Is your team too busy to work? How many times in the morning have you started with a to-do list just to get held up by meetings and e-mails? Does that sound familiar to you? More than one in three employees admits to being productive less than 30 hours a week. So these employees work a whole day every week without doing anything.
This is the result of our study “What distracts your employees from their work? It provides fascinating insights into the wishes of employees and reveals the secret to greater productivity at the workplace. These seven study results not only reflect today’s world of work, they also show what employers can improve to increase labour productivity:
Offer flexible and mobile work
For 81% of the 3,500 employees surveyed, it is important to be able to work flexibly. Today, employees are always on the ball, working longer and occasionally on weekends. However, the traditional working model with fixed office hours often still applies.
Why don’t employees who are most productive early in the morning start at 07:00 a.m. and why can’t they call abroad in the morning? Why do parents have to be “seen” in the office instead of driving their children to school? And this despite the fact that they may work late at night. Rethink your guidelines for flexible, mobile working. If they don’t meet your employees’ expectations, it’s time to change them.
2nd Work Productivity: Less Table Tennis is More
Only 5 % of the respondents attach importance to having play opportunities in the office and, for example, playing table tennis. More than half of the employees (53%), on the other hand, find such offers distracting and damaging to work productivity. However, astonishing 40% of employers believe that fringe benefits and play are important to employees. So it is high time to review the strategy for playing at work for its added value.
Show your employees that you value them
Our study clearly shows what employees expect in the office instead of play opportunities: appreciation in the workplace and recognition of their performance. 66% of respondents say this is critical for them. Hip benefits or company outings do not impress employees excessively. But they want to hear from their employer that they are doing a good job. They want to feel that the company appreciates their contribution. Companies actually have endless opportunities to communicate this: from training for managers to continuous feedback or recognition from colleagues to a simple “Thank you”.
Take the health and well-being of your employees seriously
39% of the participants felt that their HR departments could do more for well-being in the workplace. Gym grants, free fruit and support for people in difficult circumstances are examples of what is possible. Or they show through the corporate culture that the health and well-being of your employees is very important to you – and should therefore also be on the list of priorities for your employees. Companies should be attentive here.
Ask employees for their opinion
That’s easy. If you want to know how you can increase labour productivity, ask employees for their opinion. Only 12% of the employees we survey regularly ask how their experience can be improved. Almost half (47%) have never been asked. But remember to make it clear that you are listening. Communicate what you want to improve and how, and give reasons if things cannot be changed immediately.
Take advantage of the power of data to make a difference
34% of employees believe that companies could benefit if they base their HR decisions on data. If you want to better understand your employees’ productivity, look at your strongest teams and look for patterns and insights. Use people analytics methods to test your hypotheses against the results. So you can see what employees are talking about. Business decisions about supply chains, finances or distribution channels are not made from the gut – why should it be any different for employees?
What’s the absolute priority? Create a positive employee experience
And the top result of our study on productivity at the workplace? An overwhelming majority of employees – 78% – say that all their experiences as employees have a significant impact on productivity. This figure rises to 92% for younger employees – a group that already accounts for 50% of employees by 2020. People have different goals and ambitions.
Some motivate money, others value a good work-life balance. Anyone who has just moved to Berlin probably has different needs than employees in the family start-up phase. Companies therefore need to know what motivates and drives their employees in order to jointly define a positive employee experience – so that they can work optimally.
Your guiding principle: put employees first
One third of the employees see it as the task of the personnel department to ensure a positive employee experience. This means that HR managers must lead this cultural change. However, they cannot do this alone. The entire management team must face the task of offering the entire workforce positive work experiences.
The better the employees’ experiences are, the more motivated they are, the more productive they can be – and the company benefits equally from the increase. Ultimately, it all boils down to the question of whether your company is a people company that puts people first. Are employees your company’s most important asset and does its success depend on the success of your workforce?
Approaches that significantly increase your productivity
Productivity, or productive work, is a subject that has occupied humanity time and again since industrialization at the latest. Overtime or a high number of results cannot be equated with productivity. They stand for diligence and motivation. Productivity in the actual sense, on the other hand, describes the achievement of concrete results and values in a certain time, which are actually needed in their form.
For example, there may be people who get caught up in actually unimportant tasks and allow themselves to be held up for a long time, while their colleagues seemingly effortlessly complete a really important project. So what is the key to productivity? And why should each of us have the goal to increase his productivity?
Reasons to increase your productivity
There are many reasons to want to increase your own productivity. Because people who work productively feel less stressed, achieve faster and better results, are more successful professionally and have a more balanced work-life balance. The problem is that more and more people find it difficult to set priorities.
This is not only the case at work, but often affects the whole of life. They then pay far too much attention to insignificant activities and lose sight of the really important aspects. This often ends in excessive time pressure, stress and possibly even burnout. Then there is the other type of person. The one with whom we ask ourselves again and again how he “gets it all together”. Quite simply: He lives and works extremely productively. But what is the secret of productivity?
The key to productivity
The answer is paradoxical: less is more. Productive people have learned to say “no” and concentrate on the really important tasks. This gives them more energy and more time to concentrate on their work. Actually a very simple strategy. The problem is that many people don’t dare to say “no” to their boss or colleagues. And if they do, they often lack an eye for the essentials.
How do you recognize which tasks are really important and which are not? The large mass of different working methods, systems, software, technical equipment and the noise in open-plan offices are increasingly contributing to the unproductiveness of German workers. It is completely normal to lose track of things in this modern chaos. For more productivity, the workforce must be concentrated on fewer pillars. In everyday working life, of course, this is usually easier said than done. We have therefore summarised concrete tips and various approaches to increasing productivity in the last chapter.