This article comes from Entrepreneur.
Let’s say you’ve tried all the common productivity hacks at your startup, but you still haven’t boosted results to the level you’re hoping for. Before giving up, get outside your comfort zone and explore the following unconventional techniques, some of which will hopefully, ultimately feel like they’re not too “out there” after all.
This suggestion shouldn’t come as a surprise. After all, there have been countless studies on the benefits of placing live plants in your office. For example, plants can improve employee satisfaction and boost productivity by up to 15 percent. Other research draws a connection between decreased sick days and increased productivity after plants have been introduced to the workplace.
This suggestion probably sounds like it goes against logic. If you’re establishing goals that you and your team can’t achieve, then aren’t you just setting everyone up for failure? Many would say there’s some truth to that possibility, but if you need to kick productivity into high gear, set what seems like a crazy and unrealistic goal, such as reaching all of this year’s sales in the next six months.
If this sounds intrusive or aggressive, try it with your team and watch the spark of creativity and focus burst into action. Ambitious goals will create a sense of urgency and motivate each person within your organization to take risks. Watch the fire ignite, and if the progress is significant, say as much, e.g.: “You peeps are rockstars. I’m taking you all to lunch.”
I know some say you’re not supposed to play games at work, but it can also keep employees fresh and motivated while bringing them together and increase morale. Scientists have even found that playing video games can combat workplace stress and help peers develop friendships.
Best of all? Your team can play games during their breaks so it won’t interfere with their work. If video games aren’t an option, suggest your team go outside and play cornhole or other one-minute games. Maybe get some trivia going. At our office, we finally installed a small basketball hoop, and even one of our 60-plus-years-young colleagues joins in.
Adding a little humor to the office encourages people to be themselves. As a result, it breaks down hierarchies and encourages innovation. It can also increase productivity, boost morale, reduce stress and build trust.
The key here is not to offend anyone. Instead, you want to create a fun work environment where laughter is the norm. The best place to start is to become more approachable and smile often. You can also introduce fun initiatives like taking improv classes together, developing humorous ads or hiring a funny motivational speaker.
Want to increase productivity, performance and retention, all while strengthening relationships? Then let your employees take 20-minute cat naps. You can do this by creating a so-called “nap room” in your office or investing in nap pods. Either way, don’t be afraid to let your team catch some z’s when they need them.
Author Roger Seip laid out the “two-hour solution” in his book, Train Your Brain for Success. This method requires spending, in Seip’s words, “two hours each week for the purpose of mentally creating the next week of your life.” You can help your team by affording them some uninterrupted, free time each week to evaluate how it’s been going and how they can best schedule the coming days ahead.
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