Good managers already know that workers are more productive when they’re part of a positive company culture, when they’re not bogged down by busy work or red tape and when they’re maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
While these strategies are tried-and-true, they shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all of your productivity-boosting arsenal. Instead, consider these unusual tips for taking your team’s productivity to the next level.
- Fill the office with flowers.
This probably sounds really weird, but there’s a lot of research to back it up. Studies have found that simply looking at flowers can help people feel more energized, think more creatively, problem solve in a more innovative way and feel happier overall, all of which can enhance job performance.
- Move your office near a green space.
Once you know that exposure to flowers can boost productivity, it probably doesn’t come as a huge surprise that the same is true for exposure to green spaces. Research has found that being around trees and plants in a natural setting can reduce stress, improve mental health and increase creative thinking and problem solving, all of which translates to greater performance back at work. If you have the ability to give your team members access to green space, do it —and then encourage them to go there.
- Paint the office yellow.
Research has found that exposure to the color orange can help people concentrate. While you probably don’t want to go overboard and cover the floor, ceilings and walls in the sunny color, an orange wall or orange accents throughout the office just might give your team an extra reason to focus.
- Invest in quick and healthy meals for your employees.
While you can’t force your employees to eat healthy, you can certainly treat them to healthy meals every once and a while. The best part? It doesn’t have to drain the business bank account. There are a lot of cheap and healthy meal delivery services out there such as Freshly, Eatology and Magic Kitchen that make for great healthy meal options.
- Encourage employees to look at cat pictures on the internet.
This no doubt goes against every bone in a classically trained manager’s body – but it might actually work. A Japanese study found that looking at pictures of cute animals can lead to a boost in concentration. So if your team members are working on a big project, it might actually behoove them to browse pictures of kittens, puppies and pygmy goats.
- Hire an office comedian.
Okay, so this might not in the budget, but if you can find a way to give your employees a reason to laugh on a regular basis, you’ll be doing your company a service. That’s because studies have found that team members who laugh a lot in their workplaces demonstrate increased productivity and greater work performance overall. Even if you can’t host a regular comedy night, cultivating a light-hearted, respectful company culture can help encourage humorous interactions at work.
- Give employees a mattress stipend.
At this point, there’s enough research on this subject that the connection between high-quality sleep and greater productivity is undeniable. But research has also found that many people are prevented from getting high-quality sleep because they’re trying to doze on a poor-quality mattress. By enabling your employees to upgrade their mattresses, you’ll simultaneously give them a chance to upgrade their workplace productivity and their overall quality of life.
- Install treadmill desks.
Make sure you have your employees’ consent, of course — no one wants to show up at work only to discover they’re going to be forced to march on a treadmill all day against their will. But team members who relish the thought of squeezing in some exercise while at work will enjoy greater mental alertness and increased productivity. Just know there is an adjustment period: It can take a few months for people to get used to moving while working, but after they acclimate to this new work style they’re likely to see improvements in their job performance.
These strategies might seem wacky, but there’s sound research suggesting that everything from painting the office yellow to filling it with flowers might just be the ticket to boosting your team’s productivity.
Dan Scalco is the founder and Director of Marketing at Digitalux, a digital marketing agency located in Hoboken, New Jersey. Throughout his career, he has helped hundreds of businesses save time, increase leads, and maximize sales.