Making Work More Productive and More Human

Work productivity is a fundamental aspect of achieving organisational goals and individual success. However, as businesses strive for efficiency and profitability, it's easy to overlook the human aspect of work.  

Yet, a strong correlation exists between productivity and a person's job satisfaction and overall wellbeing. Recognising the importance of this connection, it becomes crucial to explore strategies that can make working environments more productive while prioritising the human element.  

Here are five strategies for making work more productive and more human:  

#1: Encourage autonomy

Allowing teams to have a say in how they work and which projects they undertake can significantly increase their sense of ownership and motivation. When people have more control over their working environment and feel empowered to make decisions, productivity and job satisfaction naturally increase.  

Therefore, by fostering an atmosphere of autonomy, organisations can tap into the innate drive of individuals to take ownership of their tasks, resulting in a more engaged and productive workforce. 

Atlassian, an Australian technology company known for its innovative software products, has implemented a culture of autonomy and trust.  

Employees are free to choose their projects and work methods through their "Open Company, No Bullshit" approach. This autonomy has increased job satisfaction as workers feel a stronger sense of fulfilment and engagement.  

Moreover, it has driven productivity by allowing teams to tap into their creativity, problem-solving skills, and individual strengths.  

By trusting their employees and giving them autonomy, Atlassian has created a work environment that fosters innovation, engagement, and high-quality work. 

#2: Promote work-life balance

It's no secret that a healthy balance between work and personal life is crucial for overall wellbeing and productivity. People who feel overwhelmed or burnt out are less likely to perform at their best. 

It makes sense for organisations to encourage employees to take time off when needed and implement flexible working arrangements to address this.  

By doing so, people can better manage their personal commitments while still meeting their professional responsibilities, increasing job satisfaction and productivity. 

Online employment marketplace Seek Limited prioritises work-life balance as essential for a productive and human-centred workplace.  

They offer flexible working arrangements, including remote work and flexible hours, allowing their teams to manage their professional and personal lives effectively.  

Seek also provides generous leave policies, including additional leave for long service, enabling employees to recharge and focus on their wellbeing. They actively promote a positive work culture that values work-life balance, offering wellness programs, fitness activities, and social events to foster community.  

Seek's promotion of work-life balance has resulted in higher job satisfaction, increased employee retention, and a more motivated and productive workforce.  

#3: Cultivate a positive work culture

A supportive and positive work environment improves team morale, motivation, and collaboration. Encouraging open communication and providing a platform for employees to share their thoughts and ideas creates a sense of belonging and fosters a culture of innovation. Recognising and celebrating successes, both big and small, further enhances the positive work culture.  

Companies should also prioritise rewarding and acknowledging good work, as this motivates people and reinforces the value of their contributions.  

Canva, a graphic design and visual communication platform based in Sydney, Australia, is an excellent example of this strategy's effectiveness.  

They celebrate successes and recognise individual and team achievements, fostering a sense of appreciation and boosting team morale.  

Canva also emphasises motivation by providing opportunities for professional growth and development, encouraging employees to take ownership of their career progression.  

They value collaboration and facilitate effective teamwork through an open office layout and regular team-building activities, creating an environment where ideas are shared, feedback is encouraged, and collaboration thrives.  

By prioritising recognition, motivation, and collaboration, Canva creates a work environment that supports and values its people. A positive work culture enhances worker satisfaction and productivity, ultimately leading to the organisation's overall success. 

#4: Provide opportunities for learning and growth

Team members who have the chance to learn and grow in their positions are more likely to be motivated and feel engaged.  

Offering internal and external training opportunities will encourage individuals to take on new challenges and responsibilities.  

By investing in the development of their people, organisations not only enhance their skills and knowledge but also demonstrate a commitment to their personal and professional growth, resulting in a highly skilled, adaptable, and motivated workforce to contribute their best work. 

#5: Prioritise employee wellbeing

People's wellbeing should be a priority for every company and employer, including providing resources and support for mental and physical health and opportunities for social connections and community building.  

American outdoor clothing and gear retailer Patagonia is renowned for its commitment to employee wellbeing and work-life balance. They provide generous paid time off, including paid parental leave, sabbaticals, and onsite childcare facilities.  

Patagonia also encourages employees to engage in outdoor activities by offering flexible work schedules and company-wide "surf days" that allow people to take time off and enjoy recreational activities.  

Additionally, Patagonia offers wellness programs focusing on mindfulness, yoga, and meditation, onsite fitness centres, and subsidised gym memberships. They also prioritise sustainability and environmental initiatives, reflecting their commitment to creating a positive impact on both their employees and the world. 

Human-centred productivity offers long-term profitability

By implementing these five strategies of autonomy, work-life balance, positive work culture, opportunities for learning and growth, and employee wellbeing, organisations will be better able to build a more engaged, motivated, and committed workforce.  

Integrating human-centric practices into productivity strategies is crucial for organisations aiming to achieve long-term profitability.  

By considering their employees' wellbeing, satisfaction, and growth, organisations create an environment where individuals can thrive, leading to higher productivity, employee retention, and overall success.  

Furthermore, by recognising the value of the human element in the workplace, companies foster a positive and fulfilling work environment and position themselves for sustained profitability, which is a much more secure way for organisations to plan for long-term growth and success. 


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