The Unconventional Truth Behind Productivity

Worker Autonomy Can Improve Productivity

There are a lot of misconceptions about productivity and how to increase it. Plenty of managers see their employees scrolling through Facebook or having a laugh with a co-worker, and the conclusion some may draw, without any evidence beyond the immediate circumstance, is that these actions simply siphon off company productivity. They never consider that those employees may instead be improving the workplace.

Worker autonomy, even in unorthodox forms, can result in increased output and quality, when done correctly.

Autonomy’s Influence on Productivity

“The perception of autonomy has very positive effects on workers,” according to Concordia University’s Human Autonomy in Cross-Cultural Context: Perspectives on the Psychology of Agency, Freedom, and Well-Being.

Workers who experience a more potent sense of freedom also tend to be more productive because of it. The caveat is that increased autonomy is more directly linked to improved productivity in jobs that are more creative and complex. However, while autonomy in routine jobs doesn’t immediately result in additional productivity, it does increase job satisfaction, which can lead to more positive outcomes – like productivity.

The Happy Solution

According to Fortune, which recently conducted a 700-person study of mood’s effect on work happiness, there’s power in significant happiness. In the experiment, workers were randomly shown a 10-minute “comedy clip” or were provided with snacks or drinks. Afterwards, they’d test their productivity levels through questioning. The result is what was described as a “happiness shock.” Happier subjects averaged a 12 percent productivity advantage over the control group, with some workers reaching as much as 20 percent.

Don’t Have Meetings to Just Have Meetings

Meetings are crucial in making organisations function properly and are a great source of collaboration. On the contrary, many meetings are perceived to be time wasters by employees.

Inefficient meetings are not just commonplace within the office. Web meetings can be even more unproductive. A recent study by Intercall revealed what people are actually doing during these meetings in place of being engaged in the conversation:

  • Getting other work done: 65 percent
  • Sending an email: 63 percent
  • Eating or making food: 55 percent
  • Going to the restroom: 47 percent
  • Texting: 44 percent
  • Checking social media: 43 percent

Make Your Return From Vacation Positive

After returning from a well-deserved vacation, many people struggle with getting back into the swing of things. Be strategic in thinking through what will make you the most productive when you return. Planning ahead for simple actions you can take, both while away and when you return to the office, can result in an extremely productive first week back.

Increase Productivity by Minimizing Unhappiness

Minimise Unhappiness With Empathy

Unfortunately, the workforce is not particularly happy. Surveys have shown chronic feelings of discouragement, a sense that innovation is being suppressed and a majority opinion that managers lack the same values they expect from their employees.

In an attempt to remedy this, empathy training is being implemented across Fortune 500 organizations. This skill is shown to build effective leadership, drive performance, and improve the customer experience.


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