For the Love of Productivity


Productivity may mean different things to different individuals, companies and industries, but it always hinges on the effective work of people to bring about a favorable result.

 

Productivity is the yielding of results, benefits or profits. Every industry seeks productivity in one manner or another, whether in business, education, healthcare, or anything in between. While the results, benefits or profits sought by organizations and individuals may vary, there are key factors that play a vital part in our performance as people. Regardless of our role, it’s important to make changes to our approach when it comes to encouraging productive efforts.

Productivity through office design

A recent Steelcase study broke down some of the inhibitors of open office spaces. Despite the comfortable design of nooks and the ability to move around and engage with the environment, employees have continued to flock toward traditional workstations in the office. Why is that? It’s a matter of convenience and familiarity. Workers need somewhere they can plug in their devices, jot down ideas, and adjust a space to their specific style.

Office collaborative space with cafe chairs, tables, sectional couch, and wall mounted whiteboards

Joyea in China is a great example of the change corporations are making to accommodate the needs of their employees and enhance productive work. The company created spaces designed for different people, work styles, and to satisfy their needs for access to technology and collaborative tools. The result was a holistic, comfortable, and productive office environment that would foster creative thinking, independent work and collaboration. A dynamic setup allows employees to collaborate on-demand, while spaces are varied to meet the needs of individuals without inhibiting their focus.

Students in study area with chalkboard, hanging lamps, office lounge furniture, and bookcases

Productivity through classroom design

Schools around the world seek success in a different light than corporations. Student performance and engagement are the prize – but they’re also signs of a productive classroom. Without the right tools and methods, schools and educators can’t hope to productively bring students into the conversation and take part in active learning. Incorporating collaborative tools that get students moving and working together with one another to problem-solve can increase blood flow and enhance brain function.

Students with laptops at tables in classroom with teacher and whiteboard

Using collaborative tools like magnetic whiteboards and chalkboards with graphing or penmanship whiteboard grid lines can boost their utility while engaging students more intensively with the content. Another benefit to this approach is the reduced effort on the part of educators to prepare for board work in advance, leaving more time for focused attention to student learning.

Classroom with mobile chairs, tables, ottomans, and whiteboards

Productivity through healthcare design

Healthcare organizations, while required to conform to business practices to perform, have a unique definition of productivity. A guest article in Forbes, written by a physician, mentions that “productivity should not be based on metrics, but patients, and their specific needs, in order to produce high quality, reproducible outcomes with attention to cost containment through evidence based medicine.” This means that productivity isn’t based on the quantity of patients a healthcare facility can provide for, but the quality of care that comes from the effective mechanics of a finely tuned patient-care process.

When following this school of thought, effective collaboration between healthcare providers, their staff, and patients is essential to a productive healthcare organization. Creating opportunities for medical facilities to streamline communication between parties can enhance productivity of both the office and the care it provides.

Elderly patient in doctor's office pointing to laptop held by doctor while relative looks on

Productivity may mean different things to different individuals, companies and industries, but it always hinges on the effective work of people to bring about a favorable result. To support the productivity of everyone involved in those results, organizations need to take time to understand the requirements for productive work, the needs for effective collaboration and make the effort to implement those changes for the future.

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