Low-cost Ways to Improve Productivity

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The day is only so long and employees already have plenty to do, but here are a few low-cost things you can do to help improve productivity, courtesy of Maryalene LaPonsie at Small Business Computing.

An employee-recognition program is an easy way to boost morale and productivity. You could recognize one outstanding employee per month or provide perks to all employees for reaching certain milestones. Low-cost perks and rewards could include a special parking place for a designated period of time, a complimentary breakfast or lunch, extra vacation time, an award or certificate, or a small gift, say a mug with the company logo and award on it.

Let valued employees spend some time telecommuting. It may benefit your company too: Studies have shown that telecommuting employees tend to be more productive. Flexible scheduling is another nice perk.

And as much as it seems counterintuitive, giving employees short breaks to check Facebook and browse the Internet may actually improve productivity. A 2011 report from the Academy of Management found that browsing the Internet for 10 minutes has a “restorative function” for workers. Not all online activities were deemed equal by the researchers, however. Checking and responding to personal emails hurt productivity, but reading news, checking social media sites and online gaming provide a productivity boost.

Adapted from 3 Incentives to Improve Productivity at Small Business Computing. And send us your small business success tips for a chance to win a Kindle Fire HD.