Simple, cost effective hacks that increase employee productivity


As a business owner, the dream is to see your business grow annually. Most of the time, this growth is highly dependent on your employees.

Employee productivity does not only depend on hiring the most talented and experienced people. You want your employees to feel motivated and give their best performance each day. Employee productivity begins with employee engagement. Research has shown that disengaged employees cost America a whopping $645 billion annually. The amount is inclusive of individual businesses too. If you do not want to be among the losers, here are some simple, cost-effective hacks you can implement to improve workplace efficiency.

Play Games

Until recently, games have only been allowed after work, never during working hours. Recent studies have shown that introducing game breaks at work can help employees improve and form relationships as well as boost their morale. Additionally, playing video games at work is instrumental in encouraging employees to finish their daily tasks. If buying a PS4 or an X-box for your employees is too much, you can start with something simple such as cornhole or fun trivia games during work breaks.


Employees like to be recognized and appreciated for their work. Some employers do not understand that appreciation goes beyond the usual high five and the common phrases, good job, or thank you. Some companies have gone ahead and made it a tradition to celebrate employee appreciation day. During Employee Appreciation Day, employers thank their workers by reducing their work hours, giving them gifts or bonuses, planning a special event or vacation for them, among others. It is also important for you to tell them what they did that was so great. Something as simple as letting your employees leave work early every week can make a huge difference in their productivity.

Cat Naps

As unconventional as it sounds, allowing your employees to take short naps can increase productivity. A well-rested employee is a functional and productive worker. Allowing 20-minute naps in the office will also improve knowledge retention and alertness among your employees. Also, naps are sometimes the solution to a bad mood. An angry or moody employee is often a tired one, but not after a cat nap. After a cat nap, they are likely to be in a better mood, and a happy employee is an efficient worker. You can use an empty office or room within the premises to create a nap room. All you have to do is buy some pillows and covers which do not cost much.

Create a Fun Work Environment

The simplest way to do this is by injecting some humor into the office. If you are funny or like to make jokes, that can be a good start. It will make your employees see you as an approachable person, unlike a boss who is always serious and doesn’t smile. A boss who can laugh with his employees breaks down barriers and makes the office environment more relaxed and stress-free. Remember to be respectful and avoid making jokes that are insulting.

Go Green

Before you shrug this suggestion off, think about how you feel when you drive out to the country for the weekend. Now imagine bringing some of that nature into the office. Studies have shown that fresh plants in the office can increase employee productivity by 15 percent. According to science, plants can increase creativity and boost brain function among employees. Do not buy high maintenance plants. You can start with plants such as aloe vera, cactus or the corn plant.

Stop Micromanaging

Letting your employees plan their work with regards to time and resources increases their productivity. Science has proven that employees are more motivated when they are left to manage themselves and their work. This freedom helps them to prove their work ethic. Micromanaging leads to a vicious cycle of unproductivity. When managers practice control over workers, they get nervous and perform badly. When they perform badly, the manager feels as if he did not exercise enough control, so the cycle continues. Although this might sound simple, it can be tough to do as micromanaging is second nature to most managers.

Effective Communication

Communication is just as important in business as it is in relationships. When employees have a clear picture of what is expected of them, they are likely to be more efficient in achieving the company’s goals. Research has shown that during staff meetings, only 5% of the time is spent on discussing solutions and future goals. A huge 80% of the time is spent discussing problems and assigning blame for past mistakes. The other 15 % is spent on discussing the present. Most employees will leave such a meeting stressed and under pressure. As a boss, you should focus on approaching problems with a positive attitude. Additionally, it would be best if you showed your commitment to move forward by discussing solutions and focusing on the future. An open and positive mode of communication will leave your employees encouraged and motivated to work on implementing the solutions discussed.

Encourage Self Care

The number one reason why employees call in sick is stress. A stressed team is an unproductive team. Employees should be encouraged to take care of their physical, emotional and mental health. You can do this by having an in-house psychologist, depending on the nature of your business. However, a simple and cost-effective way is to encourage a healthy and communicative culture in the workplace. Workers appreciate employees who listen and give constructive feedback. This way, they know that you care and where to change their strategy, respectively. Additionally, offering the right tools and training for your employees will also increase their productivity.

The right working conditions are essential to increasing efficiency in the workplace. As the boss, it is also crucial that you set the example of self-care to your employees.

Increasing employee productivity sometimes requires the boss to be a little human. Treat your employees like people and not robots, and you will see the fruits.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash