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During the festive season people tend to focus their energy on presents, cards, and parties. When merrymaking is in order, work can sometimes be put on the back burner.

At the start of the new year, it’s important for employers to reboot productivity levels. Lilli Hender from OfficeGenie.co.uk has five top tips to help business owners get the best out of their employees in 2016.

Food glorious food

You’ll need more than food to motivate your staff, but it’s a good place to start. Hunger can be a big distraction in the workplace and when someone is peckish, they’re not on top form. Providing healthy snacks, such as fruit and cereal bars, could help to produce better work before, and after, lunch.

Communal eating is a good way to encourage staff to view themselves as part of a team, this can help to promote positive feelings about work and co-workers. It also means chatter is more likely to take place at the lunch table instead of the desk.


When you’re reviewing last year’s business achievements, keep in mind the achievements of individual staff members too, and inform them of their positive impact. Employees are your most valuable resource and reminding them of that is never a bad thing.

Praise will not only motivate your staff in the short term but ensure they remain dedicated in the years to come. Encourage staff members to praise each other too; it can be nice to offer the opportunity for shout-outs of thanks and appreciation at staff meetings.


While praise is free, other signs of appreciation can be a little costlier. Employees like to be rewarded for hard work and this can mean forking out cash for gifts, vouchers, and bonuses.

Training opportunities are a more wallet friendly incentive and directly benefit both the company and employee. Informing staff of the rewards you have planned for the year will help them feel like they’re working towards something, which picks up moral and boosts productivity.

Flexible hours

Rigid working hours don’t help to alleviate the stresses life can throw at you. The option to work from home, come in late, or have an extended lunch will prevent your staff feeling that work dictates their lives.

It empowers employees through trust and, by offering an optimum working schedule, should increase and improve output. Flexible working is designed to help, not hinder, businesses and employees so making sure it runs smoothly is important.

Workplace wellness

The happier and healthier people are, the better they perform. This isn’t rocket science and consequently, companies are taking a more active role in employees’ wellbeing. Hosting ‘wellness workshops’ (getting an expert into the office to talk about an aspect of health, such as nutrition) is a great way to prompt staff to consider the importance of their mental and physical wellbeing.

In terms of physical health, investing in ergonomic office equipment is a must. Sitting at a computer for nine hours a day five days a week takes its toll on the body, and it’s the duty of the business owner to minimise any negative effects. Your employees will thank you for it and the reward will be in the work they produce.

The start of a new year is a great time to embrace fresh business approaches – such as flexible hours and wellness workshops – and upgrade the incentives and praise you already offer. High levels of productivity are necessary all year round and these tips should help you start 2016 on the right foot.

Lilli Hender writes for Office Genie: a desk and office space marketplace. The topics she covers span office life and business advice.

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