How to Be More Productive at Work
08 Jul 2022 2 mins read By Andrea Amato

Your guide to sustain daily motivations for in-office and remote jobs. 


With most organisational research, a standalone feature that connects the dots of business needs consistently points to productivity. If employees feel motivated in their work, they will be more productive. If they work remotely as a result of a pandemic, they will be more productive. Whatever the starting point, the end gain revolves around employee productivity that benefits their self and organisational goals.  

In order to understand what productivity is and why it’s so important to encourage in the workplace, exploring the multiple factors that correlate to it is a good way to find out. Productivity can also turn intricate: in the flurry of a busy atmosphere, does it mean you are being productive if you’re just getting tasks done in the nick of time? Are you following a set number of goals, or populating your day with ad hoc tasks provided to you from your team? 

Productivity isn’t about filling your day with tasks to be able to say you’d gotten work done by the end of the day. Rather, someone who is productive is able to complete their work whilst putting in their creative insights and potential. There is no one way to be more productive, employees turn introspectively to discover what unique talents they can add to make their day-to-day jobs in Malta and beyond more fruitful.  

Nevertheless, it’s not enough to maximise your productivity without the support of a positive workplace culture. Your workplace environment falls under one of the components able to boost employee morale and productivity. This seems understandable enough, for a company willing to invest in employee potential and development allows employees to work on their best selves, which will ultimately spill onto the organisation. 


What is productivity?  


Productivity is when tasks are efficiently completed and meet organisational goals. It’s a workplace priority because a productive workforce leads to increased business profitability and employee morale. Efficiency is an important marker of productivity because you are able to rid yourself of elements that can slow down your progress. This can mean, for example, switching off your mobile phone when busying a task. By doing so, you are able to achieve your goals in an optimum amount of time with minimum distractions. 

However, you want to ensure the element of time doesn’t become too high a priority. Although you want to complete tasks in a timely manner, you don’t want this to disrupt your quality of work. This means that you want to work correctly as much as you want to complete your work in adequate time. This applies to in-office and remote jobs, including diverse industries such as in finance, banking, software development, and so forth. 

Further general tips to help maximise your productivity include: 

  • Turning off any devices that distract your workflow, including tablets and/or mobile phones, 
  • Avoid accessing social media through your work computer, and 
  • Avoid listening to music with lyrics. 

Everyone finds what makes them be more productive, and one aspect to this is the time of day someone feels more so. It is up to you to determine when you feel more productive—be it the morning hours or the later ones—to be able to plan your workload more effectively. It is worth completing tasks that require more effort in your more productive hours, and create a schedule around those.  

Additionally, keep track of your tasks with a daily to-do list, and this will help you manage your time better. If you’re realising that you are unable to complete these within your schedule, dedicate some time to determine how it can be improved. Apply goal setting approaches to your benefit by creating daily or weekly targets. Ensure that these are manageable and realistic given a certain timeframe, so that at you are able to reach your targets at your own pace. For long-term, organisational goals, write these down as well to serve as a reminder that these are to be achieved at a certain time. 


Why productivity matters 


Productivity is not solely about meeting business objectives. Fostering a workplace culture that promotes productivity will improve employee engagement and wellbeing, facilitating the success of an organisation for the long haul. In aligning our work with our personal belief systems and values, we are able to find meaning in our daily jobs in Malta and elsewhere.  

Nowadays, employees look for employment that aligns with personal values. This is a great motivating factor that will help employees strive to produce their best work consistently. Improving productivity helps individuals engage in more meaningful work and will subsequently aid in employee retention as well. In a report conducted by Achor et al. (2018), 9 out of 10 workers were willing to receive lesser pay if they’re able to work purposefully. This attests to the want, and need, for promoting meaning-making in the workplace to positively increase professional development.  

Contrarily, employees achieving tasks for the sake of getting these done are more likely to experience burnout and frustration as a result of completing tasks that they don’t find positively influencing. Unproductive employees often feel more distracted, multitask ineffectively, and poorly communicate their needs. This can affect surrounding employees and spread a poor workplace culture that brings down other team members. With this in mind, we need to begin prioritising meaningful work to support better employee productivity.  


Meaning making in the workplace 


Now that we understand today’s workplace priorities in terms of the employee and the organisation, and some of the elements that contribute to improved productivity, it’s time to explore practical recommendations for organisations. An unproductive workforce is not sustainable, so it is worth applying steps for change that will contribute to the organisation as a whole. 

As a starting point, we want to alter our perspectives to reflect achieving cognitively demanding tasks in efficient time with minimal distractions. Exploring personal motivators will help you work purposefully and successfully in your in-office or remote jobs, to do this requires putting some thought into what goals are more important than others to achieve these quicker.  

Strategies to place into practice for any jobs in Malta and beyond includes: 

  • Create boundaries around technology: explain to your employees that although communication is important, it is okay to neglect your emails in order to focus fully on a task and check these afterward.  
  • Optimise your work environment to minimise distraction: open offices can be disruptive when people are talking over one another, but there are rules that can be established, such as wearing headphones to indicate to employees that you do not want to be disturbed. Depending on availability, organisations can provide more private and quieter rooms for employees to use. Nowadays, many employees are working remote jobs, a positive for improved productivity as a means to avoid open office disruptions. 
  • Aim to reduce email volume: the high volume of emails we receive on a daily basis are perhaps one of the greatest distracting contenders. Managers and employers should encourage employees to send lesser emails and use other software to communicate within teams. For example, Slack is a business platform that aims to support communication needs between teams in an organised manner. That way, emails are used for external recipients rather than regular team communication. 
  • Hold meetings with clear aims: meetings (held in-office or online) can take up a lot of time, especially when these are spread out around a working day. To ensure that these are productive, schedule meetings when there are clear goals to pursue, send out any supportive documents in advance, and fully attend to the meeting in that you are not working on other tasks in the meantime. This is important for any industry, including HR and IT jobs in Malta.  

To conclude, enhancing productivity in the workplace can take some time, but it is clearly worthwhile to foster a beneficial workplace culture generally. Employees who are productive will feel more motivated to enter the workplace and strive to meet common organisational goals that will serve both employee and employer. 

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