Lack of productivity is a common problem in the workplace. If leaders aren’t proactive about handling it, the organization can’t satisfy customers’ demands. And this could make such organizations lose millions (if not billions) of dollars every year. Today’s article will discuss why only 12 percent of employees are productive at work.
Every leader knows one thing – their business is as good as their employees. And if they aren’t as productive as they ought to be, the business performance will suffer.
Unfortunately, leaders and business owners fail to realize that their employees aren’t robots.
With so many unrealistic expectations and endless to-do lists, it’s only natural for employees to burn out.
A recently published Task Management Trends Report revealed that only 12.4% of employees could efficiently contribute more than 6 hours a day to their actual work hours.
The report further revealed that only 53.3% of the time worked on tasks was spent on productive tasks.
Now you understand how performance is dwindling in the workplace.
Here are some of the reasons why most employees are less productive. Identifying the productivity killers in your work environment will help boost your employees’ performance.
#1. Endless Interruptions and Distractions
Endless interruptions and distractions are one of the reasons only 12 percent of employees are productive at work.
In today’s workplace, employees don’t have enough time to work. They experience so many distractions, from marathon meetings to trivial tasks, that the interruption is never-ending.
Sadly, these interruptions directly affect workers’ productivity. Reports revealed that on the average, employees experience;
- 25.6 meetings per week.
- 31.6 interruptions in a day.
- And 1.96 hours a day spent on unproductive tasks.
Surprisingly, an average team leader or manager rates their ability to shield their team against interruptions and distractions by 5.3 out of 10.
Only 12.5% of managers rate their ability to protect their team against distraction by 7 out of 10.
Undoubtedly, time-wasting tasks and meetings make the 21st-century workforce less productive.
Let’s do the math; if an employee has an average of 25.6 meetings per week, and each session lasts 30 minutes; that is about 2.5 hours of meetings every day.
And sometimes, these meetings may be longer than 30 minutes. Some even last for hours.
Come to think of it, when employees spend so much time attending meetings, they won’t have time to work.
#2. Overworked and Understaffed
Being overworked due to inadequate staffing is one of the reasons why only 12 percent of employees are productive.
The workplace is now experiencing the effects of the “Great Resignation”.
After the pandemic, most employees had a different mindset about work and time management.
Some realize that time is precious; it’s better to use it on something they enjoy doing rather than be trapped in the repetitive cycle of a 9 to 5 job.
So, this probably led to the mass resignation of the workforce in the United States and some parts of the world.
And right now, most organizations are grossly understaffed. The few available workforces are overworked beyond their capacity.
A recent survey revealed that 23.4% of employees feel their workload increased since the great resignation.
Due to the workload, most employees struggle to catch up with their assigned duties. Some are even handling the work of two or three people.
All of these things can affect a worker’s productivity. But as a leader, you can resolve this by adding more people to the team, if your company can afford it.
Your employee tends to be more efficient and productive when the workload is less.
#3. Employees Work Under Stress and Pressure
Employees are more stressed these days than ever before. But why wouldn’t they be? Their to-do list keeps growing, yet they only
have 8 hours to execute all the tasks. In many cases, they are working 10-12 hours a day just to catch up.
Once the clock is ticking, and the deadline is approaching, the employees who are yet to finish their tasks will naturally be stressed. And it’s one of the reasons why only 12% of employees are productive at work.
A survey conducted by Reclaim revealed that 98.7% of employees go through stress because of the inability to meet deadlines.
It’s not that these employees aren’t hardworking, it’s just that there are more tasks to handle with limited time.
And the fact that most employees try to keep up with the pace, despite lack of time, can lead to severe burnout.
Additionally, a recent survey by Flexjobs revealed that 75% of workforces have experienced burnout. And 40% confirmed that they experienced burnout during the pandemic.
Unfortunately, a burned-out employee is an unhealthy employee. Such an employee doesn’t benefit the organization in any way.
It is even worse for employees working remotely. These employees feel more pressure to spend long hours in front of their screens until their tasks are completed.
But here’s what these remote employees fail to understand – there will always be more tasks to complete.
So, it’s better to set reasonable daily targets and work tirelessly towards achieving them.
Read Also: Data Analytics Pave the Way for Business
How Do You Make Your Employees More Productive?
Making your employees more productive goes beyond a mere black and white answer. It has to do with prioritizing your employees’ mental well-being.
Regardless of how urgent you need to deliver a project, avoid overloading your employees with too much work, or more than they can handle.
Once they are stressed, and under pressure, you can’t get the best out of them.
Furthermore, pay attention to little things that kill productivity at work and find a way to eliminate them.
If possible, hire more people for equitable distribution of tasks and relocate less important meetings to emails.
Lastly, have an open line of communication with your employees. Once in a while, talk to your employees to find out how they feel.
You can ask them what part of their job gives them the most stress and the tasks they don’t have enough time to handle.
All of these things will help you identify and eliminate some productivity killers from your workplace.