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Creating Structured Routine to Boost Motivation

11 February 2018

The internet is full of business articles about maximising productivity and getting the most out of your employees. There is usually some good advice in these articles, but there’s so much ‘good’ advice it’s overwhelming. Rather than trying to solve all of your business problems in one epic article, we’d like to discuss one idea in more detail: how creating a structured routine can boost motivation and productivity.

Why Routine Improves Productivity

Some people don’t need routine to be productive. But most of us do. Routine prompts us to keep working when our energy wanes and it gives us something to fall back on when we lack initiative. Routine helps guide employees — especially new employees — giving them a solid structure for their workday. A well-established routine makes it harder for employees to tread water between tasks, as the routine dictates what they should do next.

This sense of routine doesn’t need to impede creativity or initiative. Instead, it can help focus creative employees, reminding them of the daily structure and deadlines.

Establish Specific Times of Day for Checking Emails

Reading and replying to emails is an essential part of every office worker’s daily life. However, although it’s a big part of the job, keeping on top of your emails can be a huge distraction from other tasks. And this problem is compounded when your computer alerts you each time you receive an email, inviting you to take a break from whatever else you’re working on. It’s important to reply to emails, but you don’t have to reply to most of them straightaway, and doing so can make you far less efficient.

To tackle this problem, you can set specific time periods throughout the day that employees should read and reply to emails. This routine ensures that employees stay focused on their other work and it also gives them some structure to lean on when they lack motivation. As replying to emails is usually relatively straightforward, you could assign a ‘check email’ task first thing in the morning, first thing after lunch, and for the last 10-15 minutes of the day.

Set a Definitive Lunchtime and Make it Compulsory

Allow employees to choose their own lunchtime encourages them to manage their own time and it establishes a trusting relationship. However, a set lunch time for all employees can actually help improve productivity. For starters, it means that most staff take a break at the same time, which allows them to talk to each other over lunch instead of during work hours.

Setting a specific lunch time also encourages workers to take a necessary break as many dedicated workers work through their lunches or give themselves smaller breaks if left to their own devices. In fact, a recent study by Total Jobs found that 56% of UK workers never take their full lunch break and 1 in 4 workers skip lunch altogether between 2 to 4 times a week!

Although having staff working over their lunchbreak might sound attractive to some, it’s actually very damaging to an office’s productivity and efficiency. Most people cannot work efficiently for 7 to 8 hours straight, so the lunch break and coffee breaks help them recharge. By setting a compulsory lunchtime, you ensure your employees don’t burn themselves out, which boosts productivity in the afternoon. It may even make sense to have one or two set coffee breaks throughout the day. Your staff will appreciate the break and the added caffeine will give them an additional boost!

Encourage Workers to Leave at COP

It’s also a good idea to establish a clear close of play each day. If work is supposed to finish at 5pm, encourage staff to pack their stuff and leave at 5pm, or shortly after. A good work-life balance is essential to any happy lifestyle, and too much work will inevitably detract from a person’s home life. You want your staff to be happy and for them to come to work the next day recharged and ready for a full day’s work. With office work, there is always more to do, so it often feels never-ending, but allowing this work to bleed into the evenings can significantly lower productivity. Setting a clear, compulsory close of play can greatly improve motivation and productivity in your workplace.

We hope this article has been helpful and that it has convinced a few readers to bring a little more structure and routine to their office. Please contact us here at Stelmain if you have any questions about our range of semi-serviced offices in Glasgow. The right office space and a little bit of routine can go a long way. Improve your business’s productivity today!

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