Workforce productivity is critical to business growth, so employees are expected to perform well and deliver quality work day in and day out. But the reality is that a person’s productivity can fluctuate due to several factors.
If you’re struggling to be productive at work, the first step in getting out of the slump is to identify its causes. Here are some of the most common causes of low productivity and what you can do to fix them.
1. Bad workplace environment
A bad workplace environment is not conducive to productivity. Distractions like noise and clutter can make it difficult for workers to concentrate, so they take longer to finish tasks.
A room that's too cold or too warm, poorly lit, cramped, and equipped with uncomfortable chairs can also irritate or frustrate workers, and negative emotions such as these can lower their productivity.
What to do
Create a comfortable working environment that heightens your focus. If you’re sharing a space with your colleagues, come up with a mutually beneficial arrangement, as what’s comfortable for you might not be ideal for them.
If you’re working from home, make sure that your workspace is separate from your living space. This will not only allow you to better compartmentalize your professional life from your personal life, but it will also make unplugging from work easier.
2. Lack of skills
When an employee lacks the necessary skills to accomplish a task, they will struggle to get it done. If they have limited knowledge in using a program, for instance, they may need to spend a lot of time figuring out how certain software functions work. And because they don’t have mastery of their tools, their work can also be prone to error.
What to do
You don’t have to struggle on your own. If your low productivity is caused by a knowledge or skills gap, talk to your superior about undergoing training in the areas that you lack. What’s more, if solving a task has already slowed down your pace or caused delays, better ask someone more knowledgeable to assist you.
3. Ineffective communication
Sometimes, an employee can’t complete a task because they don’t understand exactly what needs to be done. The instructions are contradictory, or the goals are not clear, leaving the poor staff to approximate what was expected of them. This can result in multiple revisions that can further gut the employee’s morale.
What to do
Be honest if you don’t understand the task assigned to you. Ask questions and express any worries you may have, especially concerning deadlines. Communicating openly saves time, improves process efficiency, and gives employees a better grip on the situation.
4. Lack of benefits or growth opportunities
Employees tend to feel demotivated when they are not compensated or praised enough for the work they do — and low motivation can lead to low productivity. Dead-end jobs, or jobs that lack opportunities for growth or chances of promotions, can also drive employees to feel that their work is meaningless. This perspective can make them lose interest in their work and turn in sloppy work.
What to do
If your productivity is suffering because of the lack of benefits or growth opportunities, consult with your immediate supervisor. They may be able to guide you with your career path — or at least spark your drive to be productive again.
5. Inadequate technology
To perform at their best, employees must have the best tools at their disposal. Outdated or unreliable technologies such as crawling internet speeds, broken devices, or crashing applications only prevent them from achieving peak productivity.
What to do
If the technology you’re using is holding you back from optimal productivity, inform concerned departments and explain that you need better tools to do your job efficiently. While you can use your preferred technologies, they will not be as secure as office-endorsed IT.
Technology can make or break your staff’s productivity, so partner with a dependable managed IT services provider like Complete Technology. We offer comprehensive IT solutions for an all-inclusive price. Learn more about how we can help your business by contacting us today.