Deadlines, big projects, and seasonal rushes can put a strain on the best of companies, as your team puts in extra hours and extra effort to ensure the job is done well. Still, they’re only human and it is understandable if the quality of their work after days and days without a break might not match the level of what they do at their freshest.
Fortunately, there are a number of changes you can make around the workplace to help your staff to remain productive when their energy begins to flag.
1. Help your team prioritize their tasks
A priority should be to ensure they each know what to do, and when. It can be easy to lose perspective in a stressful period, so meet at the beginning of the day to check that each employee will get their most important or difficult tasks done first – while they’re still fresh. You might make a team meeting, or individual scheduling appointments, or a combination of both.
2. Get an app to remind them to take regular breaks
Next, look at technical aids – and hindrances – in the office. It’s very important that your employees take regular breaks if they are to maintain full productivity, but when their heads are in their work they may forget to take time out, or decide to power through. Install an app such as BreakTimer on each computer so that your staff can regulate their own breaks.
3. Invite your staff to leave their phones at the door
As for hindrances, however innocent an employee’s use of their cellphone might be – it’s still a distraction. Even having a phone in sight can prove distracting, so consider keeping a voluntary ‘cellphone basket’ at the door where your crew can leave their phones while they focus on the work at hand.
4. Create a Yoga space at the office
Much has been made of the wacky workspaces many start-ups enjoy nowadays, but one innovation that will benefit most companies is to create a space for stretching and yoga. Exercises like these are good for the body and posture – and they boost the flow of oxygen to the brain, which has got to be a good thing when you’re tired!
5. Make coconut oil and butter available to prepare ‘Bulletproof Coffee’
A slightly less virtuous tweak that might grab their attention, though, is to make coconut oil and butter available in the coffee area. Adding these ingredients to coffee is said to give drinkers a cognitive boost, alongside the regular advantages of caffeine.
6. Allow employees to work from the nearest coffee hop
It’s a great idea to give your team members the freedom to work an hour or two off premises if appropriate. If they work on laptops, switching up environment to a nearby café can be a great way to refresh their creativity and concentration.
7. Gift your staff water bottles with hydration trackers
All that coffee can affect hydration levels – which, in any case, need to be carefully maintained to prevent fatigue. Consider investing in water bottles with hydration trackers so your crew don’t neglect their basic needs.
8. Make standing desks available
Standing desks have become something of a trend lately, and with good reason. Standing while working can improve your mood and your brain-power, reducing stress and fatigue. Sounds good for a regular day – and in busy times it’s a no-brainer, if you can afford them for your office.
9. Buy peppermint oil bottles for your staff
A more affordable hack is to buy peppermint oil bottles for everyone’s desk. These can be kept open to create a general effect of improved alertness, or splashed on the wrists when push really comes to shove. A healthy and natural way to keep your team bright and engaged, it’s also an improvement for which you’ll be thanked.
For more ideas, check out the latest infographic from STL. Pick the innovations that will work for your business, and also consider sharing this information with your crew – because an engaged, self-motivated team will give you the best that they can in periods of extreme busyness.