As workplaces become more flexible and not all work needs to happen in the office, maintaining efficient work habits is critical.
1) Keep things temperate. If workers in the office need to dress in business professional, be aware that the men are probably going to be warmer than the women. Standard male professional dress covers several pulse points. The carotid artery is covered by a tie, elbows and wrists by a dress shirt, and ankles and the back of the knee are covered by dress slacks. If the women in the office are complaining that they’re cold, it’s because they are. Find a happy medium on the temperature or let the guys lose the ties in-house. Don’t leave people to freeze! It makes them lonely.
2) Build in activity. Standing desks and walking desks keep employees engaged and just feeling better. Focus is also easier to maintain because employees are up and feeling energized. The addition of a standing desk set-up has been shown to increase productivity in some settings by almost 50%. Working more exercise into the workday need not require new equipment. Encourage breaks that allow enough time for a quick refreshing walk to keep employees focused.
3) Prepare for the summer slump. Many people vacation in the summer; some would like to but can’t. Parents are dealing with changing schedules for their children. Employees are likely to be unfocused and may be less satisfied with their projects. Allow for frequent breaks and plan low-stress team building activities to bring up the happiness quotient in your office.
4) Give everyone the chance to close their doors. Working in a cubicle can be hard. When you finally get focused and rolling on a project, you get interrupted. How worker friendly is your set up? Are printers set up deep inside the pods? How much foot traffic are your employees putting up with? If you want dedicated, focused employees, give them a set up that makes focus possible.
5) Avoid unnecessary “everyone” emails. If you’re going to be out for the week and that’s already published on a schedule that everyone can see, do you need to send out an email to the whole organization? Summer is vacation season, after all. Admittedly, if several people report to you, you’ll want to let your team know. However, too many unnecessary emails can be maddening for people trying to focus and work efficiently.
One of the best questions a leader can ask is “What’s getting in your way?” You hire smart people, and they know what they need to do. Give them the tools and the chance to provide feedback on the current set up.