25 Factors That Affect Workers Productivity (How do YOU Compete?)

Employee productivity is an important part of your business; the more productive your employees are the better solutions they will come up with. Understanding employee productivity as a system that affects all of your employees is a great start. Knowing there are many employees out there, there are many factors that can affect their productivity levels. Of course, figuring out what makes your employees less productive is also a great start, but I will mainly focus on the factors you can change in order to affect employee productivity.

Employee efficiency can decline when temperatures rise or fall too far; poor communication can be another contributing factor as well as many more that can bring down a workplaces overall productivity. To help you change all that and keep on moving forward, I made a list of 25 factors that can have a positive impact on the productivity of your employees and improve the efficiency and standing of your business with your workers.

25 Factors That Affect Workers Productivity

  1.  Temperature At Your Workplace

  2.  The Importance Of Great Lighting Sources

  3.  The Importance Of Hydration

  4.  Air Quality At Your Workplace

  5.  Proper Tools And Equipment

  6.  Managerial Communication

  7.  Office Layout And Design

  8.  Training And Education Of Your Employees

  9.  Workplace Ergonomics

  10.  Food And Cooking At Your Workplace

  11.  Onboarding System

  12.  Work Flow Protocols

  13.  Weekend Activities

  14.  Complimentary Coffee

  15.  Desk Shifting

  16.  Working From Home

  17.  Personal Projects

  18.  Employee Happiness As A Priority

  19.  Collaboration Tools

  20.  Office Socials

  21.  Knowing Your Employees

  22.  Diversity At Workplace

  23.  Encourage Physical Activity

  24.  Keep Your Workplace Tidy

  25.  Secure Your Workplace

Many companies managed to do miracles thanks to great employee productivity. If you ever had a look at the way Google does their business, you would have noticed how much effort they put in increasing employee engagement and productivity. Lately, many companies and organizations are trying to implement all these factors in their businesses, while it all seems quite simple; many still struggle to get it right.

1. Temperature At Your Workplace

Did you know only a small percent of the workers admit their workplaces have the right temperature? Employees around the world have often complained about temperaturesOpens in a new tab. within their workplaces being either far too hot or too cold causing them discomfort. Imagine working in the part of the world with extreme climates and having an employee who is concerned about lowering the energy costs – terrible! Sadly, there are many people with this problem, and that truly leaves a bad mark on their business. People simply cannot be effective if they are bothered by sweat getting into their eyes or shivering from the cold, they are less productive, and all of that will result in bad business.

To create the best temperature for your employees and have them productive at all times, you should set your temperature between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit. Workplaces with the temperature below or above that level have shown to be less productive and make more errors.

2. The Importance Of Great Lighting Sources

You might think the lighting in your workplaceOpens in a new tab. is not as important at all, but it is actually one of the most important things that influence our productivity and creativity levels. Having good lighting at your workplace can decrease depression, it can greatly increase your productivity and improve your mood. All these things are crucial to our work and daily jobs. If you are lucky enough and your office features a lot of natural light, that is great! Natural light has a great effect on your employees and their productivity; it helps them with their circadian rhythm and keeps them well-motivated throughout the day.

Pick the atmosphere you wish to create on your workplace and have your productivity rise right away. While most companies go for natural light, there are other ways to achieve the same, relaxing effect as well. Understanding the environment your workplace is built in is essential as well; it will help you create and come up with great lighting solutions. Maybe there is a window set that provides great natural light and you just simply never paid attention to it enough? Maybe some places require you to dim down your lighting, so it is not too heavy for the eyes? It is completely up to you and the way your office is designed.

3. The Importance Of Hydration

It might be hard to keep track of how much waterOpens in a new tab. each employee drank throughout the day, but make sure you remind them of how important it really is! 75% of the U.S. adults actually go through their days mildly dehydrated, that is bad, and you should never let that happen! Dehydration has a terrible effect on your employee productivity and engagement. Aside from dehydration, those who do not drink enough water will also experience fatigue, errors, injuries, and headaches!

Next time you arrange a meeting, remind your employees that a human being requires at least 2 liters of water a day, let them know of the importance water has on our bodies and our well being. Sadly, not all workplaces have safe and palatable water, if this is the case with your workplace, please make sure you test your water and find the best water treatment system for your workplace, your employees and you. Acceptable water standardsOpens in a new tab. and improved employee hydration will result in great business solutions and help reduce the exhaustion of your employees by the end of the working day.

