Staff productivity is essential for business success in every industry, but improving this aspect of the workplace could be easier said than done. There are many external factors competing for an employee's attention throughout the workday, and this can often have a significant impact on the amount and quality of work produced.
Understanding and adapting to these factors is crucial to raising productivity levels in your organisation. A new survey has provided further insight into this area by identifying some of the top 'productivity killers' in place today.
The USA-based survey was conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder and included a representative sample of 2,138 hiring managers and human resource professionals, as well as 3,022 full-time private sector workers across various industries and company sizes.
According to the research, some of the biggest factors encroaching on employee time at work involves personal use of technology. In total, 24 per cent of workers polled said they spent at least one hour out of every typical work day on personal calls, emails or texts. A further 21 per cent say they spend around one hour or more browsing the internet for information, images and more not associated with their work.
From the employees' own view, the biggest obstacles to productivity in the workplace include cell phone use/texting (50 per cent of those surveyed), gossip (42 per cent), the internet (39 per cent), social media (38 per cent), snack breaks or smoking breaks (27 per cent), noisy co-workers (24 per cent), meetings (23 per cent) and email (23 per cent).
The habits of other colleagues also influenced productivity, with 23 per cent of employees identifying 'co-workers dropping by' as an obstacle. Lastly, 10 per cent of employees surveyed also said other co-workers putting calls on speaker phone contributed to a drain on productivity.
To counter these productivity killers, 73 per cent of employers had implemented measures to address the issues. For example, 22 per cent monitored emails and internet use while 12 per cent limited meetings. Other methods included blocking certain sites (36 per cent), restricting use of speaker phones (11 per cent) and prohibiting personal calls and cell phones (25 per cent).
While the survey focused on technology use and social distractions as productivity challenges, ill health and injuries can also take their toll on your workforce. Business health insurance plans can provide employees with access to the medical care and services they need, and may help to lower the rate of sickness-related workplace absences.