Man still hasn’t figured out how to add more time to the day. Therefore, the only way to get more work done at your practice on a daily basis is to increase your staff’s productivity. The problem is figuring out how to work smarter, not harder.
Well, sometimes the way to increase your staff’s productivity is the one you’d least expect. The solution may lie in a light bulb, or maybe in a thermostat. Although some of its items may seem silly at first glance, the list below could be the key to increasing your staff’s productivity.
Let the music play: A 2005 study showed that workers who listened to music while working finished their tasks more quickly and generated better ideas than those who didn’t.
Adjust the lighting: It’s been shown that workers lose 15 minutes a day to eye focusing problems due to direct lighting.
Adopt an analytics system: A respectable analytics system can track employee productivity with “to-do” lists, preventing important tasks from falling through the cracks.
Embrace telecommuting: 36% of 2,500 remote workers surveyed in an Office Today study reported being more productive working remotely rather than at the worksite. 88% reported being at least as productive working remotely.
Reduce meeting times: On average, each doctor in a medical group loses $21,000 in charges annually due to time spent in administrative meetings.
Go green: An examination of 5,220 French companies revealed that employees at companies observing eco-friendly practices were 16% more productive than the average employee.
Institute naptime: …but only 10 minutes worth. Studies show this to be the optimal time when looking to increase your staff’s productivity, with longer naps creating groggy employees.
Shorten emails: Keeping emails short and specific makes them easier to compose, thus reducing the time emailing and increasing the time actually spent performing work responsibilities.
Allow web surfing: A study from the National University of Singapore showed that mindless web surfing (in moderation) can actually increase your staff’s productivity.
Supply productivity enhancing snacks: Berries, walnuts, dark chocolate, yogurt, green tea and coffee have all been shown to affect brain processes that enhance productivity.
Adjust the thermostat: A 2004 Cornell study showed that raising the temperature from 68 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit reduced typing errors by 44% and increased typing output by 150%.
Display baby animal pictures: Admittedly, this one is odd. But according to researchers at Hiroshima University in Japan, it works. Puppy calendars for everyone!
Encourage gum chewing: Chewing gum 5 minutes prior to performing cognitive tasks enhanced performance for the first 15-20 minutes after gum chewing. The explanation was termed “mastication-induced arousal.”
Now, by no means should you implement all elements of this list at once. It’d be nearly impossible to figure out what works best. Keep in mind, however, that most of these suggestions are low- or no-cost solutions, meaning there is little risk involved.
To best apply the items above, think of your staff as a racecar, using the list for a tweak here or an adjustment there until your staff is performing at its peak.
Our Complete Guide to Practice Management includes more resources to help increase employee productivity at your practice.