One of the biggest challenges in the modern workplace is productivity. With changing workplace dynamics – open-plan offices, activity-based working, and shared workspaces – we face two issues: noise and distraction. With most of us spending 40 hours or more a week in some form of workplace environment, the challenge of how to get work done without it impacting your wellbeing remains.
Work from anywhere – including the office
I’ve touched on the benefits of employees being able to work from anywhere in a previous article, and to reinforce this point, this style of work can be hugely beneficial for many employees. Working from anywhere – be it home, cafes or even in different areas of the office, gives employees the flexibility to complete task in a location of their choosing. This allows employees to create an environment most conducive to their own concentration.
However, for businesses that don’t yet allow flexibility in work location, or for employees who prefer the dynamics of an office environment, work concentration zones can be hard to come by, which can, in turn, impact employee wellbeing.
Improved productivity, improved wellbeing
As most business leaders are recognising, employee productivity and employee wellbeing are intrinsically linked. And when an employee feels they are not realising their productivity potential, this can directly impact their wellbeing. Frustration, stress and anxiety can all manifest, as well as feelings of dissatisfaction and lack of accomplishment. After all, work-wise, there’s not a lot that is more stressful than leaving work at the end of a long day, knowing that you’ve barely ticked anything off your to-do list.
So how can technology be used to improve productivity? With the right set of intelligent technologies (and a little training) you can create the most productive work environment. Noise-cancelling wireless headphones can allow your employees to create their own quiet zone, even in the noisiest of offices. Similarly, tools such as noise-signalling systems can help create an environment where only certain levels of noise are acceptable. And employees themselves can use technology to create a virtual ‘do not disturb’ sign by setting their presence indicator on ‘busy’, via internal communication channels (such as Slack, Zoom or Jabber), or by using a headset, to indicate to colleagues that they are not to be disturbed.
As a result of the growth of open-place offices, activity-based working and shared workspaces, we’ve seen a strong need for improved communication and collaboration. Concentration zones have also become incredibly important for maximising productivity and improving employee wellbeing, particularly for staff tasked with value creation. The proof is in the practice. If management and employees alike adopt the right technologies, they can greatly assist in creating happier and heathier workplaces.