Create an Experience Without Killing Productivity

These days, employees don’t just want to come to work, they want to enjoy an experience as they work. And many smart companies are accommodating this shift. From redesigned workspaces that do away with the cubicle to tech tools that allow for state of the art communication and project building, companies are transitioning from a task-oriented workplace to an experience-oriented job opportunity.

But if you want happier, more productive team members, you may not need to remodel the entire office. Here are a few other options that might make sense for you.

Understand what your people are actually doing day to day. There’s a classic scene in the movie Office Space, where the lead character Peter is asked to describe his day. When he responds with a series of non-work scenarios after which he concludes he only does about 15 minutes of actual work on any given day, the consultants are mystified. How could this be happening? Why doesn’t anyone realize what’s not happening?

When you take the time to get to know what your people are actually doing in a given day, you can help identify things that are slowing them down, limiting creativity and productivity and causing both of you to have a less fulfilling work experience. You may not be getting what you could from that person, and they may feel like their stuck in certain loops without any way out of them. Eliminate unnecessary and repetitive work and put them on a path to work that maximizes their value and experience.

Understand different approaches to work. In general, you have two different sorts of people, those that need breaks and those who would rather get tasks done before they stop. As much as you can, accommodate both. Don’t interrupt one sort with unnecessary meetings and don’t set draconian rubber stamp break times for employees who will do a better job if they have more flexibility.

Set meaningful real world deadlines that focus on more reward that just a paycheck. Yes, they are there to do a job for an agreed upon recompense, but people respond better to a wide range of recognition, and everyone appreciates taking a moment to celebrate a win.

Oh, and P.S…

Some have suggested allowing employees to surf the Internet between tasks as a reward for good work. Don’t do that. Not only is that a strong distraction from actual work, you’re not dealing with a bunch of kids here. They are there to work. They can hit up Facebook on their own time.

Elie Hirshfield is a successful American real estate developer in NYC.

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