7 Workplace Productivity Killers and How to Avoid Them

Despite the plethora of software options at our disposal, we are more disengaged than ever when it comes to workplace productivity. According to Small Biz Trends, 82% of employees said they want more recognition for their work, with 33% minimally committed and 12% not committed whatsoever. 

Whether you operate as a small business with a tight-knit team or a large enterprise with numerous departments, workplace productivity killers can creep up quickly. Based on Tech Jury, 66% of employees are disengaged from their work, with one in five employees being unconfident in their manager’s ability to lead. 

This raises concerns for long-term employee retention and the overall quality of the work done during work hours. With that, we are here to discuss the most destructive workplace productivity killers as well as how you can avoid them in your company.


1. Office Clutter

Whether your staff works from home or in an office space (despite COVID-19), office clutter can become an issue. Desk clutter can affect motivation, morale and creativity significantly, which will hinder your staff’s performance and lead to breaches of deadlines or poor work quality.

Make sure that office clutter is taken care of regularly so that everyone can stay focused on the work at hand. This can be a team effort, as everyone undoubtedly has excess items and junk files spread around their workstations. Once your office space is cleared up, productivity should jump back to normal in no time.


2. Decentralized Software Workflow

Depending on the industry you operate in, your staff will likely require multiple different software solutions simultaneously. Introducing a team communication platform such as JANDI can help overcome the hurdle of decentralization and get your workflow back to normal. 

Your staff will be able to effectively share ideas, coordinate file sharing and save important correspondence via such a platform. Most importantly, you will avoid future frustration, loss of precious time and resources, as well as any potential staff turnover.


3. Frequent & Unproductive Meetings

There’s no need for frequent meetings, check-ins and official get-togethers in a professional team environment. As a manager, you can keep track of everyone’s progress on their segment of work without stopping them in their tracks for mandatory meetings

Manage your time efficiently and schedule team meetings based on everyone’s preferences. Optimally, you should set a static meeting schedule that works for everyone and doesn’t impede their progress on the project. This approach will drastically improve your workplace productivity and allow the staff to focus on full-time work rather than less important technicalities.


4. Insistence on Multitasking

In terms of producing quality work, multitasking is a myth best left forgotten. It’s never a good idea to insist that your staff multitask on different projects, especially under short deadlines. Instead, prioritize each project based on its upcoming deadline and shift focus entirely between different apps or websites. 

This will allow your staff to stay productive and devote as much attention as is necessary to each task before moving on to other pressing matters. Multitasking is a modern workplace productivity killer, and as such, it should be left out of professional work environments.


5. Short & Unclear Deadlines

When it comes to product development, programming and other long-term projects, micromanagement is never a good idea. You should set clear and objective KPIs via a methodology such as SMART and distribute the plan to each staff member during an official meeting. 

Each milestone you define should give your staff time to develop and test whichever feature or segment of the project they are in charge of. Avoid churn as it will lead to burnouts which will result in poor final product quality or cause your staff to abandon the project outright.


6. Insistence on Physical Attendance

As we’ve touched on previously, the current COVID-19 crisis has a lot of people on edge, especially in regards to physical workplace attendance. Regardless, remote work conditions can significantly improve your team’s productivity as they will allow them to modify their own workspace without conflict with one another. 

Jessica Riley, Head of HR at Classy Essay writing service, said that: “If your business’ portfolio allows it, consider shifting to remote work. You can coordinate and monitor your staff’s workflow just as easily via a centralized team platform as you would in an office workplace. This will be seen as an extension of your good will and trust in their skills which will subsequently result in better productivity and engagement.”


7. Poor Staff-Goal Alignment

Your staff can come into situations where they feel disassociated from whatever project you are currently working on. This can happen frequently as corporate contracts and projects can seem abstract and “pointless” to ground-level programmers, designers or writers. 

You can amend for that shortcoming by helping each staff member identify with the goal you are working on through coaching. Each individual is bound to have an idea of what personal and professional development means for them. Delegate project tasks based on their personal goals and help them see the bigger picture – your team’s workflow will improve shortly thereafter.



Benefits of Eliminating Workplace Productivity Killers

As we’ve discussed, workplace productivity killers can have severe negative effects on your day-to-day workflow regardless of how experienced your staff may be. According to Forbes, 61% of employees are burned out of the job, with 31% expressing extreme levels of stress due to poor day-to-day management. 

Problems such as these can lead to more severe problems such as mental and physical health issues for your employees. Thus, eliminating workplace productivity killers is a must in modern work environments. So, what happens when no workflow bottlenecks exist? If you can create such an environment, your staff will subsequently flourish without the stress and constant fear of unproductivity.

Simon Sinclair, Copywriting Project Manager at Top Essay Writing and Content Writer at Grab My Essay, said that: “Your workplace, whether physical or digital, should be as stress free and inclusive as possible. As most modern industries such as copywriting, marketing and software development rely on creativity; your employees should feel as free of distractions as possible. Facilitate a workplace which promotes teamwork and treat your staff as equals – your workplace productivity should even out soon afterward.”

If we were to break down the concrete benefits of eliminating workplace productivity killers on a regular basis, the list would go as follows:

  • Improved staff engagement, productivity and morale
  • Improved final product quality and client satisfaction
  • Increased staff retention and lowered turnover rates
  • Improved leadership grooming and work delegation opportunities


In Summary

Despite the numerous advancements we’ve made in regards to software solutions and hardware, workplace productivity is still difficult to maintain long-term. However, you can take precautions to mitigate potential pitfalls by proactively introducing quality-of-life features to your staff’s workflow. 

Organize a casual meeting with your colleagues and discuss what the biggest drawbacks and potential areas of improvement are in your company. Once you find out what works and doesn’t work for your staff, make sure to act on the information sooner rather than later. Such an initiative will significantly increase team productivity and add to your goal of eliminating workflow productivity killers before they cause damage to morale.


Bio: Bridgette Hernandez is a professional editor, content creator and dissertations writer with a keen interest in human resources, sales and digital marketing. Her industry contributions extend from collaboration with Supreme Dissertations, as well as research and publishing of articles and case studies on pressing trends and developments. Bridgette is fond of projects involving academic writing and students with the “I need help to write my paper” mentality, as she enjoys helping them. In her spare time, Bridgette is a swimmer and an avid reader.

Photo by Ant Rozetsky on Unsplash


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