and practiced by applying your strongest learning styles. Want to know what your learning style is? Try this test. A skill can be measured and improved through a Feedback Loop, and can be continuously upgraded over time by regular practice. Through regular practice, your creativity goes through different stages of proficiency. This means that you can become more and more creative! If you never thought that creativity was relevant to you, or that you don’t have a knack for being creative… think again! You can use creativity in any aspect of your life. In fact you should use it, as it will allow you to to break through your usual loop, get you out of your comfort zone, and inspire you to grow and try new things. Creativity will definitely give you an edge when you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with new solutions.

Start Connecting the Dots

Excited to start honing your creativity? Here at Lifehack, we’ve got a wealth of knowledge to help you get started. We understand that creativity is a matter of connecting things together in order to derive new meaning or value. So, if you want to learn how to start connecting the dots, check out these tips:

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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