5 Distractions to Kill to Increase Workplace Productivity

5 Distractions to Kill to Increase Workplace Productivity

It is funny how, sometimes, when you look at a workplace from a bird’s eye view, you find that only a select few are doing something “productive”. The others appear to be busy doing something else that doesn’t really “contribute” to the workplace in a productive way.

The most common culprits of productivity busters are actually the most overlooked ones.

To weed out and kill these productivity offenders, you need to be able to recognize them first. They might be lurking around you, disguised in one of the following forms:

1. Mobile Devices

For employees these days, this has become one of the biggest productivity busters. Whether the employee is busy with a tablet, a smartphone, or another mobile device, there’s a very slim chance that he/she might be “working” on something that contributes to the workplace. Smartphone usage, especially for texting and surfing, sits comfortably as one of the most common productivity barriers.

According to a survey posted on the Daily Mail, an average user now picks up their device more than 1,500 times a day! Sometimes, they are picking it up for no reason at all. Unfortunately, this statistic includes the number of times someone picks up a phone during work hours as well.

Having a no-phone policy, except for emergencies, would be a good idea. Recently, many workplaces have been adopting such policies to boost productivity levels.

2. Trivial Chit-Chatters

While it’s okay to vent out daily frustrations by talking to other employees, talking too much will come under the non-productive category. To promote positivity, healthy social interactions and morale in the workplace, many companies choose to build an open environment. However, they don’t realize that an “open environment” could turn rogue and actually do the exact opposite.

The biggest problem with open environments is the “noise” it creates for workers who aren’t engaged in any conversation and are trying hard to focus on their work. A chatty worker will not only be distracted and distract the person he/she is talking to, but also distract the people around them who are forced to listen to their chatter. If changing the work space design isn’t an option, an employer can do the trick simply by asking the chatterboxes to keep the noise down.

3. Uncomfortable Environment

Much thought and consideration needs to be given to the comfort of the workplace. Of course, making it too comfortable could hamper productivity as well. Lighting, seating arrangement and ergonomics all play a role in improving or worsening productivity levels. Allow the employees to chip in about what they think the most comfortable workspace should look like.

4. Social Media

This shouldn’t come to you as a surprise, since many employers have outright banned the use of social media during work. Sadly, some companies are forced to leave it accessible because of its importance and necessity in certain departments. However, then again, they might have to access to it anyway if they carry a device with an external Internet connection.

Social media usage is heightened due to one main reason: boredom. To prevent “boredom”, try to keep your employees busy either all or most of the time. This will involve frequent monitoring and asking them to perform various tasks if and when they are free. If employees seem to be wasting time surfing, chatting, or using social media, it could mean that they have a surplus amount of time on their hands merely because they can’t find any work to do.

5. Frequent/Ineffective meetings

Meetings are meant to boost workplace productivity or address a certain topic that is meant to augment the work environment in some way. What is unfortunate, however, is that frequent meetings end up doing the contrary. According to the, “US organizations alone hold 11 million formal business meetings each year and waste $37 billion unnecessarily on meetings each year.“

One of the major problems with these meetings is that only a select few find them productive or useful. The rest of the employees are either dozing off, not paying attention, bringing other work, or immediately forgetting what was said the moment they leave the room.

Cut the “meetings” list down and leave them for only very important discussions on designated days. Evidently, an organization has a lot to gain by having less meetings and resorting to other more effective and efficient methods of communication.

Alastair Trot

Written by Alastair Trot

Alastair Trot is a little laid-back yet eccentric writer… These days, he’s working for an academic writing service, Writing Kingdom, helping learners to get the most out of their education.
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