How to Increase Employee Productivity

It’s a well-known feeling for anyone who has ever worked in an office — 3 p.m. rolls around, and time slows down. Energy levels decrease. Office productivity drops. Everyone would probably rather be napping than working.

Many people think the 3 p.m. slump is unavoidable, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Adding a few healthy fixes and avoiding habits that have an adverse effect on employees’ mood and energy levels can help create a healthy work environment. What does that mean for your bottom line? Often an uptick in productivity in the workplace.

Figuring out how to increase employee productivity is never easy, but these wellness and work life balance tips can help get things moving in the right direction.

Read on to find out how to be more productive at work.

6 Easy Ways to Say “So Long” to the 3 p.m. Slump

Drink Caffeine in Moderation

If you enjoy a caffeine pick-me-up every now and then, there’s no need to stop. In fact, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans point to strong and consistent evidence supporting the safety of moderate coffee intake—one of America’s most beloved caffeine sources (along with tea and soda). Up to 400 mg caffeine per day (roughly four 8 oz. cups of coffee) can be part of a healthy eating pattern and a healthy work environment, according to the Guidelines. Note that individuals who do not consume caffeinated beverages are not encouraged to incorporate them into their diet.

Don’t forget to balance caffeinated drinks with other beverages throughout the work day to avoid over doing it.

One easy solve for businesses that churn through coffee beans faster than printer paper: Offer a variety of refreshment alternatives. Flavored sparkling waters are a great option for employees who want to enjoy something flavorful without the added caffeine.

Caffeinated drinks are best in moderation

Hydration and Productivity in the Workplace

It can be easy to forget to drink water during the work day. But even mild dehydration can lead to some unwanted side effects (tiredness, for example, which can lead to reduced office productivity). Having healthy hydration options on hand and in sight is your best tool to ensure you start your day hydrated and stay hydrated.

Create a healthy work environment by building a customized water order at and encourage employees to take regular water breaks throughout the day to help them stay hydrated.

Drink plenty of water

Avoid Working While Sick for Better Office Productivity

Germs love hitching a ride into the office and tend to gather on shared surfaces like desktops and fridge handles. During cold and flu season, it’s possible that simple actions like opening the fridge or pressing the elevator button can spread illness-causing germs.

Promote a healthy work environment and prevent cold germs from spreading by encouraging employees to stay home when they are not feeling well. In addition to putting others at risk of catching what they have, employee productivity in the workplace is likely to go down when they are under the weather.

Keeping shared surfaces clean and reminding employees to wipe down their work stations regularly may also help.

Keep the germ-iest places clean

Keep Moving

Sitting for long periods of time might also impact how employees feel at work. In the short term, it can lead to back strain. Down the road, it may increase the risk of more serious issues that cause employees to miss work, reducing productivity in the workplace.

To promote office productivity, encourage employees to break up long periods of time spent seated. Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Create a daily, weekly or monthly step goal for the entire office
  • Provide places to work while standing like high-top tables or standing desks 
  • Have walk-and-talk meetings to the break room for water and a snack
Stand or walk every 90 minutes

Give Employees Work Life Balance Tips

Some employees find it difficult to disconnect from work at the end of the day or when they take time off. A 2014 study by Oxford Economics found that only 84% of paid time off gets used and 3.2 days per employee are unused each year. On top of that, e-mail has made it possible to be connected to work all the time.  

However, working around the clock is not linked to higher productivity. In fact, research has shown that productivity can begin to decline after 50 hours. Further, the output of 70-hour work week is very similar to the output of a 55-hour week. So, spending time disconnected from work can have benefits for both employee and employer. 

Coaching employees about how to be more productive at work during regular business hours, or work life balance tips like asking managers to limit their own late-night correspondence and encouraging employees to take time off, may help with this issue. 

Avoid too many late-night hours

Take Time for Lunch 

On the surface, skipping lunch may seem like an easy way to get more done during the work day, but forgoing meals may not lead to greater productivity in the workplace. 

Like the rest of your body, the brain requires energy to function. The best source of that energy is high quality, nutrient-dense foods, like whole grains, fruits and vegetables and protein-dense choices like nuts, seeds and low-fat dairy. In addition to a drop in energy levels, skipping meals also could lead to less-than-optimal diet choices later due to excessive hunger. 

Learn how to be more productive at work. Rather than skipping lunch, a good strategy for keeping energy high at work is taking time to enjoy a meal that includes nutrient-rich choices and hydrating refreshments.

Take a lunch break

Deciphering how to increase employee productivity can feel like a big undertaking, but recognizing and eliminating habits that may hinder it are great first steps on that journey. 

An e-mail-free day off, a quick lap around the office to get in some steps or a hydrating drink may not seem like much, but with time and repetition these small actions can add up.  

Keep reading for more tips about improving office wellness or visit to build a more productivity-minded refreshment program for employees.  

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