Many people would wish they were more productive than they are now. Most of us hope to get the perfect balance of work and play down – but in truth, there’s no limit to what people wish they could achieve or do in any given time-frame. Trouble is, there’s so very much to distract us and so very much to do.
Looking back, isn’t there something you wish you invested more time and energy on?
Lack of productivity at work can be caused by a number of factors: tiredness, for example, mental overload, or just a lack of motivation, for others. A survey of 1000 workers found that on average, only 76% of Australian professionals work productively…
Moreover, this same study showed that only about 7.5% of them were productive for the entire day, while the remaining 92.5% were only productive for about half a day or less.
What does this have to say about the industries they work in? Could it be possible that these employees are working less, but are earning more? Or are they so overwhelmed by what they need to do that their minds just shut down and refuse to cooperate?
By far, the most telling part of the survey are the top ten reasons listed for why employees are unproductive in the first place. They are as follows:
- Some employees are unable to use the technology required to get the job done. White collar professionals don’t often use complicated machinery to get their jobs done. Often, a computer set-up with the proper software along with conference calling capabilities would be enough. However, there are times when employees aren’t properly trained to use the programs they need to do their work – and the time spent training these employees to use these new features, or time it takes them to wrestle with something like a new submit function, is time wasted.
- One in ten professionals admit to being bullied at work. It’s damn near impossible to work with a bully breathing down your neck. Be it verbal bullying, where an employee is being yelled at or insulted, or psychological manipulation. On the other hand, bullying can entail being deliberately left out or ignored by others. If one of your workers experiences bullying of any kind, their morale to be in the workplace drops and along with it, their productivity.
- One’s social life can also impede productivity. Some employees put more energy into organising the events that will happen outside of their workplace. They do this so much that they aren’t able to put in as much work as they would if they had concentrated on their work instead. This can also be due to their job being so tedious that they feel they have to make up for it through social events.
- Social media is also a workplace bane. What with our ability to access the net and email via our smartphones, social media notifications can also distract an employee, or provide them with an alternative form of stimulation or productivity killers. However, there are also jobs like social media management which require said employee to constantly be on social media sites. . A Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn notification can instantly derail an employee’s train of thought, and while some employees may learn to ignore the distractions when they’re on social media, others won’t be able to help but give in to the momentary distraction.
- Productivity goes down as satisfaction goes down. Dissatisfaction with the job, workplace, or one’s career progression can make an employee less inclined to excel at the tasks they’re given. It’s hard to stay focused and do a good job when your tasks are neither enjoyable, nor rewarding. In addition, job dissatisfaction can lead to the employees daydreaming of greener pastures and better opportunities to be pursued elsewhere.
- Poor management leads to lowered efficiency. Imagine if you had a boss that didn’t pay attention to the work you do, to the point that all your ideas were ignored. Would you be more or less motivated to contribute? More likely, you’d simply sit around and do nothing – and chances are, they wouldn’t notice either. But what if your boss was a micromanager who wanted to control every single thing you did? Or what if your boss doesn’t understand what you’re struggling with at work? That’s poor management that can affect productivity.
- You may be over qualified for the job at hand. Some people, for lack of other available jobs, would accept a job that they’re overqualified for. This may bring in more money than being unemployed. But knowing that they can do better or (technically speaking) have more authority than their superiors can cause an employee to slack off at work.
- A lack of understanding for what needs to be done can also affect productivity. If an employee doesn’t know what their boss wants from them, then they might find it very difficult to give him what he wants. For instance, he may ask you to give him a report about this month’s profits. If our hypothetical duo come from a big company, then the employee could generate numerous reports from all the different branches of their company. Still, there’s no guarantee that this is precisely what the boss is after. Put plainly: if the tasks an employee are assigned seem to have no clear objective, it’ll be hard for them to comply or satisfy a request – and thus, they may simply put it off until further clarification’s been provided.
- Boredom can practically erase your drive to be productive. No matter how easily a task can be performed, doing it for hours on end is a buzzkill. Some tasks might b boring – despite being interesting at first – because they require repetitive work, while others are just outright tedious. Knowing a task is dull is unlikely to make an employee start it sooner, as opposed to later; it’s human nature.