Categorized | Work/Life

5 Gift Types for Boosting Productivity in the New Year

Last week on our Facebook page, we featured a series of articles on gift giving that enhanced productivity.  The articles were an interesting snapshot into why we value productivity and how we approach it.  You can really boil it down to 5 ways:

1.) Technology:  Whether it’s an app to organize your apps or an alternative to Outlook, this tech approach generally acknowledges that technology is embedded into our lives and there are ways to make that technology more functional.  But giving technology can have drawbacks: a subscription to Dropbox, for example, doesn’t wrap very well or sit under a christmas tree.

2.)  Gadgets:  Some are tech and some are not, but all are handy ways to improve our work and home lives.  Gadgets are also great Secret Santa gifts and stocking stuffers.  Who doesn’t want to unwrap a keychain USB port or functional ruler pen?  The problem?  How much of this stuff is actually productive and how much is clutter?

3.)  Books:  Yes, there are literally hundreds of books out there on productivity and a book always makes a great gift.  Of course, a truly productive gift would be a e-book or audiobook.

4.)  Relaxation:  There are the desktop toys to reduce stress, but what about a spa gift certificate?  Or a gym membership?  OK, there are some pitfalls, but when you really want to talk about reducing stress, physical activity is an ideal solution.  Whether or not we like to admit that.

5.)  Clothing:  What we wear has become modified to accommodate the gadgets in our lives.  From gloves that work with touch sensitive smartphones and tablets, to jackets with plenty of pockets and holes for ear phones, clothing today is about looking great while facilitating a mobile office.

And think that giving cash is the BEST motivation tool?  Think again.  According to the WSJ, a group of test subjects liked getting a gift so much, if boosted their productivity by 25%!

Workers who got the gift were 25% more productive than a control group, while the cash group’s small productivity boost was statistically insignificant. The effect persisted even when test subjects were explicitly told the value of the thermos.

So it turns out that just giving a gift – any old gift – is the greatest productivity booster of them all.

Here are some of the links actual gift ideas that will surely feed into New Year’s resolutions.  Let’s just check back in February to see what everyone’s doing with all that extra saved time on their hand…

http://blogs.wsj.com/ideas-market/2011/09/16/perks-and-productivity/

http://mashable.com/2012/09/13/work-gadgets-apps/

http://www.productivitybits.com/gift-ideas-for-productivity-conscious-people

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Grant Derner

By Grant Derner

Grant Derner is Executive Vice President at Nesco Resource. He oversees the Engineering and IT area for the Eastern half of the U.S.

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