5 less-than-$50 Purchases for Productivity – Inspired by the M@dison

A little fun can improve productivity
A little fun can improve productivity.

Here’s why you don’t feel the shirt on your back right now: Your brain gradually stops registering a sight, sound or feeling if that stimulus remains constant over time (according to a Cognition study). And guess what? The same can happen when focusing on a work task for too long. That’s why taking small breaks during the workday can increase productivity.

That’s also why Detroit’s M@dison Building has potential to be one of the most productive work environments around. The historic urban theatre turned startup tech hub is known nationwide for its hip environment. But what’s contained in its walls provides employees with more than just pride and press coverage – it offers ample opportunity to take breaks, and thereby, increase productivity, too.

Why not create the same sort of environment for your team? You could start with any of these five inexpensive, M@dison-inspired purchases:

1.  $1.50 – Window markerRussell Crowe in A Beautiful Mind

Move your next team meeting to your largest window, and let employees draw out ideas on the glass. A change in scenery can always help in promoting mental alertness. Plus, there’s just something downright inspiring about drawing ideas on a window.

2.  $5 – Nerf dart gun

In the time it takes for you to read this sentence, you could have shot 5 darts – 3 if your gun requires reloading – and gotten back to work. Enough said.

3.  $15 – Snack jar (plus cost of snacks…)

Purchase one large snack jar and then stock up on granola bars, fruit snacks and other treats to fill it. Make sure to buy a variety of food to keep it interesting, and then set the jar in a location where employees have to take a short walk to get to it.

Bean bag4.  $20 – Bean bag

Take a second to stand. (Yes, right now.) Feel that? Sometimes even the simple act of repositioning your body will make you feel better. Purchase a cheap bean bag or two for the office, and give employees the opportunity to refresh their minds by repositioning to work somewhere comfortable for a bit.

5.  $40 – Portable ping pong set

Grab a portable ping pong set and place it on a long table in the office. It won’t take up additional space, but here’s what it will do: Allow employees to take quick, fun breaks and promote team bonding.

Thinking of skipping these purchases? Consider this: These very items are the same things that people coo over when visiting the M@dison and that cause employees to swell with pride when that cooing occurs. In total, this list costs less than $100 – can you afford that for a more productive, proud workforce?

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1 Response
  1. Great ideas. Also suggest beer on Fridays.

    However, if you use that window marker for a generic “person thinking while writing with a window marker” photo on your website I’ll have to report you to the design police.

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