Article written by Rachel Jonell for Canada Talents.
Productivity is an important part of any job, but it’s not always easy to keep it up. A change in work environment, poor mental health, stress, and inadequate pay are just some of the reasons you’re having a hard time getting tasks done at work. It also doesn’t help that national productivity in Canada has slowed over the past 20 years. Compared to peer countries like the US and UK, the nation’s value-added per hour worked lags behind.
If you’re having trouble putting out good-quality work efficiently, here are a few creative ways to boost your productivity:
Try stand-up meetings
If you’re a team leader, you’ve likely arranged a few meetings to get the tasks your group is handling in order. While these gatherings are already helpful, shaking things up with a 15-minute stand-up meeting every day can set things in motion faster.
These meetings entail conducting discussions while standing up instead of sitting, which can encourage more active participation by keeping everyone on their toes, literally. You don’t have to stand every time, but keeping the set routine of holding a meeting every day at the same time can foster accountability, transparency, and teamwork, boosting everyone’s productivity.
Improve your posture
You spend the majority of your time sitting at work, and the strain that puts on your body isn’t good for productivity or health. Poor sitting habits cause back and neck pain and reduce energy levels, impeding your work. Other than regularly adjusting your posture on your own, ergonomic furniture provides ample support for a comfortable and productive workday.
Your office chair is likely the main culprit for your discomfort, so swapping out your old chair for an ergonomic one can make all the difference. A model like the Herman Miller Embody Chair showcases how these chairs are designed to support the natural alignment of your spine and consider the pressure on your body as well as the distribution of weight. Other than chairs, standing desks have grown in popularity. They reduce sitting times which reduces health issues and increases work engagement which can make work more fulfilling and productive. The Jarvis Bamboo Standing Desk is an option to consider, as it’s quiet, adjustable, and fits in small workstations.
Add plants to your workspace
Your workspace is an often overlooked, yet vital aspect of productivity. Plants are a good way to liven up your desk while reducing stress and keeping you productive. As per the above-linked Fortune study, people who had plants in their workspaces noted that they felt more productive and had a faster reaction time compared to those who didn’t have plants. More greenery also improves mental health by lowering anxiety and stress, preventing burnout.
Don’t get too carried away with adding plants to your desk, but start with something small and low-maintenance. Snake plants or the peperomia obtusifolia can survive without a lot of light or water, making them manageable plants to start with.
It can make you feel guilty to say no to things or set some boundaries for yourself, but doing so is essential for aligning your priorities with what is most critical to you at work. Setting boundaries not only gives you some room to breathe but skyrockets productivity by helping you focus on important tasks as well as making better and faster decisions.
In an office, you can set boundaries by limiting the extra work you take on, the hours you stay at work, or how often you check your work email or messages. If you work remotely, you can improve your home office by maintaining regular office hours or dedicating a space in your house for you to work. Creating these time and physical boundaries can help you ease out of the home mindset and into a working one.