The health of your employees is important for any business, and so is their happiness. A happy workforce normally equals a productive one, as long as your staff aren't spending too much of their time on non-work duties.
Gadgets and mobile apps are now huge business, and the reality is they can improve your employee's health, morale, and therefore productivity no matter what sector you operate in. We're going to look at how technology and gadgets could make the difference for you by fostering the happy and productive workforce you need.
With the growth in popularity of social media, many small businesses are finding that their employees are spending too much time on Facebook and other sites. Some firms have decided to implement blanket bans, but this could be going too far.
The reality is, employees have always found ways to do less work when they really want to. Few businesses would consider banning chatting across the office floor and this is a similar principle. Be flexible and understanding, make it known that Facebook is allowed in moderation during slow periods, and your employees should be more understanding when they realise that really ought to be doing some work.
Banning things left, right and centre rarely works and it often causes a feeling of resentment among staff. Give a little, and they should reward you by actually being happier (and more motivated) in the workplace. Make sure your staff knows that as long as they're delivering the goods, you don't mind them browsing Facebook occasionally to catch up with friends.
If you can give your employee the right laptop to work from home, they can handle remote work far more effectively, improving productivity even further.
Think outside the box
Actually, there's a good way of twisting overuse of social media on its head. If you haven't embraced the business side of Facebook yet, you should. It's a great tool for growing your brand and connecting with customers.
Why don't you give a bit of extra responsibility to that worker who keeps wasting time on social networks by giving them some marketing duties? Fine tune your company's image on Facebook and Twitter, use them to connect with customers and grow your business.
It's a similar principle with smartphones. You might think your staff are spending too much time on them, but they're also a great way to stay connected and "working" even when you think they're not. Supply your employees with business phones and you could help make sure they keep handling work duties even when they're at lunch or at home. Make sure their business email is synched with their phone and they'll be able to spot urgent issues even when they aren't at work.
Use technology to increase productivity
Things like email are already fully standardized in the workplace. Technology has offered new ways to improve productivity for decades. Computers and then email have made communications and administration much easier in offices. But there are other ways technology can continue to improve your workplace.
Many businesses have long-complained that they're not getting enough out of their staff because of too many toilet or cigarette breaks. Unlike Facebook browsing, going outside every half an hour for a cigarette can't really be turned into a positive, it's lost time and it's also unhealthy.
A cluster of employees standing at the entrance smoking is also a big turn-off for customers and potential clients. Not only that, but continuing to smoke increases health problems and could lead to more sick days for your staff. There's a net gain for your business if your employees decide to give up smoking.
Despite the health benefits associated with using electronic cigarettes instead of the real thing, there's actually a productivity benefit for your business, too. Not only is it in your interest for your employees to stop smoking (for benefits associated to health and how they present themselves), but electronic cigarettes are completely safe to use indoors.
That means your employees can continue to do their job at their desk even whilst getting their nicotine fix (and hopefully on their way to quitting). It also doesn't clutter your entrance with uninviting smokers.
There are tons of technological advances which can improve your workplace for the better. From health to happiness, treating your workforce right could make a huge difference in productivity.