3 Things Killing Your Work Productivity
You walk into the office and bump into that colleague who is back from a vacation. She seems intent on letting everyone know all about it. Right from their cheap flight tickets, to the best places they dined at. You hurry to attend a meeting, unsure about whether you need to. You feel like a quick coffee break. Your laptop beeps, alerting you about unread emails. You skim through them, most don’t seem important. Your stomach reminds you that it’s time for lunch. You try sharing a document soon after but the scanner won’t work. That colleague pops in again, this time with photographs from their hotel. Before you know it, it’s the end of your 8-hour day, and you stare at your to-do list, wondering how little work got done today. You cannot be ultra productive, all day, every day. We are not robots, built to execute and perform. We need social interaction, and time to rest and decompress. But if you recognize what hampers your productivity at work, you can take steps to get more done.
Most people depend on technology to get their work done. It comes as no surprise that a disruption in hardware and software processes reduces productivity. One glitch in your laptop, or the Wi-Fi (yes, remote/ hybrid workers, we hear you) and your day can come to a standstill. The problem may not be “finding the IT guy”, but them seeing you through the end of the problem. Is your IT department overwhelmed by the number of issues that need resolving? Are the security systems complex? Is the training inadequate? Do you need a bigger investment? As an employer, you must do your best to ensure your people have the tools available to complete their work. Tools that work.
Too many meetings
Are you spending most of your time in meetings, shuttling from one conference room to the next? This productivity killer is a two-edged sword. You will not get a lot of work done, and your employees won’t either. Certainly, you will not be available for your team for decisions and discussions. This communication gap will affect their morale and thereby hamper their productivity too. Take a look at your calendar every morning. Identify which meetings you must go to, and which you can skip. If unnecessary to attend, write to the meeting organizer excusing yourself. You could ask for an email update instead. Better yet, delegate members from your team to attend on your behalf. You will encourage and develop people in doing so. Look at the meetings you have called for— can they be emails? Could they be shorter? Does the agenda need to be crisp and focused?
Messy people will claim to know where all their stuff is. But this serves as an excuse rather than an explanation. People will spend time looking for documents that lay scattered on a table. Filing cabinets will pile up with things that don’t belong. Sticky notes on desks. A used coffee mug could lay unattended for days. Imagine the amount of time and effort put into searching for things. By being disorganized, you are more likely to miss deadlines, and meetings, and be under-prepared for the day. Instead, encourage a clean office. Put things in their place after you use them. Label everything. Sort. Encourage efficient organisation to help people perform better.