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How to increase productivity in unexpected ways

Most small to mid-sized businesses would love to see ANY increase in productivity, but they are often too busy with the day-to-day tasks to even begin to deal with it. There are many ways to increase productivity and most of them take excessive capital investment; but sadly, a few-percent jump in productivity typically will not pay for the investment. But there is a way!

Business heads and owners often look at production equipment as the key to increasing productivity. While investment in equipment will certainly increase production productivity, such as new computer systems or new manufacturing equipment, the reality is that it is limited, and in our modern world most companies are reasonably up-to-date on these aspects of business. Unless you’re a small company doing things by hand, production equipment in the twenty-first century is very efficient already, so little can be done to increase things there.

So where can you increase productivity?

The answer might surprise you, but the first place to increase productivity is through cutting waste.

Imagine a foundry, typically dark and very dirty, but they have some very tough people who create amazing castings for things such as the engine block in your car, or the housing for the compressor that runs the refrigerator in your kitchen. If one of these valiant employees who dares to work with hot molten steel and aluminum makes an error when pouring or breaking out a casting and the casting is damaged, then the casting gets a quick cleaning and must be melted right back down to be poured another time. That is lost productivity!

Or what if an office worker is shivering in their cubicle wearing an extra layer of clothing to stay warm and then gets up to get a warm cup of coffee? Do we imagine that they are being productive? Not likely.

Productivity is directly related to human satisfaction

Productivity is directly related to human satisfaction and their ability to properly function in their work environment. If the work environment is lacking in any way, then it is certain that productivity will be lower. This is not to say that productivity will go down, but rather that it is now, and always has been down. In fact, it has never been “up” because these conditions have always existed in the company.

So how do we deal with this?

The surprising answer is that it is done by optimizing your environment. Optimizing your environment is done through Energy Efficiency efforts. But not in an “environmentalist” sense. That’s typically a false starter. Rather, it is in a real facts-based sense. When you review your heat, AC, and lighting situation, you'll be surprised how it can be changed for little cost at the risk of increasingproductivity. That’s right, one of the biggest productivity boosters is a comfortable work environment. We can call it the “Goldilocks” environment. Not to cold and not to hot, ALL YEAR LONG. Not too bright and not too dark, night and day. An environment that's “just right!” for most everyone.

The problem is that, too often, companies just slap up a few new light fixtures and turn up the thermostat in winter or give the AC a boost in summer. This is not the solution. The solution is to implement a solid Energy Management Program and take initiative to get the proper adjustable lighting and the proper heating and cooling peripherals.

Am I taking about a new HVAC system? Nope! Well, maybe if you need one. But actually, there are things like protective film that is professionally applied to windows that can help to reduce the sun’s negative effect, and for those who have southern facing offices it keeps staff more comfortable and lowers your electric bill. And it typically pays for itself in short order with the added benefit of comfortable, happy, and highly productive employees!

There are many things like this that you can do to increase employee productivity. Simple things like the color temperature of the lighting and the brightness of the lighting can make a world of difference in both industrial and office environments, thus reducing trips to get a coffee to warm up and less chance of operator error due to improper lighting. And the list goes on…

In our competitive economy you need every advantage you can get. Boost your company productivity with a good Energy Management Program. Begin by getting key employees enrolled in a good Online Energy Management Training Course and then support their requests to make the needed changes.

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