How to be productive and happy at work

Happy employees are more productive. Here’s how to foster a culture of continuous improvement in your business. 

The link between productivity and wellness

It’s not just the business leaders who strive for higher productivity. Most employees want to be productive too. If people can’t get their work done, they feel stressed, and this causes them to worry. In today’s business world where priorities and deadlines are continually shifting, people often don’t feel in control. Despite working hard and long hours employees often feel they are not on top of their workload.

In contrast being productive gives employees a sense of achievement and accomplishment. There is a satisfaction that comes with being able to make a plan and stick to it.

Moreover, that satisfaction allows employees switch off after work which in turn will enable them to relax and refresh.

On the other hand, a lack of productivity can have an adverse effect on the employee’s stress levels and general mental wellness.

“A culture of productivity encourages everyone to perform at their best level.”

Causes of stress at work

In fact, if we look at some of the causes of stress cited by employees we see factors that also cause a lack of productivity:

  • Changing demands and priorities
  • Inefficient systems and processes
  • Lack of clarity around role and expectations
  • Poor communication with managers
  • Long hours, poor work-life balance

“Foster a culture of continuous improvement.”

A productive culture benefits everyone

So by removing these barriers to productivity businesses can also reduce the stress levels of their employees. Not only will employee wellness and happiness increase, but employee engagement and output also will too. A culture of productivity encourages everyone to perform at their best level.

To foster this culture a business needs to make sure it provides the best tools, the best processes, the best managers and the best training.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:
1. Are people clear about what is expected of them?
2. What are the bottlenecks or inefficiencies?
3. Are people collaborating when deadlines change?
4. Have the employees got the right skills to be productive?
5. Are the managers enabling productivity?

How to improve productivity and wellness

Once you have some answers, encourage your employees to work together. Ask them to identify any specific barriers to productivity. This can strengthen relationships as people work together towards a common purpose.
Managers and their teams need to be empowered and supported to achieve the required changes. The business also needs to be committed to making the changes identified to foster a culture of continuous improvement.

“Make sure everyone understands individual and team priorities.”

Quick tips to improve productivity

Some of the changes may take time to achieve. However, there are many practical changes a business can make quickly for minimal cost.

Here are some ideas to consider:
1. Provide clarity around everyday roles and responsibilities
2. Develop a productive approach to meetings to reduce the time and improve follow up
3. Use smart email practices to reduce email processing time
4. Make sure everyone understands individual and team priorities
5. Identify and eliminate distractions within the office.

Productivity within your business

A productive environment will reduce employee stress and maintain employee wellness for the benefit of both you and your employee.

Best of luck with any changes you make. 

Guide by Moira Dunne,