The weather is starting to warm up, the birds are chirping and there’s a buzz in the air. Does the rise in outside temperature have the same effect on you as it does me?

After winter I always get inspired to look at business operations and how I can be more productive. Trouble is, this can often mean making a very serious financial investment – right? Wrong! Here are a few simple steps I take to increase productivity in the office with little or no financial burden:

 

  • Indoor Plants. Firstly I look at how ‘green’ I’m being. And by green, I don’t mean environmentally friendly! I literally mean how much greenery do I have in my office? Plants have been shown to increase productivity by up to 15%, including increased staff memory retention, better concentration levels, improved overall satisfaction and happier employees. People generally feel better about themselves when they feel more connected to nature, so why not grab a few indoor plants to brighten up your workspace. Even if your workspace is just a desk in the spare bedroom at home, it can’t hurt to give it a go!

  • De-clutter. If you want to be more productive you can’t operate with piles of paperwork all over the desk – EVEN if you think you know where everything is! So go out and buy some filing ‘toast racks’, a to-do list, diary, some manila folders and spend half a day organising your desk/office. You’re going to be so much more productive when you can easily put your fingertips on the right documents.

  • Natural Light. How many windows or skylights do you have in your office? Have you thought about how much natural light is getting in? Lighting is so important to productivity in the office, most directly as it affects how well we can see and hence how well we can perform our work. But indirectly, and equally as important on productivity, is how it affects our mood and behaviour. Natural light has been shown to result in happier workers, less absenteeism, fewer sicknesses and greater work satisfaction. So take a quick stock of your natural light, open the blinds right up and reposition your desks near the windows. If you can’t increase the natural light, at least make sure the artificial lighting is spot on. Studies show that the best way to avoid straining your eyes is to find a desk light at about the same wattage as your computer screen. If you have little or no windows, balance a 60 watt desk light with ambient overhead lights.

  • Personalise. My last tip is to personalise your work station and allow employees to do the same – within reason of course! There’s nothing like a family photo, stationery in the colours you like and a few little personal mementoes scattered around your space to make you feel comfortable. And it’s been shown that employees who feel good in their workspace are more engaged in their work. More particularly studies show that employees who were allowed to design their workspace were 32% more productive than those who weren’t. So let your staff put their own stamp on their desk and your business’ bottom line may reap the rewards!