7 Workplace Productivity Killers (and What to Do About Them)

Learn more about these major workplace productivity killers and how to overcome them.

  1. Meeting Madness

Most employees attend 62 meetings a month (half of which they consider a waste of time). Overall, this amounts to approximately 31 hours spent in unproductive meetings over the same period.

Solution: Head into every meeting with an actionable plan and be sure to start and end on time. Daily stand up meetings have also been found to be a more productive alternative to the lengthy weekly sit-down.

  1. Excessive Noise

While open workplace floorplans may encourage teamwork and collaboration, they can also hinder your performance. Having a variety of conversations taking place around isn’t just distracting; it can be downright frustrating.

Solution: If possible, seek a private meeting or conference room where you can enjoy a little peace and quiet. Otherwise, noise-cancelling headphones will do the trick and, with the right choice of music, may even boost your productivity.


Business man pointing to transparent board with text Kaizen

  1. Email Overload

According to recent studies, the average Canadian spends one-third of their time at the workplace reading and responding to emails – 30% of which aren’t even important. This amounts to a total of 11.7 work hours spent every week on email alone.

Solution: Instead of checking your inbox several times a day (making it easy to get stuck in the endless email vortex), set aside a designated time (first thing in the morning, before lunch or day’s end) to check your emails in bulk. In the meantime, snooze your notifications to avoid temptation.

  1. Social Media and Internet 

Over recent years, social media has proven to be the ultimate productivity killer. Two-thirds (67%) of employees say they regularly check social media sites while on the clock (to the tune of roughly 1.5 hours every day or an entire workday, once a week).

Solution: Like email, once you start, it’s easy to get sucked into an endless loop of Facebook posts, and Twitter feeds. Instead, designate a specific time to peruse online or, if you still can’t trust yourself, consider using a site blocker.

  1. Too Many Breaks (Or Not Enough)

Cigarette, snack and watercooler breaks are notorious for disrupting any productive workflow – making it difficult to pick up where you left off. On the other hand, skipping breaks can be equally hazardous to your productivity, making it hard to stay focused on the task at hand.

Solution: Stick to a routine of regularly scheduled breaks. For the average employee, this might consist of a half-hour lunch break, and two 15-minute coffee breaks throughout the day.

  1. Phone Calls and Texting

Recent stats have indicated most people check their phones 58 times a day (with 30 of those checks occurring during working hours). This adds up to a whopping three hours and 15 minutes of screen time every single day.

Solution: Productivity begins with resisting the urge to continually check your phone. Here again, limit workplace phone usage to certain times of day (aka your breaks) and turn off notifications to reduce temptation.

  1. A Disorganized Workspace

A messy desk doesn’t just make it challenging to find what you need when you need it. Excessive clutter has also been proven to inhibit creativity and productivity by invading the space you need to think, brainstorm and problem solve (Psychology Today).  

Solution: Set yourself up for success by keeping your desk clean and organized. Better yet, check out these 15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done.

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Posted by Adrian Ghira on Jun 4, 2020 9:06:05 PM

Topics: productivity, workplace, solution

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