In today’s competitive business world, achieving higher levels of productivity is everyone’s dream. However, in our quest to go beyond the goals that we’ve set for ourselves we face many obstacles and distractions that prevent us from barely achieving those goals, let alone surpass them.
In this article, we will highlight some major productivity killers at workplace and tell you how to overcome them to become more productive and efficient in our daily assignments and activities.
1. Useless Meetings
According to Salary.com survey, 47% participants think that fruitless meetings are the biggest time wasters at workplace. What makes the situation even worse is the number of meetings at workplace. In the US alone, 11 million meetings are conducted on a daily basis and USD 37 billion are spent on these meetings every year.
The only way to resolve this issue is to conduct effective meetings. Keep your meetings short and call fewer people by communicating meeting agendas to them in advance. Stand-up meetings or daily scrums yield better output as compared to traditional meetings. Try to make them more engaging for the participants and prevent them from bringing gadgets and other work to meetings to achieve better outcome.
2. Wasting time on Social Networking Sites
Talk about distraction at workplace and nothing ranks higher than tweeting and posting stuff on the social media at workplace. According to a research, 77% of employees who have a Facebook account use it during work. What is even worse is that for majority of those it can mean spending a large chunk of their time on Facebook without contributing anything to their jobs.
You can imagine the impact it could have on your overall productivity. You can either ban the use of social media at workplace altogether or allocate a specific time for it. Devise a policy to eradicate this issue and implement it.
If you are used to checking your emails multiple times during the workday, then it will surely have a negative impact on your productivity. Resist the temptation of checking your inbox every few hours or first thing in the morning. Instead, check email at the end of the working day when all the emails have landed in your inbox. Organize your inbox because a messy inbox is the main reason why checking emails takes a lot of time. Try to batch process your emails where possible instead of dealing with them separately.
Nothing frustrates an employer more than seeing their employees wasting hours in futile conversations and gossips. Most of the times these gossips lead to office politics, workplace conflicts and wreck havoc on your workplace environment. A brief comment or a joke to lighten up the moods and refresh colleagues to reduce stress level is okay. But things go out of hand when these occasional comments spark long and pointless debates and discussions.
Other than communicating for work-related issues, you need to make sure that you cut down on these gossips and chitchat sessions because they can put a big dent on the overall performance and workplace culture.
5. Unnecessary Calls and Texts
We live in a hyper-connected world where we cannot part ways with our beloved gadgets. Whether it is an important business meeting or you are working on an important project, employees cannot resist the temptation of checking notifications, texts and calls. To be more productive, you need to reduce the time you spend with your phone when you’re supposed to be working. Whether it means turning off the notifications, not responding to texts so be it because smart-phones can prove to be the biggest distraction at workplace.
6. Noisy Co-workers
If your office is based on an open-floor layout, then you might have experienced this every now and then. Co-workers talking or arguing loudly around you could really put you off your work and hamper your productivity. It is better to put on noise cancelling headphones and focus on your work. Alternatively, you could move to cubicles or personal spaces to resolve this issue. Managers need to take control and take notice of any noise created by co-workers that are distracting others.
7. Wasting Time on the Internet
Social networking sites are not the only sites employees visit at work. Some of the employees waste time browsing many other sites. You need to keep track of their internet usage and have an internet usage policy ready in order to curb this bad habit. If things are getting out of control, you could consider blocking sites that your employees browse frequently. Another solution is that you should dedicate lunch hour for web browsing other than business purposes. Some employers ignore this issue and ends up bearing the brunt in the form of poor productivity.
8. Smoke Breaks
Taking a smoke break during work can stem the flow and break the routine, which makes it difficult for you to pick up from where you have left off. Employees might consider smoking break as an opportunity to take a breather but it will make it tough for them to maintain the level of focus and concentration after the break. Although, there is nothing wrong in taking one smoke break a day but making it a habit can be harmful for the productivity of an employee. Employee should only be allowed one or two smoke break for the day.
9. Messy Desk
One of the most common problems at workplace is messy desks. Just walk around any office and you might see many cluttered desk. Until employees get their desk in order, they can never achieve higher level of productivity. When more time is wasted on finding stuff you need, you will surely lag behind your productivity goals. Take some time out from your schedule for organizing your desk and it will pay rich dividends by saving you more time and making you more productive. It also shows that you are an organized person, which fares well with the company.
When each of your team members is moving in a different direction, your team productivity will suffer greatly. Your productivity graph will show a negative trend. It is the job of a manager to keep all the team members on the same page so they can work cohesively as a team to achieve the common objectives. Task management software offers communication and collaboration features that can assist employers in bridging the communication gap among employees. Without teamwork and effective communication, you will never be able to achieve your targets.