4. Air Quality At Your Workplace

You must have experienced it once, that terrible office smell and a bunch of people complaining of not being able to breathe. Air qualityOpens in a new tab. has always been an important thing, but only lately we have been giving it enough attention. Proper ventilation systems can lead to the improved health of your employees and business benefits for your company. The proper ventilation system can lead to improved health and business benefits in your employees. Ventilation lowers carbon dioxide and removes toxic chemicals from your environment. Employees who work in offices featuring good air quality are nearly 60% more productive than those who work in offices with no proper ventilation system.

Owning a ventilation system is important, but it is also important the manager knows how to promote good indoor air quality, educate the staff about management of air quality and set policies in order to manage pollutant sources such as cigarette smoke, dust, leaks, fumes and so on.

5. Proper Tools And Equipment

You must provide your employees with effective tools and up to date equipment. Your employees might be very talented and hard-working people, but no one can speed up the printing process if the only printer you have in the office is over 15 years old. Invest in more modern equipment and save the time and effort of your employees to allow for more work to be done!

Once you have provided your employees with all of the necessary equipment and tools, you will notice how much faster the work can be completed; there will no longer be extraneous delays to their work because a piece of equipment has broken at the worst possible time. Today’s market is filled with all kinds of new technology and equipment, some of it is economical enough to invest in, and most of the new devices also have reduced power requirements compared to ones that were used years ago. Having it all set and properly working, your employees will no longer be thinking of all the terrible things that can happen at their normal workday – Less worry, better results!

6. Managerial Communication

It is no surprise, managers are important to their employees and their overall engagement at work. Did you know that managers are the reason 70% of employees get engagedOpens in a new tab. in their workplace? A manager is usually that person who is required to give regular guidance and open feedback to their employees. While a manager might often seem like a strict person, they should also know how to recognize a job well done and be ready to reward his/her employees for it.

Managerial communication is important because it can greatly improve the productivity and performance of the employees. Employees will appreciate a good word and have an easier time opening up about business solutions once they see their work is appreciated. Being manager is not an easy task, your employees know this, and each time you take time to reward them or say a good word about them, they will want to do even better!

7. Office Layout And Design

Now that you own all the important equipment and tools that can speed up your employee activities at work (hopefully), knowing how to arrange these is also important. What is the point of having one huge and very expensive printer if it is located a room away from where it should be? Arrange your equipment and furniture so moving around the office actually makes sense. Performing activities in a sequence will create a laid back atmosphere; everyone will be able to gracefully move from one place to another and all for a good reason! Setting up your office to not only look good, but also creating an efficient environment will also help to your new employees, using logic, they will often figure things out on their own and have an easier time fitting in.

Designing and properly equipping your officeOpens in a new tab. will most likely reduce clutter in the areas and help you avoid all those things that used to slow down your employees.

8. Training And Education Of Your Employees

No one likes to get to a workplace and have no idea what to do exactly, it is one of the most stressful things in the world, but it is also easily prevented! Have your employees train and educate themselves about their work. Training and education have a great impact on the confidence and productivity levels of employees.

Once you make your employees train and educate themselves, you will have them acquire new skills, feel more confident, revive their old skills, increase their workplace satisfaction, share their skills and make them more productive than ever. There are many employees out there who sit and wonder what to do on their jobs; this makes them feel confused, lost and sometimes even clumsy. Understanding that not everyone has been around in the office since the start is important and sharing your knowledge is always appreciated. Certain training methods also serve as a great way of creating friendships between co-workers and building up a team working spirit.

9. Workplace Ergonomics

If you want to increase productivity at your workplace, you should learn more about workplace ergonomics. Understanding the limitations and capabilities of your employees is important and helping them deal with repetitive tasks, bad posture and fatigue are one of the things you need to take care of.

There are many offices out there featuring terrible desksOpens in a new tab. and chairs, their employees battle with awful back pains, fatigue, headaches and sometimes even serious injuries. Invest and get comfortable chairs and desks for your employees, ask them about their ideas and take into consideration their capabilities when you do. Repetitive tasks and tasks that can cause strain on the body combine to reduce your employee productivity heavily. Workplace ergonomics can increase your workplace productivity and bring a better atmosphere to your business as it is – do not ignore that.

10. Food And Cooking At Your Workplace

It is mainly the kitchen where we feel at home, take breaks and get our food. If your office does not have a kitchen, your employees might be forced to eat junk, unhealthy food in order to keep going. Knowing that we are what we eat, this is a bad thing for your business!

Everyone likes to eat fresh meals and something warm every now and then, an oven, a couple of counters, fridge and a few pans will hurt no one, but they can make your employees more productive than ever. As your employees will be making their own meals, they will be discussing recipes, taking breaks and creating a bond between one another. Having employees communicate and share ideas is a great thing for your business, so get a kitchen in your office, right now!

