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Small Business Owner? 2 Tips For Making This Year The Most Productive Ever By Keeping Your Employees On-Task

by Michelle West

If you own or manage a small business and struggle to keep your employees on-task, then you may struggle to think of ways to encourage productivity without feeling like "the bad guy." While it is important to ensure that your employees know that while you may be a "nice guy" after hours, when they are on-the-clock, they owe it to you to give their full attention to the job at hand that you are paying them to do. What can you do to encourage productivity in your office without leaving your employees disgruntled? Read on to learn two tips to keeping employees productive this year to make it your most lucrative year ever. 

1. Switch from an Open-office Floor Plan to Cubicles

If your employees are constantly talking to each other about their personal lives during work hours, then an easy way to limit this conversation without having to say a word to them about it is by changing the seating arrangement in your office. If you currently have an office designed with an open floor plan, then order cubicles for your employees to sit in. When your employees have their own spaces with dividers between them, they are more likely to stay on-task and limit personal conversation. 

When ordering your cubicles, one of the biggest decisions you will have to make is whether you want low, medium, or high cubicle walls. Low walls are about 42 inches high from the floor to the top of the wall, medium-height walls are about 53 inches high, and high walls can range from 65 to 80 inches high. 

The right cubicle wall height is a decision that should be made based on the needs of your business. If your employees tend to always goof around and not get their work done, then high walls are a good choice due to their ability to completely block each employees' vision of the of the two other employees seated next to them. However, walls of medium height can be a good option for your first set of cubicles; if you decide you would like them to be higher later, you can always order cubicle panel extenders that you attach to the medium-height walls to make them higher. 

If your employees need to collaborate on occasion to complete projects or assignments, then keep one large table and chairs in the office designated as the "collaboration table." 

2. Provide Your Employees More Comfortable Office Chairs

If your employees are frequently getting up out of their chairs to take trips to the bathroom or just move around, then that is a sign that their chairs may not be very supportive and may actually be contributing to back pain that distracts them while they are working. As you can imagine or may have experienced yourself, it can be difficult to stay on-task in an office when your chair is uncomfortable and leading to aches and pains developing over the course of the day. When you purchase your new cubicles, consider upgrading your office chairs to an ergonomic design that is more supportive of your employees' lower backs and has plenty of cushioning on the seat. 

Not only can more comfortable chairs increase your employees' comfort while working, but it can even lead to them calling in sick less. One of the top five reasons employees call in sick to work is back pain. Of course, to have a productive year, you need your employees in the office just as much as you need them to stay on-task while they are there. 

If you own a small business and you like everything about your current employees other than the fact that they don't stay on-task at work as much as you would like them to, then follow these two tips. You can then encourage them to limit personal conversation at the office and stay seated in their chairs without having to keep reminding them or even say a word.