Many of us spend over 40 hours a week at work. The majority of us work in an office where there are distractions that can hinder our productivity. Lisa Evans recently wrote a piece for Fast Company about the productivity decline that is taking places in offices around the world. Whereas the office used to be a place to get things done, it has developed into a mix of meetings, conferences, and general inefficiency. But it doesn't have to be this way.
Evans writes that most workers, when they really have to get something done, will resort to a coffee shop or a similar environment. Why is it easier to work in a coffee shop than at the office? The basis of this lies in the surrounding conversations. At work, where your coworkers chat about work related issues, you are likely to become distracted from your work because the gossip may involve you. At a coffee shop, white noise surrounds you and you gain a feeling of productivity around you, which in turn motivates you to work on the things you have to get done.
Despite her calling for people to get out of the traditional office space, Evans also has some tips for how to get productivity back into your office.
1. Private Areas: When people are able to sit alone, without distractions, they can often up their productivity and tap into new sources of creativity.
2. Silent Time: Designate quiet work times in the office where interactions are limited and people can focus solely on the work at hand. No meetings during this period. The afternoons work great for silent time.
3. Work remotely: All employees should have the opportunity to work remotely if necessary. Although they must be held accountable for their work, this freedom can allow employees to experience new waves of creativity and efficiency.