11. Onboarding System

Google is one of the companies who use the onboarding system to help and improve their new employee’s productivity, as soon as they get on the team. The onboarding system is actually rather simple; it is designed to integrate your new employees into the workplace faster and pair them up with a co-worker for support and training. The two employees are encouraged to work in tandem and share experience and ideas. According to the statistics, workplaces who use the onboarding systemOpens in a new tab. report 25% higher productivity than workplaces without and the workers feel more at home in their new environment much faster.

Onboarding system is an amazing way to help get your new employees started, and it will be a lot easier for them to understand your policies, rules, and workflow.

12. Work Flow Protocols

While workflow protocols are usually a part of most basic employee training, it is also a way to get your employees more engaged in finding new business solutions. Workflow protocols teach basic, yet logical things your employees must know when working for you. 

Always reward those employees who adapt to your workflow protocols and those who do their best to remember them, these individuals may even aid your company by innovating new ways to improve your protocols and share their knowledge with the rest of the team. Workflow protocols improve your employee’s productivity, make them work together and teaches them more about their daily work.

13. Weekend Activities

Weekends or days off are a chance for everyone to have a break from their daily jobs and enjoy some free time. Schedule some activities and have your employees spend some time together playing tennis in the open, visit a cinema and watch that movie the entire office has been talking about.

These activities bring your employees togetherOpens in a new tab.; they encourage them to spend more time together and make it a lot easier to get to know each other. Having employees communicate and share great moments is an amazing way to motivate them at work. Those employees who actively hang out together have shown to be great in teamwork activities, and they often bring solutions to business problems a lot more than those who do not socialize as much.

14. Complimentary Coffee

Complimentary coffee is probably one of the cheapest things you can do in order to increase your employee productivity. Many of us can hardly imagine starting their day without a cup of coffee, and that is completely fine! Caffeine actually improves your memory and concentration at work; it reduces error rates and often gives a very similar effect as a quick nap we all crave for sometimes.

Coffee has shown to make people feel a lot more productive at their workplaces; it gives them a refreshing feeling and more motivation to push further. Everything is just so much easier smelling and drinking coffeeOpens in a new tab.!

15. Desk Shifting

You probably never thought that desk shiftingOpens in a new tab. is an important thing that can increase your employee’s productivity. Shifting desks is a great way to expose your employees to different situations, people and tasks. While your employees might really love the place their desk is at, it is important you move them every now and them and increase their collaboration by doing so.

Whenever you shift the desks, your employees will finally be exposed to people they probably never spoke to, and they will meet people from other departments and soak in all of the new information they can. Among all this information, your employees will also get new skills to work with, and it will boost up their morale and motivation at work. Doing this costs nothing at all; it is a small action that can actually make a huge difference in the performance of your employees and business results.

16. Working From Home

Give a chance to your employees to try and work from homeOpens in a new tab.. There are many advantages people get by working from home, they have no reason to overthink their clothing choices, they have their peace, and they schedule their own time. Having your employees to work from home will boost their productivity levels and make them a lot more satisfied with their work at the end of the day.

There are many companies afraid of losing control over their employees; these companies are wrong and do all the opposite of what they should. Working from home does not only benefit your employees, but it also benefits you as an employer.

17. Personal Projects

It is in our nature to want and develop ourselves, we wish to be better versions of our own selves, and we always crave to show our skills and talents. Making sure you allow your employees to get engaged and develop themselves is a huge step towards great business productivity.

Let your employees educate themselves, encourage them to take courses and attend all kinds of conferences. Doing so, you will have them put time into their own personal projects and most likely have a bunch of new ideas for your business. GoogleOpens in a new tab. is again an amazing example. Their employees have a chance to spend 20% of their time working on their own projects and ideas – this is how we got Google News and Gmail!

18. Employee Happiness As A Priority

Did you know that happy people are over 30% more productiveOpens in a new tab. than people filled with negativity? Listen and consider the ideas your employees give to you, show them how important they are to you and have them understand you want them to be happy. There is nothing better than having an office filled with positivity and consistent workflow.

Host team lunches, happy hours or surprise them with some tasty food, everyone will appreciate it and try to be better so that you do it again! Showing your appreciation to the workers is important; it boosts their confidence, morale and shows their work is of great value.

19. Collaboration Tools

Collaboration is great, and it promotes employee engagement. It does not matter whether your employees are spread all over the facility, with internet services today and in-house networking, your employees can stay connected at all times. Using collaboration toolsOpens in a new tab. such as cloud-based services, your employees will have an easy time sharing all of the important information and message one another whenever it is needed.

Collaboration tools encourage teamwork, sharing, and communication. There are many offices out there using various software and applications to keep their employees connected together at all times, be it at home or in a dog park.

