How to improve morale and productivity in the workplace

With job numbers rising, the economy creeping back to recovery and business confidence improving with each day, things are looking positive for the UK’s business owners. Indeed, with a record of 526,446 British startups having been launched in 2013, entrepreneurs around the country have every right to aim for growth in 2014. However, Avanta’s recent research suggests there are still areas where businesses could be doing more to improve their productivity, particularly when it comes to issues around the workplace.

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A recent survey of 1,000 UK office workers, for instance, found that the short winter days have a profound effect on the motivation and energy levels of the UK’s workforce – but employers are sticking their heads in the sand when they could be doing more to help. Considering – and tackling – the negative effects of the dark winter days could lead to happier, healthier and more productive staff – and that’s good news for everyone involved.

With that in mind, here are four top tips to equip your business for productivity:

1) Tap into the senses

Light is not the only sense to affect our productivity – two-thirds of UK employees think that how the office smells also affects motivation, morale and attitude. The impact of an aroma placed around the office or installing high-intensity lights may be hard to quantify, but it could unlock new levels of productivity among your staff.

2) Think about different types of work

Different tasks require different types of working – and different personalities have different preferences when it comes to working style. Ditching the one-size-fits-all approach and make sure your workspace caters for these differences – including both a closed off, quiet space for focused work and a less structured space to allow for creative thinking will make a considerable difference to employees.

3) Give yourself – and your staff – flexibility

The notion of flexible working is not a new one – but too many businesses still deny their staff flexibility despite countless pieces of research highlighting how high the demand for it is. Take advantage of the latest tech – from saving data in the cloud to setting up a ‘virtual office’ – to give yourself and your staff a level of flexibility that improves morale and, as a result, could significantly enhance productivity.

4) Location, location, location

A survey last year by the British Council for Offices found that the location and comfort of a workplace can have a sizeable effect on recruitment, job satisfaction, retention and productivity – all vital for SMEs and growing businesses. Although flexible working may be on the rise, the majority of British employees still see the office as the place where they can be most productive, and many still seek the intangible ‘buzz’ found in city centres when choosing a place to work.

While the likes of pay and personal development will always be high on the list of priorities for staff, the impact of these additional suggestions should not be underestimated. By thinking outside the box and not being afraid to experiment, it’s possible to make simple changes that will help equip your business for productivity and growth.