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As the outlook for business activity continues to improve, how could you improve productivity?

As the UK continues to throw off more of its lockdown restrictions, business activity in the country is booming. A flash reading of the IHS Markit Composite PMI for June revealed a score of 61.7, as City A.M. reports. As any score over 50 indicates growth, the economic picture is undoubtedly looking promising.

The PMI combines two readings – for, respectively, the services and manufacturing sectors – and shows some of the “strongest monthly improvements in business activity across the private sector since 1998,” IHS Markit commented. This growth led businesses to recruit at “an unprecedented rate” in June.

Why this rosy picture could be under threat

“There are some signs that the rate of expansion appears to have peaked, as both output and new order growth cooled slightly from May’s record performances,” Chris Williamson, Chief Business Economist at IHS Markit, has observed.

Similarly, Lloyds Bank senior economist Rhys Herbert has warned of the possibility that “near-term constraints, with sectors now reporting shortages of labour, continued disruptions in the supply chain and rising cost pressures, are starting to hold back output.”

So, if your business is currently on a roll, how can you keep its momentum going – or even further boost its already-high productivity? Here are a few ideas…

Make sure your workers have the right tools at their disposal

Ultimately, your staff can only work with the tools they are given. This is why, if your team’s level of productivity has started faltering, you should investigate whether any of the equipment or software you have handed your workers is looking outdated.

Company Bug cites the “basic example” of a “slow-running computing system showing its age and becoming a frustration for those using it”. Similarly, if your business currently relies on an old-fashioned, landline-based phone system, you could consider switching to a unified communications system, as this would be fantastic for enhancing your communications in the workplace.

Keep the working environment comfortable

Naturally, you can’t be certainly exactly what type of working environment your employees would find comfortable until you get this information from the horse’s mouth. However, certain moves to increase the comfort of your workplace are likely to make sense in many instances.

For example, you should keep the workplace’s temperature steady, as your staff’s concentration could otherwise be at risk. Another good idea would be to keep work areas well-lit – ideally with natural light. If casting these spaces in such lightingwouldn’t be practically possible, though, you could instead use bulbs that emit warm, daylight colours.

Encourage your employees to take regular breaks

Strange but true: spending a bit of time out on occasion can help enhance your concentration for when you return to the saddle. According to research mentioned in an Inc. piece, taking short breaks during lengthy tasks can help to preserve a constant level of performance.

You could share this research finding with your staff –and also invite them to take exercise breaks, as other research suggests that doing this could help them to clear their heads and re-establish their focus.

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