Employers continually look for ways to improve productivity, increase efficiencies and enhance engagement levels. It begs diving deeper into the answers sought when management asks of their HR business partners, “How do I help employees get more done during their work day?”
Research findings by FlexJobs reveal some surprising results. Of the 2,600 employees who completed the survey, a mere 24 percent said that they do their best work during office hours. The remaining 76 percent reported that they were more productive elsewhere. This "elsewhere" includes: at home, at coffee shops, libraries, and other public spaces. The survey also reported that 14 percent of respondents said they could be productive at work, but not during office hours.
Employees reported several reasons why trying to be productive during office hours was so difficult. Their reasons included - a distracting atmosphere, co-worker interruptions, uncomfortable workspace, stress of commuting and office politics. What was even more surprising? If given the opportunity to have an outside the office workplace, employees were willing to take a 10 to 20 percent pay cut and 40 percent were willing to forego company perks.
Perhaps it is time to revisit where employers are placing emphasis when looking for increases in productivity levels. There might be some remaining biases toward the thinking that employees can’t be trusted or productive when they aren’t in the employer's line of sight. Survey results differ significantly when employees report that they don’t consider their normal workday in the office to be the optimal place or time to complete important work assignments.
Perhaps it is time to consider asking:
Introducing telecommuting options may be a potential solution and one where it could be tested first as part of a small pilot project. Another consideration may be to create ‘do not disturb’ signs for workstations where employees need to really keep their heads down and focused on the completion of important projects.
There are many creative ways to tweaks your current environment to enhance your employees’ ability to be more productive while making your office a more health-supportive environment. We’re here to help you explore these options along with other ways to customize solutions right for your workplace. I invite you to contact us. We’re here to help so that you can focus on what you do best.
Dave Dickinson, B.Comm, CFP, CLU, CHFC
Experienced Benefits Specialist ready to optimize your group benefits and pension plans.