America is busy. The average American spends 10.3 years of their life at work with the average office employee spending 5 years sitting at a desk and 2 years in meetings. Recruiters have the difficult job of wearing multiple hats, meaning they need to make every minute on the clock count toward completing something. Calling applicants, speaking to clients, filling out paperwork, and nurturing candidates is never ending work.
Everyone is searching for a new and profound way to boost his or her productivity — something like the “magic weight-loss pill.” While I’d always advise that you start with training yourself to build better working habits, scientists might actually be unearthing some new and strange techniques.
Potted Plants and Pet Policies
Office life can be straining. Between fluorescent bulbs, whirring air conditioners, and less-than-satisfactory chairs, it’s no wonder that desk jobs get a bad rep. Finding yourself sentenced to an office job doesn’t have to mean there’s no hope. A study done by the University of Exeter found that simply having a live, potted plant at your desk can cause an increase in productivity of 38%. The Identity Realisation research group also found that plants amount to a 46% increase in wellbeing and 45% increase in creativity. An older study theorized that being in nature is calming, increases focus, and aids in remedying mental fatigue.
Much like a great friend, pets are known to help humans through hard times — and they provide Internet-worthy comedic relief. Office animals have been an increasing trend within the last few years, and for good reason. A study done by Virginia Commonwealth University found that employees who brought their pets to the office had their stress levels actually decline throughout the workday. Not to mention the great branding opportunity pets could provide, since the Internet is so enamored with animals!
Though it may take a bit of discussion to make a pet or plant policy that will actually work for everyone in the office, it is possible to make a plan that can help with adjustments. Of course, with allergies, this may not be a viable option for every office. Look into an office aquarium, which will avoid dander allergies, but will provide zen-ful running water and uplifting visuals. Elements as simple as communal candy dishes and sun lights at desks can boost morale as well as open the office to cultural experiences and celebrations.
Working from Home
Another practice many are successfully exploring is that of telework. The Payroll Blog estimates a national increase in production of $270 billion worth of work for companies who provide work from home options. With numbers like that, it’s easy to believe that more than 16 million people in the U.S. already work from home, at least part of the time. Money aside, providing a form of telework will remove geographical limitations, opening the company up to more talent options, broader culture, and a better reach of audiences.