November 27, 2016
Your company is only as great as your team. This is even more true in the case of tech firms that are competing in the digital economy. Inspiration and the grit to continue working until projects are completed contribute to the best of our tech workers. Projects shine when new opportunities are identified, capitalized upon and then enhanced with future updates.
Here are four ways to spark a little productivity.
1: The Office Layout
Our surroundings impact our mood, and our productivity. For example, blue has been shown to improve productivity by putting us in the mindset for great work and focus. Clutter, while often associated with geniuses like Einstein, actually causes visual distractions that hinder focus and maximum productivity.
The overall layout of your space is another important consideration. An open floor-plan is a great way to encourage cross-team collaboration. As a developer, having instant access to my colleagues is valuable. And, it’s very easy for me to look up and see how occupied they are. For example, in our office, we use a code: If headphones are on, it’s the universal “do not disturb” sign.
This means that I don’t need to waste time staring at an IM waiting for their response, or leave my “office” to check; an open floor plan means my workspace gives me an eagle’s eye view of our entire team.
Plus, our supervisors are able to easily keep track of productivity. Of course, it’s easier than ever to just remote in an monitor our screens, but noticing who is chatting and distracting the team helps us all stay on track, without becoming overbearing and suffocating.
2: Dedicated Creativity Exercises
The best way to break up the work day, and get the creative juices flowing is to create space for members of your team to get away from their work projects. Let them go on a creativity break, completing challenges and other fun ideas to break up the monotony of staring at a screen and typing on a keyboard.
By engaging creativity with a focus on freedom and fun, within a group or while completing an individual passion project, team members are able to center themselves around happy experiences at work. This time spend decompressing from the day’s work-related stresses is powerful. And some of the projects that come out of this free time can be earth-shattering.
3: Creative Freedom
For an example of this principle in action, look no further than Google’s policy of allowing their engineers to spend twenty percent of their time working on projects they’re passionate about. This policy is known as Genius Hour. Programs we use everyday, like gmail and google docs, all were spawned out of passion projects started by Google engineers during their Genius Hours.
For companies looking for opportunities to expand their portfolio of services, this represents an incredible opportunity for new ideas, without the limitations imposed by top-down corporate programs. Think of these employee-led, independent projects as the seeds of unbridled creativity. And because the employees are completing these projects on company time, the finished product is the property of the company (assuming a strong employment contract has been properly executed).
4: An Open Work Environment
Create a space that allows your team to work together to tackle projects, while respecting every employee’s need for their own space. Create a time for free ranging projects at individual discretion. Tech firms have incredible hardware, and talent unleashed can mean incredible things, both on and off the clock.
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