Since long before the Covid pandemic, businesses (and individuals) around the world have been looking to come up with solutions for how to get their team to stay productive … oftentimes outside of a traditional office setting. What appeared to be a problem to solve has led to exciting new opportunities for collaboration—and one of the most promising solutions rests in coworking spaces.
For the team members, coworking spaces allow for social opportunities, networking prospects, and the kind of camaraderie they might miss being isolated at home. On the other side of the coin, coworking spaces also help solve the unique problem of benefitting both corporate real estate interests and employee work preferences at the same time. Taking the most expensive asset of a company—its physical space—and creating a welcoming, flexible space serves the bottom line through the “space-as-a-service model.”
But no matter the benefits of a shared coworking space (and recent studies have shown there are plenty), work is still work and plenty of people can still fall into the trap of being unproductive no matter where they are (we all do it). Here are a few steps to improve productivity at work personally, and some ways that coworking might be the answer for how to boost productivity at work in general.
Steps To Improve Productivity At Work
We get it, some days you just aren’t your most productive self—and that doesn’t change whether you’re in an office space in Henderson, at home on your laptop, or in a cafe with a few other coworkers. When those days happen, there are a few things you can do to help get yourself back on track.
Clean Up And Organize Your Desk
Maybe you’ve found this one to be true from experience already, but there’s real evidence to support the idea that decluttering your desk helps declutter your brain as well! Research from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute found that study participants had a cleaner work environment; they were able to process information, focus on tasks, and boost productivity.
By contrast, it also found that the amount of “stuff” that surrounded the participants was more likely to make them feel overwhelmed—which led to procrastination. So, if you’re looking for how to boost productivity at work, start with a clean slate and spend a little time tidying up before starting your tasks for the day.
Take Periodic Breaks
While there’s something to be said for playing through the pain, it only works to a certain degree. You can’t work if you’re tired, and prolonged engagement in mentally stimulating tasks has the same tiring effect on our brains that physical activity has on our muscles. One of the answers is to take frequent, smaller breaks throughout the work day as opposed to burning yourself out in pursuit of a longer break.
Many people might find that it’s easier to continue being productive after a short breather than to shift gears into relaxation mode for an hour and then start again. The next time you’re feeling unproductive, try working for 50 minutes and taking a short break for 10—using that time to get up, stretch, and take your eyes away from your screen or paperwork. Repeat the cycle until your work is done!
This one sounds obvious, but a little planning goes a long way. For example, if you’ve got a dentist’s appointment at lunch on Wednesday and you know from experience that the residual tooth pain is distracting, try to organize your week, so you’re handling the more intensive work beforehand and leave the simple stuff for when you return. Giving yourself the option to finish the small things will help you feel more accomplished than struggling through an important task when you’re just not feeling up to it.
Determine When You Are Most Productive
Not everyone is productive at the same hours of the day—and that’s ok! Studies have shown that many people are the most productive between 8 am and 12 pm, which means it’s important to plan your most urgent or mentally engaging tasks for that window.
However, everyone is different, and your personal understanding of when you work best is more important to your overall productivity. Pay attention to when you feel most motivated or can process the most information throughout the day and try to determine a “peak performance” time and try to schedule the tasks you need to be done around then. Even just identifying the times when you feel like you produce good work can help you feel more confident when that time comes, helping you shake off that funk and get to work.
Set Manageable, Concrete Goals
It’s been proven that people have a hard time applying themselves in situations where the results of their work aren’t immediately apparent—but not every assignment has an immediate, measurable final product. In these cases, it’s better to identify some self-identified, concrete goals you can achieve.
For example, if you have a report due at the end of the week that seems huge in its scope, start by breaking it down into smaller pieces and setting deadlines for each of them. Maybe you’ll handle the research on Monday, get the intro done by Tuesday, the first draft on Wednesday, and all the edits done on Thursday. By Friday you’ll have the entire project wrapped up! These goals can be as big or as small as you need to be to feel like you’re accomplishing something—then it’s just a matter of letting the momentum build.
How Coworking Spaces May Boost Productivity
Plenty of the personal methods on how to boost productivity at work have to do with your mindset and finding the right things that work for you. Boosting productivity in coworking spaces has a lot of the same things in common. Many of the benefits of a coworking space come down to making it easier for people to get stuff done, with added benefits like allowing for remote work in a professional setting, improving networking opportunities for mobile workers, and accommodating almost all work hours. Increasing productivity in coworking spaces usually comes down to a few simple principles.
Happier People Produce More
A study by Forbes estimated that workers who are happy with their workplace are as much as 20% more productive. One of the greatest advantages the coworking spaces offer over traditional office settings is the flexibility to adapt to employee preferences. Smaller, more agile spaces, lead to fewer instances of things that impact employee happiness—things like overcrowding, poor office layouts, excessive oversight, etc. When your workforce feels like they have more agency over the space they’re required to work in, they’re more inclined to produce.
Seamless Exchange Of Ideas
While remote working, video conferencing, and online collaboration were crucial to overcoming pandemic restrictions, they come with their fair share of drawbacks. In-person collaboration continues to be more efficient for teams who need to communicate technical details quickly and accurately, and coworking spaces allow for more intimate collaboration than might happen in a larger, more formal office space. This kind of face-to-face interaction is also key to building trust and interpersonal relationships between employees—all things that impact the level of satisfaction they get from their work.
Enhances Work-Life Balance
Perhaps the single greatest factor that the American workforce took from the pandemic is the increased demand for a better work/life balance—and smart managers are listening. A 2021 survey found that almost 70% of workers would rather change jobs to get a better work-life balance and that they wanted more flexibility in the times and ways that they work even more than higher pay.
Coworking spaces are uniquely positioned to offer the kinds of flexibility modern workers want by cutting down on commuting times for employees who live further from the main office, allowing flexible in/out times, and more personalized space. By investing in the things that workers really want, companies can save money on corporate real estate while their workforce is happier and more productive than ever.
Productivity is the priority for any business, and instead of framing it as a challenge to overcome, finding out how to increase work efficiency should be seen as an opportunity. If you’re looking for some of those opportunities for your business, contact TheOfficeSquad and let us help you develop your own coworking space routine in Henderson, NV!