Core Reasons for Low Levels of Employee Productivity

employee productivity

~by Chloe Taylor~

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A company can have the best modern technology, strong relationships in the business world and a number of other resources, but if it doesn’t have a productive workforce, it all falls apart. Employee productivity is the amount of work they manage to perform during their working hours. On average, an employee will spend about five hours at their desk, but very often the results of the work they’ve done vs. the time spent sitting at the workplace don’t match up. Since, in the business world time is definitely money, every lost hour carries serious consequences. To solve this problem, entrepreneurs have to go to the very core of the issue, so let us find the causes of low productivity and address them properly.

Happy = Productive

employee productivityResearch suggests that satisfied workers will work 12 percent more creatively, effectively and collaboratively when they are happy. But we didn’t need scientists to figure that out. It is obvious that people will work badly when they dislike their jobs, feel sad and unmotivated, and when they count the minutes until the end of the workday. Not only does the unhappy employee have low productivity, but their bad attitude drags the rest of the team down. Some of the fail-proof ways to boost employee happiness are:

  • Respectful treatment of all workers
  • Proper compensation for their work
  • Job security
  • Trustful manager
  • Recognition of job performance
  • Overall benefits
  • Private life/career balance
  • Opportunities to use and enhance skills and abilities at work

Horrible Bosses

We can blame the workers for everything, but as the good old adage says, “A fish rots from the head down”. If the immediate supervisor doesn’t give credit when it’s due, fails to keep promises, gives inappropriate negative comments, or blames other for the mistakes they’ve made, the workers won’t feel very motivated to do their best at the workplace. A good supervisor should motivate, inspire and reward good performance, as well as correct the workers after they make a mistake with proper advice and guidance.

(Un)Healthy Dose of Productivity

Imagine this: Hannah comes to work at 9 a.m. She feels tired. Her eyes are tearing, she has troubles breathing and she feels generally fatigued. What do you think, is she going to be productive during a day like this? Probably not. Sometimes employee productivity is beyond our control, since it is affected by an illness or some physical problem, but in Hannah’s case, there could be something we can do – improving the air quality in the office and creating a healthier working environment. Here’s how to do it.

  • Introduce plant life
  • Ventilate frequently
  • Equip each room with a quality super quiet commercial air purifier
  • Ensure access to drinking water
  • Offer gym membership
  • Include sit/stand desks to minimize the negative effects of prolonged sitting

employee productivityLack of Tools

You can have all the feel-good approach and techniques in the world, but if you don’t equip your workers with appropriate tools for the job they should be performing, they will be unsatisfied, nervous and inefficient. Make sure you upgrade your tech tools regularly, from smartphones to notebooks and other 21st century tools. Wireless technology is more than just a fad in the business world, it enables workers to move through the office, and perform their tasks at various locations, instead of just sitting in their boring cubicles.

Poor Office Design

Speaking of cubicles, one of the most neglected factors impacting worker’s productivity is the office design. This doesn’t mean that every employee should be allowed to design their office space (we would end up with Legally Blonde inspired décor, right next to Die Hard cubicle), but that the workspace should be thoughtfully designed to match the worker’s needs:

  • Use color psychology
  • Create zones and hubs (social hub, relaxing nook, brainstorming zone)
  • Introduce layered lighting
  • Give workers comfortable (ergonomic) chairs and desks
  • Collect input from your employees about the office design

If you don’t want your workers to have “a case of Mondays” every day, all day, you should do your best to boost their productivity by creating a working environment where they can thrive.


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Chloe Taylor

Meet the Author: Chloe Taylor

Chloe is a young blogger and a huge fan of social media. She enjoys learning and writing about design, business, psychology, and productivity related topics. Her biggest dream is to travel the whole world and take stunning photographs of beautiful places. You can find Chloe on Facebook and Twitter.


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