Top office productivity killers and how to avoid them

by on January 25, 2011 · 10 comments

in Management

Employees are the biggest asset of a company. A happy productive employee works as a smooth gear in the company machinery. It makes a lot of sense to provide employees the best environment in order to get maximum efficiency.

Unfortunately, scant attention is paid to the employee productivity. This happens because employees are not seen as assets but instead by names such as ‘resources’. The employee productivity is bogged down by reckless, ill thought management policies, processes and decisions.

For e.g.,in the management’s eyes, employees frittering away time on social network sites is typically a waste but crazy processes that do not serve any purpose are not.

In order to get high productivity, it is important to observe some events that occur below the radar but hurt more than those that are conspicuous. Let us look at some of the ways, these events destroy productivity more than the others.

  • Top Office Productivity killer No. 1 ->Slow and unresponsive networks

  • An office network that is slow and unresponsive is the biggest impediment to high productivity. Slow networks cause application crashes leading to loss of unsaved work. Slow network lead to higher frustration, longer working hours and drop in efficiency. So install a high quality network in office.

  • Top Office Productivity killer No 2 -> Unnecessary distractions

  • Too many meetings, general emails from various departments and conference calls make people feel important but actually takes time away from necessary activities. It has been proven that the employee productivity is highest when there are long periods of uninterrupted work. If you observe that there are too many distractions in office , make effort to reduce them as much as possible

  • Top Office Productivity killer No.3 ->Poor lightning and seating conditions

  • Broken chairs, non-ergonomic tables are serious health hazards. Employees using these chairs and tables are more troubled by the backaches rather than concentrating on the work. Replace or repair the broken office furniture as soon as possible.

  • Top Office Productivity killer No 4 ->Unnecessary processes

  • If in order to get a small pencil an employee has to fill up five forms, he would prefer not asking for it at all. Forms are for government and it loves us when we fill them in duplicate and triplicate. But a company is not like a government.

  • Top Office Productivity killer No 5 ->Not enough cafeteria/food services

  • If there are no good food joints/ cafeterias available in or near the office, employees will walk hundreds of meters before they find something to eat. In the process, an employee will waste hours on getting there, having food and coming back to office. If possible get good food in office or have a better cafeteria. You will be surprised by how much you save.

  • Top Office Productivity killer No 6 ->Restricting access to internet

    • to search solutions for the problems they are working on,
    • do small tasks such as paying bills online for which they will have to go out of the office
    • Engage in a little bit of distraction when using social networking sites
  • This is the most stupid thing to do in my opinion. It is like cutting off employees from communicating with the world. Agreed that some employees misuse the internet services but most of them use internet

    So imagine your employee going to pay water bill physically because he forgot to do it at his home. How much time would be lost ? Avoid restricting internet.

  • Top Office Productivity killer No 7 ->An extremely disciplined environment

  • Today’s generation want to have fun while working. Too many controls on what they can or not do actually dampens the work environment. If possible allow people to have fun within acceptable limits in office.

  • Top Office Productivity killer No 8 ->Having offices far away from cities

  • If the employee is so far from office that it takes four hours to commute to the workplace, then it will eat into productivity. So either take an office closer to the city or at least find a place that has a great transportation service to the city.

  • Top Office Productivity killer No 9 ->Unfriendly policies

  • Inadequate compensation, too many formalities, irrelevant processes take a huge toll on employee productivity. The processes should be kept as simple as possible. Approval work-flows should be reduced as far as possible.

I hope you like the points I mentioned here and would utilize them to make your workplace a better workplace for your employees.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Dasha March 1, 2013 at 6:53 pm

A couple of weeks ago we ran a survey on working habits with 2,000 respondents, and one of the questions addressed productivity killer. Interruptions turned out to be the absolute winner. 39% of male respondents and 44% of female respondents named them the main hindrance to their productivity ( Procrastination and inaccurate plans were also in top 3.

And speaking of ways to beat interruptions – I think that first of all you need to start from those that you can control. For instance, resist the temptation to check out a friend’s new photos on Facebook :) With work-related interruptions, it’s trickier, but the key thing is to get back on track after you switched tasks.


Edward Villanueva December 28, 2012 at 8:08 am

The hallmark of a successful entrepreneur is the ability to delegate. Working on a difficult or boring chore quickly saps your energy and enthusiasm. Admit that you’re not an expert at everything! Give the job to the real experts. They can do it more easily and cost-effectively, and you can get back to doing what you do best.


Veronica Cervera November 30, 2011 at 11:20 am

It’s just like the parable of the golden goose. One has to take care of the goose (people), for it to continue producing the gold (productivity). It’s actually quite that simple. It’s like a car that has not been maintained. No one can expect that car to function right without the proper maintenance.


Nicola Deiana January 26, 2011 at 9:24 am

Great post Ashvini! I follow some of these point on my little office, but I have to work more to don’t get distracted from internet, and I have to limit myself to play games less during my works. For the rest I always have my coffe machine near my pc ready to give my daily dose of caffeine.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena January 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm

Thank you dear for your comments and appreciation


Aswani January 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Brilliant post. I am myself a employee here and I agree to all your points. Honestly, attractive compensation is one of the prime factors behind a motivated employee and if this motivation goes down then productivity is also affected. The same has happened here too. Also, I believe that there has to be a better talent management to get the desired results in form of better productivity from your employees.


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