May 26, 2019
Performance Management 22 May 2018
Common Obstacles Preventing Productivity In The Workplace
Guest Poster
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Workplace productivity can make or break a company. If employees fail to complete their workload during office hours, business suffers immensely. This causes undue stress for all parties involved, but it’s not a problem that’s easy to solve. Many everyday factors have a negative influence on productivity. Without finding a way to target these, employers can’t hope to improve staff output during the workday. 

In order to improve productivity in the workplace, we must first overcome obstacles that prevent us from working at our full potential. Some of the obstacles affecting productivity are incredibly common. While all problems should be dealt with over time, these are the issues that employers should tackle before anything else.


Lack of Training

When someone is hired for a job, they might not be skilled in every aspect of it. There’s more to a person’s credentials than whether they know everything about the position they’ve applied for. Gaps in someone’s knowledge or experience can easily be filled in with on-the-job training. However, the number of employees who fail to have received this is staggeringly low.

2017 report found that a mere 31% of Americans were provided with formal job training. If a member of staff doesn’t know what they’re doing, they’ll make mistakes, or fail to complete their work. This causes frustration for everyone, and productivity starts to decrease. It’s in an employer’s best interests for their staff to be fully trained in every aspect of the job, even if money is tight. 

Don't let negatively affect your company! One of the best ways to know what training is needed in your company is through the use of succession planning. When done properly, your employees will know exactly what skills they need to learn to excel in their jobs as well as which training programs to take for pay raises and promotions in the company.  


No Communication

No workplace can run efficiently without communication. What a lot of employers fail to realize is that talking to their employees does not constitute good communication if there’s no discussion about performance and problems. Someone who tells their boss that “everything is fine” might not be telling the truth, but they don’t feel able to open up about their issues. This is because the employer has failed to establish strong communication channels with their staff early on.

Engaging with employees is important for ensuring productivity, as well as retention. Without it, people won’t feel comfortable in their job, or even know how to do it. Rather than simply asking for help, an employee who can’t communicate with their boss will struggle through on their own. The result of this is either a bad piece of work or no work at all. If there’s no engagement in the workplace, a business will never be able to thrive.

Make the chain of command clear from the very start and set your new hires up with mentors that they can turn to if they have questions about their job responsibilities. It doesn't always have to be a manager, you could try connecting them with more experienced coworkers that have potential for leadership. Always be sure that everybody knows who they report to so that there is accountability throughout every level of the company.


Bad Working Environment

Different people work better under different conditions. It’s something that’s talked about a lot but is unfortunately hard to deal with. There are things you can do to make your workspace inspire productivity and creativity and create a workspace that eliminates distractions. Do your best to make your workspace environment suitable for as many people as possible.

Elements like temperature control can be a nightmare in the workplace, because what is normal for one person might be too hot or cold for another. The problem is, these conditions are more than just a minor inconvenience. Overly warm or cold office spaces can be harmful to concentration, leading to a decrease in productivity. Finding a happy medium might not be possible, especially when 80% of the workforce regularly complains about the office temperatureWhile some employees might work best in a warmer workplace, that won’t be the case for everyone.


Unmotivated by Benefits

Although people should apply for a job because they’re passionate about the work, that’s no longer the only incentive. There’s an expectation from employees that a job needs to provide benefits for it to be worthwhile. If there are few to no benefits offered, people will be less inclined to work. Moreover, what they do put it might not be done to their best ability.

Wanting incentives isn’t unreasonable. They show that a person’s effort is acknowledged and appreciated. Plus, what employees are asking for isn’t excessive. Things like good healthcare and pension schemes are understandable in this current climate, and luckily there is software available that makes it easier than ever for employers to set this up.

Flexibility is also strongly desired by employees, as are opportunities to advance within the company. If someone doesn’t feel that they’re able to work in a way that suits them, they’re never going to give as much of themselves to the job as possible. While this doesn’t mean that staff should have free reign over the running of the office, it does signify that employers need to understand what their workers want. Again, this relates back to having good communication.


Productivity within the workplace will never be consistent. Employees have bad days, and some workloads are easier than others. However, combating the important problems will at least ensure that everyone is doing their best. 

While these are the most common obstacles affecting productivity, they aren’t the only ones. If there’s been something causing an issue in your workplace that hasn’t been mentioned here, let us know.


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