Never before has productivity at work been so important.  With tight deadlines and tightening budgets, this is now the key to success for businesses these days.  There were an estimated 137.3 million working days lost due to sickness or injury in the UK in 2016, as reported by the Office for National Statistics.  How can this be reduced and productivity optimised?

Mind fit and productive

Employee’s mental fitness can be affected by financial worries causing stress and sleepless nights, negatively affecting productivity.  Many human resources departments are now focusing on this and introducing employee ‘Financial Wellness’ support.  This way the employee has reduced stress levels over financial concerns and is able to focus on work matters increasing productivity.

Get moving for health and productivity

Physical fitness has been shown to benefit workplace productivity by improving health, energy levels and morale.   This can be promoted in the workplace by making the environment more exercise-friendly.  For example, larger organisations may be able to build a gym and shower facility for employee’s use during their lunch break, but failing that, an in-office piece of gym equipment or exercise bike would provide huge health benefits for both physical and mental health thereby improving workplace productivity.  Just short sessions on the piece of equipment would provide fantastic benefits to productivity that would far outweigh the loss of time spent doing this.  Other areas employers could develop to promote health would be joining the cycle to work scheme and also ensuring healthy food choices and snacks are readily available to employees.

Achieve a reduction in presenteeism and absenteeism

Being present in the workplace is not sufficient in itself to increasing productivity, especially for some individuals who, for one reason or another, are less motivated and prefer to chat and drink coffee to excess.  Presenteeism is a term for lack of productivity by an employee during the time they’re in work.  This may be caused by lack of drive, low morale or genuine ill health without taking time off.

Feeling healthy and fit is likely to make someone feel more dynamic and energetic, be less prone to physical illness, and hence reduce their presenteeism.  Being physically and mentally fit will also reduce the number of illnesses acquired and resultant absenteeism or presenteeism.  A good workplace policy is to encourage absenteeism in the event of genuine illness rather than promoting ‘soldiering on’ when ill, which is often a result of employee job insecurity.  The implications of excess presenteeism for an employer are far worse than having some absenteeism.

Way forward for managing productivity

Great management within your organisation can produce great productivity.  Always make employees feel listened to, valued and included in decisions that will affect their working environment.  Managers should always motivate by their own example i.e. behave the way they’d like all the employees to, with the emphasis on high standard and commitment.  With morale, commitment, health, and fitness at their best there are no limits to the success of a business.

Author: freelance writer Lucy Wyndham
Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

 

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