Productivity Freeway Exit Sign

Executives should ditch meetings, quit multitasking and learn how to delegate to maximise productivity in the office, experts have warned.

A new list of tips and advice has been compiled by the experts at commercial property firm to encourage workers to ditch bad habits and achieve benchmark levels of productivity at work.

From jazzing up your workplace, to improving your email etiquette, adopting these surprising habits will help to enhance brain function and improve concentration to keep you performing at an optimum level all throughout the day.

Here are 15 ways to remain productive at work:

Take regular breaks

Research has shown that taking short breaks during long tasks helps you to maintain a constant level of performance, while working at a task without breaks leads to a steady decline in performance. So, schedule short, regular breaks throughout the day to up your concentration.

Say “no!” to meetings

Meetings are one of the biggest drainers of time, yet we all continue to book them, attend them and complain about them. Before booking your next meeting, ask yourself whether you can accomplish the same goals via email, phone, or a web-based meeting through Skype or something similar, as you could save yourself oodles of time.

Hold standing meetings

If a face-to-face meeting is absolutely essential, then a standing meeting could be the best option for you. By standing, team members will be reminded to keep the meeting short and sweet, whilst also increasing their own levels of attention and involvement.

Improve your email etiquette

Email can be a productivity killer and a distraction from tasks that actually matter, so try not to fall into this productivity trap. You might be guilty of copying-in multiple people in emails to get the workload off of your plate, but this can distract everyone else by creating disruptions against their own jobs.

If you receive an email where many people are CC’d, do everyone a favour by BCC’ing them on your reply. If your email chain goes beyond two replies, then it’s time to pick up the phone!

Tackle your toughest tasks when you’re most alert

If you’re a morning person, tackle your toughest project over your first cup of coffee and be done with it. That way it won’t be looming over your head all day, distracting you from other tasks. Similarly, if you perform best after lunch when you’ve refuelled, then save the difficult or menial tasks until then. It’s all about figuring out what works best for you and working around it.


Early-morning commutes, long work hours, and countless responsibilities at home means that increasing numbers of people aren’t getting the shuteye they need – and it only takes one night of sleep deprivation for us to suffer!

This could have a damaging effect on your performance, as lack of sleep will decrease your concentration, working memory, mathematical capacity, and logical reasoning.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, seven to nine hours a night is what you should be aiming for between the ages of 26-64.

Quit multi-tasking

People often think that the ability to multitask is an important skill for increasing efficiency, but in fact attempting several tasks at once can result in lost time and productivity.

Instead, commit to a single task and complete it before moving on to something else.

Take advantage of your commute

This goes for any unexpected extra time you might find on your hands from day-to-day too. Instead of trawling through your social media accounts, use that time to clear your inbox, create your daily to-do list, or do some general brainstorming.

Give yourself something nice to look at

According to research, decorating your office with pictures, candles and plants can increase productivity by up to 15%!

Turn off notifications

During work hours, turn off your notifications and build in allocated time to check your emails and messages instead.

Delegate properly

By delegating properly, you will have more time to spend on your own work. The key is to assign the right task to the right person – a person you know has the skills to do the job and that you can trust to get it done – and then leave them to it.

Prepare a to-do list for the next day each night

To-do lists are invaluable when it comes to optimising productivity – they get you organized, provide a clear focus and being able to check off things you’ve done is super satisfying.

Break up work with exercise

Physical activity enhances brain function which will in turn lead to increased levels of productivity, so it makes sense to try and squeeze some exercise in each day.

Whether it’s a brisk walk during your lunch break or a few impromptu desk workouts throughout the day, the enhanced brain power will give you improved concentration, more creativity, and faster learning!

Find your perfect noise level

Some people can only work in absolute silence, while others need some kind of background noise to hone in on difficult tasks efficiently.

If you can, experiment with different environments and noise levels until you find what helps you to be most productive, but remember to be courteous of your neighbours too.

Develop a routine

Whilst routines are often confused with being stuck in a rut or becoming complacent, developing a routine at work will actually help you pinpoint effective methods and techniques to increase your day-to-day productivity.

If you’re interested in ways of improving employee engagement and therefore increasing productivity, take a look at the agenda for our leading employee engagement and rewards summit taking place on the 27 March.





Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.