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Four ways to help your employees be productive after 3pm

by , 24 July 2014
Four ways to help your employees be productive after 3pmIt's no secret that most workers become unproductive in the afternoon. Some experts call this 'the 3pm energy lull' or 'the 3 o'clock lull.'

Business efficiency, marketing and performance expert, Andrew Jensen says, you can see it in the 'yawn wave,' as cubicle after cubicle emits a restless sigh or groan. Tired, distracted employees move in their chairs aimlessly. Paper shuffling declines, while keyboard tapping grows faint and an occasional snore is heard coming from the far corner.

So what can you do to deal with this problem that has the potential to harm your company's bottom line?

If your employees suffer from the 3pm crash, we recommend you tell them to try these four tips so they can stay productive and improve their performance.

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What causes employees to be unproductive after 3pm?

Some of the things that cause the mid-afternoon productivity lull in the office are fatigue from of sitting at a desk and staring at computer screens all day.

According to Jensen, our bodies weren't intended to sit down all day (this can result in poor blood circulation) and our eyes weren't intended to focus at a fixed location (i.e. a computer screen) for a prolonged period of time.

How does this lull affect business productivity?

As employees grow weary as the day progresses, their irritability increases and the probability for conflict with another employee or manager increases too. The end result is that the entire office suffers, productivity falls and the potential for harmful customer interactions escalates, says Jensen.

As a manager, you must care about the well being of your employees and strategically invest in each employee to raise the performance bar.

Here are four tips you can use to help your employees be productive after 3pm

Jensen recommends you use these tips to prevent this afternoon lull and boost energy, attention and engagement:

Tip #1: Encourage healthy eating

  • Provide healthy food breaks. If you have a snack room, stock it with fruit or healthy food bars (120 – 160 calories).
  • Bring a nutritionist into your workplace to regularly educate employees regarding the benefits of eating small meals throughout the day and the value of a healthy diet in contrast with the side effects of a junk food diet.
  • Encourage regular water drinking through providing visible and easily accessible water coolers with cups.

That's not all. Here are three more helpful slump-busters for your employees…

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Three additional tips to help your employees be productive after 3pm

Tip #2: Promote invigorating breaks

  • If you have the means, have a quiet 'nap room' with comfortable chairs, dim lighting, white balance sound or calm music for power naps.
  • Have a fitness room with treadmills, exercise bikes, climbing and skiing exercise machines.
  • Consider having showers. Some employees find a mid-afternoon shower helps rejuvenate them.

Tip #3: Encourage emotional, mental & spiritual health

  • Make a counselor/psychologist available to help with inter office conflicts and family situations.
  • Be open and caring by asking employees for feedback and suggestions on how to increase afternoon productivity.

Tip #4: Tell employees to organise their day

If all else fails, tell your employees to do the following:

Rather than being completely unproductive, tell your employees to try organising their tasks for the next day, says careers24.com.

Tell them to set up their to-do list, clear unnecessary emails, sort existing emails, back-up their work and organise their work folders.

Stress to your employees that if they're really finding it difficult to concentrate on work, they mustn't waste the last few hours of their time – they should organise their schedule to make sure their next day is more productive.

There you have it: While you can't expect nonstop peak performance, you can help your employees boost their energy and productivity with these tips.




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