5 Things that are Draining Productivity in the Workplace (and How to Fix Them)
If you noticed that productivity in your small business is
lower than desired, it might be caused by something unexpected. If that’s the
case, consider choosing the worst offender and trying to fix it.
When you micromanage your team, you signal to them that you don’t trust them to do their job well and that everything must be done the same way you would do it. This prevents your staff from finding new, more efficient ways to solve problems.
Meetings are necessary in the business world, but is every meeting productive? Sometimes they include staff members who have little or nothing to do with the topic at hand, which means they’re wasting time that could be spent doing other job functions.
How to fix it
Limit the number of meetings by only calling one if you have a clear agenda and objective. Consider setting a strict time limit for each meeting to show your employees that you value their time. And only invite people who are essential or can add valuable insight.
Emails can take up a big chunk of time. On average, more
than a quarter of a worker’s day is spent reading and answering
email. Every time an employee checks their email, their work is interrupted,
and it may take several minutes to get back into the groove of what they were
How to fix it
Encourage your staff to only check their email two to three times a day, such as in the morning, at lunchtime, and in the late afternoon. Maybe even ask them to turn off email alerts on their phone and computer. Your team will still be notified of any emails marked “important”, so they’ll be able to answer those that require an immediate answer.
Encourage everyone to set up folders and filters to categorize their emails based on what warrants a response and what’s educational or entertaining. For example, if someone filters all newsletters into a different folder, they won’t be distracted by them during the workday.
Also, teach your workers to recognize when a face-to-face
meeting or phone call will save time. It can be faster and easier to ask follow-up
questions during an actual conversation than via email.
Make sure each team member has a certain amount of personal space. According to Gallup, employees with a workspace of their own are 1.4 times more likely to be engaged, which leads to higher productivity. This could be as simple as a desk or a locker. Each worker just needs someplace they can retreat to, even if they spend most of their day on the floor talking to customers or in a conference room hammering out the details of your next marketing campaign.
Encourage your employees to let their coworkers know when they’re focused on something, so they’re not disturbed. In a traditional office, that usually means closing their office door. In an open floorplan, however, that could mean putting on headphones.
It’s also partially because there tends to be higher
employee turnover when you hire the wrong person for the job. And, every time
you hire someone new, your current team has to spend time training the new hire
and getting them up to speed.