Slacking Staff? Try These 4 Simple Steps to Improve Productivity

Office Meeting Room

Have your staff been unproductive of late? Before you barge down on them, consider improving their environment. From skylights to plants and from nap times to a fresh lick of paint, there are many steps—both big & small—you can take to boost your staff’s level of productivity.

1. Plants

A green office is a productive office. According to various scientific studies the addition of plants to your workspace could have an enormous impact on your staff’s level of productivity. On top of seeing a significant increase in productivity, plants in the workplace will also increase the quality of life of your staff and up their level of engagement. Who wouldn’t want that?

The best plants to place in an office environment are those that require minimal watering, improve air quality and act as natural filtration systems. Take your pick from the following plants for productivity:

  • Crassula ovata: A small flowering succulent that is ideal for desks. It’s also known as the “money plant” and Japanese folklore says its presence alone brings financial success.
  • Spathiphyllum: A large air-cleaning plant that can thrive in low lighting office conditions. Perfect for communal office areas, meeting rooms and reception areas.
  • Parlor palm: Add an exotic touch to your workspace with this small palm tree. This plant requires minimal lighting to grow and acts as a beautiful space-divider in cramped offices.
  • Gerbera: This plant is as practical as it is pretty. Amongst other things, the Gerbera is adept at removing benzene from the air which is massively beneficial in offices that do a lot of printing. 

2. Natural Light

Did you know extensive research has proven that exposure to natural light can not only boost the productivity of office workers but better their overall health too? In a workplace environment a lack of sunlight increases stress levels, sleep deprivation and reduces melatonin levels—all of which affect productivity.

In addition to this, increased natural light will result in your staff experiencing:

  • Mood improvement
  • Less headaches
  • Eye strain reduction
  • Less instances of human error

In other words, if you want your staff to become more productive then you need to ensure they’re exposed to as much natural light as possible. Consider installing floor-to-ceiling windows, adding skylights or even implementing mandatory “outside time” periods to provide your staff with all the benefits of natural light.

3. Colour

This next tip can be tough to implement in corporate environments, but if it is all but guaranteed to improve productivity wouldn’t it be worth it? Colour plays a surprisingly large role in productivity and different colours achieve different results in the goal of increased productivity. 

Certain colour choices can actually hinder productivity while others can help it flourish while boosting creativity and mood. Here’s a quick overview of the dos and don’ts of workplace colours and the psychology behind them.


Always use colour wisely and keep your desired results in mind when adding a splash of colour to your office environment. Here are a few examples of the best colours for workspaces and why:

  • Blue: If your staff often experience mental strain and always require a strong focus, blue is the way to go. This colour represents intelligence, trust and efficiency.
  • Red: This is perfect for staff whose roles demand physical exertion. Red represents strength, courage and a healthy dash of excitement.
  • Yellow: If stimulating creativity, positivity and optimism is your end goal, yellow will help you achieve this. Yellow represents happiness, creativity, friendliness and other characteristics we all want our staff to possess.


In the same way some colours will boost productivity, others will hinder it. Here are colours you may want to avoid in your office for reasons that may surprise you.

  • Grey: While it may look modern and sophisticated, grey can wreak havoc on your staff’s productivity and leave them feeling, well, grey. This colour can stimulate feelings of sadness, depression and make staff feel like doing anything other than their job.
  • Black: For the same reasons as listed above, like grey, black should not be used in an office environment. If you insist on using grey or black in your design scheme, minimise the usage of these colours as far as possible by sticking to accents and feature walls.

4. Sleep

This sounds crazy, but an afternoon nap can make your employees much more productive. Even though this seems far removed from the typical productivity-increasing tips you’ve come across it is actually a common practice in businesses around the world.

Take America for example. Google offers all employees across to sleeping pods while Pizza Hut, Nike and the Huffington Post all have dedicated nap rooms for their staff & we doubt anyone questions these businesses’ levels of productivity.

This is because it has been proven that a 30-minute nap can enhance performance and productivity, improve memory, reduce stress, restore alertness & minimise the likelihood of making mistakes. Let you staff sleep their way to increased productivity!

Final Thoughts

Whether you decide to install a skylight or two or plan on painting your office bright blue, we’re certain you’ll enjoy your staff’s increased level of productivity. Which of these steps will you be following? Or are you going to go all in and implement all four? Let us know down below! 

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