Posted by Robert Half on 03 December 2014
Is there something you want to introduce or improve in your workplace? Be the change you want to see today.
If you think that some of your workplace practices are outdated or irrelevant, why not be that person who changes things a little?
For many of us, it is easier to adapt to a company’s culture, rather than try to change it. But you might find it harder to be complicit if you find some of the practices to be old-fashioned, impractical, or just utterly pointless. Being a game changer at work doesn’t always have to mean suggesting radical changes – though sometimes these may be necessary.
Sometimes, it’s about making small tweaks to existing habits to encourage greater creativity and better work-life balance. Here are some tips that might get you the stamp of approval from bosses and colleagues alike.
Check your email only twice a day
This is one of the tips offered by Tim Ferriss, bestselling author of The 4-Hour Work Week. Not only does checking and replying to email takes up sizeable chunks of our time on any typical workday, it also distracts us from truly important tasks that require long periods of attention and concentration.
Ferriss suggests setting an email auto-responder explaining why you’re going to start checking it only twice a day, making sure to emphasise that you can still be contacted with a phone call for time-sensitive matters. Being less reliant on email may also lead to greater active collaboration among co-workers in the long run.
Suggest trying out flexible work arrangements
Perhaps one of the most archaic – yet most commonly practiced – workplace arrangements is insisting that employees be physically present at the office for a set amount of time (typically 9am – 6pm) every workday. But when employees feel like they are being paid for their time, rather than their contributions, they might not feel much of an incentive to be productive. Not to mention that arriving at the office stressed out by the morning commute is probably not the best start to anyone’s day! Flexible work arrangements might make employees feel more in control of their time, leading to greater productivity and overall happiness at work.
Make vacations mandatory
While leave time is any employee’s entitlement, there are many companies that simply don’t respect workers’ rights to off days. Employees who are unable to clear their leave days because of a heavy workload are often dismayed to find that their leave will have to be forfeited – talk about a morale killer! If you’re the boss, make the effort to speak to your employees about how they plan to clear their leave days. Go the extra mile and work with them to see how they can finish their projects before going on leave. When subordinates feel like you take their health and well-being seriously, this will make them feel more valued and, will help build their loyalty to the company in the long run.