Home office

Let’s face it, January is hardly the best time of the year for employers and company owners to expect the most motivated and productive team is it?

The festive season has been and gone all too quickly. Many people will spend the next few weeks attempting to come to terms with their decision to give up alcohol, sugar or carbohydrates for January. And many more will wonder how best to make the money left in their current account last all the way until payday.

So how can employers make sure their staff don’t succumb to an unproductive New Year, potentially damaging their business and its output?

We recently polled a total of 1,294 UK business owners and 893 office workers in a bid to determine how bosses can maintain maximum happiness and productivity among workers.

Our findings revealed that the vast majority of participants (88%) felt that having a positive, happy working environment was crucial to getting the best performance from employees, rather than keeping them motivated with pressure, fear and strict rules.

The most commonly used tactics by employers to keep staff motivated are:

  1. Team bonding (takeaway lunches/work trips/nights out) – 66%
  2. Redecoration (bright colours/new furniture/table football etc.) – 57%
  3. Introduction of flexible working hours/flexi-time – 38%
  4. Electronic incentives (TVs/games consoles/company smartphone, music systems etc.) - 22%
  5. Office competitions (office sweepstakes/bake-off/syndicates etc.) – 17%
Forming relationships with colleagues – who many will spend more time with in a week than their own partners – is a crucial element of fostering happy employees. Why would someone want to spend 30+ hours a week with people they have nothing in common with? Organising team bonding days, social outings, or even office syndicates and baking competitions will help staff to learn about each other’s interests and personalities outside of work.

It also seems as though the positioning of desks within offices can have an impact on the motivation felt by staff. More than two thirds of business owners agree that employees who had a view outside were more hardworking and productive than those who spent their working day facing a wall, a door or other desks.

Having desk swaps every few months or 'hot desking' will make sure employees don’t feel stuck or suffocated by always sitting in the same spot. And it gives everyone an opportunity to face a window, which could well keep staff motivation levels up and allow people to get to know co-workers they haven’t previously spent time with.

By Kirsty Martin, www.Web-Blinds.com