Tag Archives: employee productivity

increase office productivity

Identifying Common Behaviors that Reduce Productivity

Let’s face it — productivity in the workplace isn’t always what we want it to be. In many instances, time that could be well spent tackling an important project is spent puttering around, engaging in pointless conversation or lost in reverie.

If left unchecked, low productivity can have a host of negative consequences including low morale, poor product/service quality and decreased profitability. To properly address this issue, it’s necessary to first identify some common behaviors that reduce productivity.


The Internet and Social Media

Although the Internet has revolutionized the world and unlocked infinite opportunities for today’s businesses, it can also be a major hindrance to productivity. That’s because it’s all too easy to get sidetracked — and all of a sudden 10 or 15 minutes have passed with an employee online shopping or watching YouTube videos.

Social media, in particular, can be problematic because of its addictive quality spurring countless people to obsessively check their Facebook or Twitter accounts. While a little Internet or social media browsing shouldn’t create any major complications, you may want to create relevant policies or even consider blocking certain sites if it gets out of control. For example, you might make a policy where employees are allowed to use social media during their breaks but not during working hours.


Cell Phones

Cell phones can also be serious time wasters. Smartphones allow employees to get distracted with apps, playing games, texting and so on. Information on the Pew Research Center’s website states that “Nearly two-thirds of Americans now own a smartphone.” It’s likely that your business has suffered some type of productivity loss because of them. For this reason, you may want to mandate that employees only use cell phones during breaks or strictly for business purposes while on the job.


Company Meetings

On paper, it might seem like frequent meetings are advantageous to productivity and keep staff members on the same page. Although meetings are often necessary, many companies spend way too much time in the meeting room to the point where it hurts productivity. In fact, an article on the Psychology Today website states that, “30 percent of managers claim that their time spent in meetings is a waste of time.”

Fortunately, there are several alternatives to traditional meetings that can effectively maintain communication without wasting time. Here are some examples:

  • Send out company-wide emails to highlight important events or changes
  • Utilize collaboration apps like Basecamp, Asana and Trello
  • Send out bulleted mass texts


Workplace Gossip and Chit-Chat

You obviously want to have team cohesion where employees have rapport with another and discuss what’s going on in their lives. However, you don’t want excessive gossip and chit-chat at the expense of diminished productivity. Keep an eye on this and set some boundaries to prevent your staff from going overboard. If you notice that a particular employee is consistently taking this to extremes, you should take them aside and tell them to cool it.


While you can’t realistically expect your employees to give 100 percent effort 100 percent of the time, you should be aware of common behaviors that reduce productivity. By addressing these behaviors before they get out of control, you can minimize frivolous time wasters and get the most from your manpower.

employee engagement

Tips on Engaging Employees

“Whenever we forget about the human need to be engaged and interested in the work to be done, technology can alienate even the information worker.” — Karl Marx, 19th century philosopher and sociologist.

Successfully engaging employees can have a profound impact on your workplace on many levels. It means that employees aren’t merely going through the motions to earn a paycheck, but are genuinely motivated and invested in their jobs. When you’re able to get your employees to “buy in” and give more than just the bare minimum, it can be a catalyst for progress while accelerating the growth of your business.


What is Employee Engagement?

Employee engagement is defined on Custom Insight’s website as “The extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work.” Simply put, it’s when employees are motivated beyond earning a paycheck and give a strong effort when performing their jobs.


What Does an Engaged Employee Look Like?

Engaged employees look forward to coming to work and understand that they personally contribute to the success of their company. There’s a feeling of inclusiveness, and they feel like what they do matters. Rather than feeling detached or alienated, there is a sense of connection — and engaged employees are passionate and enthusiastic about their jobs.


Benefits of Employee Engagement

Probably the most obvious advantage of engaging employees is increased productivity. In fact, research found on the Harvard Business Review website reports that “Organizations with a high level of engagement report 22 percent higher productivity.” That’s definitely not a number to scoff at and is tangible proof that there’s a positive correlation between employee engagement and productivity.

Some other significant benefits include:

  • Decreased turnover/higher employee retention rate
  • Higher employee morale
  • Less absenteeism and tardiness
  • Fewer accidents and safety incidents

When you combine all of these benefits, it means one very important thing for employers — increased profitability.


Fostering Engagement in the Workplace

While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for engaging employees, there are several techniques that should help. First of all, you’ll want to establish a company culture where employees are involved and actively participate. This means asking for their feedback, allowing them to make certain decisions and treating them as equals.

Direct communication is also key and allows you to get to know your employees on a personal basis. By speaking with employees face-to-face or on the phone, you should be able to develop stronger rapport.

Some other ideas include:

  • Ensuring that they’re properly trained to perform their jobs at a high level
  • Providing opportunities for growth and development (e.g. educational training and leadership development programs)
  • Recognizing significant accomplishments
  • Creating an encouraging atmosphere rather than one that’s fear-based
  • Providing teamwork building opportunities where employees can become more cohesive
  • Offering support
  • Addressing any issues your employees may have and working to come up with a solution


Employee engagement is an often overlooked but essential part of running nearly any business. By creating an environment where everyone is working for the greater good of the company and exerting a hearty effort, you can extract the most from your manpower, and your company will be in a better position for achieving sustainable success.

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