10 Biggest Productivity Killers

sm2Endless meetings, overflowing email, and social media are just a few of the productivity killers slowing the organization down. Yet management still wonders why work isn’t getting done. Is your company ignoring these 10 productivity killers in the workplace?

  1. No Deadlines – Sometimes deadlines become more like “guidelines.” When multiple project extensions are given then the standards of productivity have begun to slip. Projects are rarely delivered on time and there is no sense of urgency if there are no repercussions for late work.
  2. Cell Phones/Texting - Researchers have found that people become legitimately anxious if they are away from their phones for too long. It is no wonder this device has become such a huge productivity killer. Turn off push notifications, silence the phone, and if necessary move the phone to another room or turn it off.
  3. Meetings – Meetings can be the biggest waste of time in many companies. Often times they start late, they are too long, they have no agendas or a plan for follow up. Be sure that the meetings held within your organization are necessary. You are better off without them if a quick phone call or group email will suffice. Start and end the meeting on time and make sure you finish the meeting with an actionable plan.
  4. Social Media - Social media is highly addictive and hours a day can be wasted away looking at a friend’s birthday photos and watching funny cat videos. When working on a project is it necessary to have any social media apps open? Most likely it isn’t. For those who can't seem to say no to social media, it might be time to add site blockers.
  5. Email– Do you or your employees constantly check in the inbox? It’s time to get an email schedule in place. Formulate designated times throughout the day to check email. Turn off any email notifications (chimes, push notifications, etc.). Check your email in the morning and before leaving work, plus one or maybe two additional times in the late morning or early afternoon. Unsubscribe to any newsletters or spam mail that just clogs your inbox.
  6. Gossip – Gossip is a drain on office morale. Put an end to it starts with good leadership and effective communication from management. Be transparent and clear about any changes within the company to avoid panic from employees.
  7. Tech Problems - Technology is supposed to help an organization become more productive, not hinder them. However, many companies continue to struggle with technology. Review your processes and make sure your tools work properly and that you are training your employees to use them to their fullest effectiveness.
  8. Environment - Office space greatly impacts employees’ ability to get work done. Unfortunately companies will frequently ignore this aspect to productivity. Noise, clutter, inadequate facilities will reduce your team’s effectiveness. Not everyone can work at the highest level in an open floor plan. Try setting aside private spaces or conference rooms for employees to sit in silence if they need to. Some people might be most productive working either part-time or even full-time.
  9. Rewarding Sacrifices – It’s difficult for some employees to have a life/work balance. This is especially difficult considering many companies recognize those who sacrifice their personal life for the benefit of the organization. Do you and your employees know where their job ends and their life begins? If not, the people of the organization will endure unneeded stress, interruptions, eventual burn-out.
  10. Policies and Procedures – Managers sometimes have a knack for implementing policies without considering how they are impacting productivity. A “no closed door policy” might sound great for building communication and trust. But it can be detrimental to trying to accomplish projects.