20. Office Socials

Team building is a great way to establish a great working relationship with your employees. Most people think office socials are an expensive thing that requires a lot of effort, but in reality, office socials can be rather simple. Your employees do not need to be eating in the fanciest restaurant out there in order to socialize and have a great time; you can literally order pizza for the entire office or have them go out for a few drinks.

Today, there are many companies who support and promote office social events, and they are a great team building strategy, known for getting people closer and making their friendships blossom just after a couple of times. Office socials are also a great step for those who find it hard to communicate and get to know other co-workers, those shy people!

21. Knowing Your Employees

As much as it might seem impossible, getting to know all of your employees should be one of the most important things. Employers often have no time to actually to sit down and get to know their new employees – this is wrong. How does an employer make their employees happy if he/she does not know much about them?

Employees are people featuring different personalities, hobbies, interests, and backgrounds, accepting them as they are and getting to know them is an enormous step toward better teamwork and understanding. As an employer, you should know about the opinions and ideas your team has, know how to reward them for their efforts.

22. Diversity At Workplace

Diversity is great; it is amazing and makes all of your employees have a great time interacting and working together. Hiring employees who have different personal values, religion, culture, and tradition is an amazing way of having your office share and understand different values in life. The more diversity you have in your office, the more your employees will learn one from another, they will share their experiences, get to know each other and create a lot more productive environment.

Diversity is not only great for the productivityOpens in a new tab. of your employees, but it is also great for their skills! People with different backgrounds have different skills; they are experiencing certain things differently and having them share their knowledge will teach others a wider range of skills right away. 

23. Encourage Physical Activity

You do not have to be sitting all day in your office chair to realize physical activity is crucial for your well being and your health. There are many companies out there who simply ignore the need for physical activity; this can have a negative effect on your employees, everyone needs to keep active, no matter the work they do. Giving your employees a chance to do physical activities is a great way to make them more productive.

Next time you wish to promote physical activity at your workplaceOpens in a new tab., suggest them to have a ‘’walk to work’’ day, encourage them to take the stairs instead of the elevator and provide them with showers and locker rooms. Exercise makes people happier, creative and a lot more productive than they naturally are. As your employees exercise together, you will start to notice how much closer they actually get; they will talk a lot more and get engaged in work more than ever before!

24. Keep Your Workplace Tidy

Dirty desks, clutter, empty bags, useless papers, and unorganized office can cause discomfort and agitation. Make sure you keep strict rules on cleanliness, keeping the office tidy and clutter-free is a priority for everyone and everyone should respect it. Clutter and dirty desks have shown to have a terrible influence on our productivity and our well-being.

Keeping the office tidy is not hard at all, just ensure everyone cleans their desk and work spots every single day, use file cabinets and keep your pathways clean. Dirty surroundings have a negative effect on our brains; they make us depressed, less motivated, tired and unproductive.

25. Secure Your Workplace

No one wants to work in an unsafe environment, keeping your office secure at all times can greatly impact your business results. Securing your workplaceOpens in a new tab. might not be the cheapest solution out there, but it is both important and is certain to improve efficiency. In a world filled with rush and impatience, people hardly ever feel safe at their workplace. Invest in a security system, smart locks, cameras, and sensors. In addition to securing the workplace externally, it can also allow workers to feel more secure if areas are locked to unauthorized staff, allowing them to work without worry or disruption.

Employees can see these devices, appreciate the security and also feel like the workplace is more professional. While your employees will become more productive thanks to this, you will also have fewer worries over the security of your office.

Related Questions

Can music have an impact on employee productivity? Music is one of the things that truly influences our thinking, creativity, productivity, and motivation. Music can greatly impact your employee productivityOpens in a new tab., make sure you let them know singing, tapping their hands and feet is not a way to go. While music is great, there should still be respect and mindfulness for those who are not really fond of it.

What is the best natural light alternative? Halogen bulbs are one of the best alternatives to natural daylight. Also known as ‘’white light’’, halogen bulbs use a little bit more energy than others and are also a little bit more expensive than most. While they are quite pricey, their lifetime is outstandingly good, and their light has proven to be very close to natural lighting.

Steve Todd

Steve Todd, founder of Open Sourced Workplace and is a recognized thought leader in workplace strategy and the future of work. With a passion for work from anywhere, Steve has successfully implemented transformative strategies that enhance productivity and employee satisfaction. Through Open Sourced Workplace, he fosters collaboration among HR, facilities management, technology, and real estate professionals, providing valuable insights and resources. As a speaker and contributor to various publications, Steve remains dedicated to staying at the forefront of workplace innovation, helping organizations thrive in today's dynamic work environment.

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