3 Productivity Resolutions to Make in 2014

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Facebook at Work Improves Productivity

January 15, 2014

In September 2013, it was announced that output per hour in Britain was 16 percentage points below the average of other G7 nations. In fact, the only country that scored worse than the UK was Japan. Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, predicts that this will increase in 2014 — but before businesses can move forward, they need to look around and address what is holding them back. With the dawn of a new year almost upon us, there’s no better time to review working practices to become as productive as possible.

With this in mind, I’ve developed my top three productivity resolutions for 2014.

1. Be Flexible About Flexibility

One of the big business stories of 2013 was Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban employees from working at home. Her move created a lot of debate as many of Yahoo’s peers are openly embracing the flexible working life that the cloud and mobile devices enable. With research by CIO Net showing that 79% of enterprises see increasing employee efficiency as the key reason to implement mobile working, it’s definitely something to consider. Think about how much time is wasted by execs who spend multiple hours battling through rush-hour traffic or train delays to get into the office, when they could be developing that crucial proposal from their home office. Our very own Tanja Prossler suggests that you talk to your team about what would best suit them as individuals and the team as a whole, before putting concrete processes in place on the FT here. Whilst a completely open flexible working policy might not be right for your business, allowing people to work from home over the festive or summer period when many clients are out of the office might be a valuable compromise.

2. Involve Everyone in Innovation Efforts

According to Pricewaterhouse Coopers, 61% of CEOs worldwide consider innovation as a priority for their business. And as Liz Bolshaw wrote on the Financial Times, businesses are already trying their hardest to get ahead of the game by trying to come up with the next big thing. As I discussed in my previous blog post, A Problem Shared is a Problem Halved: Why Your Most Valuable Innovation Resource is Your Network, there’s nothing worse than panicking on your own when trying to solve a problem, especially when you have a powerful resource all around you: your colleagues! For this reason, I’d urge businesses of all sizes and people in all roles to resolve to involve everyone in innovation in 2014. Whether it’s implementing formal solutions like Spigit Engage or just inviting one or two people from every department to your next brainstorming session, the more people you have contributing, the greater the chance of generating game-changing ideas. It’s really a no-brainer.

3. Think and Act Positive

A recent study by the University of California concluded that ‘happy people’ perform better in the workplace. This isn’t exactly an Earth-shattering revelation, but with the hustle and bustle of everyday office life, it’s easy to forget the importance of creating and maintaining a positive mentality and atmosphere (particularly for us Brits, who are renowned for our cynicism). I know that when I’ve got multiple deadlines looming, stress can certainly get the better of me. But as the stats show, it’s important not to let this happen. As such, we should all make a more conscious effort to say thank you, document success, give out meaningful rewards, and create public displays of recognition throughout the year ahead. Check out this blog post for inspiration.