Top 10 Workplace Productivity Killers

Behaviors of co-workers, meetings and other factors are creating obstacles


Being at work doesn't always mean you're working.

In fact, most employees admittedly spend at least one hour of their shifts doing something other than work.

According to a national survey released by Chicago-based CareerBuilder, the behaviors of co-workers, meetings, and technology all play a role in limiting employee productivity.

The survey, which included more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals and more than 3,000 full-time private sector employees, aimed to determine the top productivity stoppers in the workplace.

Here are the top 10 workplace productivity killers, according to the survey:

  1. Cell phones and texting
  2. Gossip
  3. The Internet
  4. Social media
  5. Snack breaks or smoke breaks
  6. Noisy co-workers
  7. Meetings
  8. Email
  9. Co-workers dropping by
  10. Co-workers putting calls on speaker phone

“While many managers feel their teams perform at a desirable level, they also warn that little distractions can add up to bigger gaps in productivity,” said Rosemary Haefner, Vice President of Human Resources at CareerBuilder. “It’s important to be organized and designate times to work on different deliverables. Minimize interruptions and save personal communications for your lunch hour or break. It can help put more time and momentum back into your workday.”

According to the survey, nearly 73 percent of employers have implemented some measures to mitigate productivity obstacles at work.

Some of the tactics include blocking certain Internet sites at work, prohibiting personal calls or personal use of cellphones, monitoring emails and Internet usage and scheduling lunch and break times.

Employers can also design an open space layout instead of cubicles.

As for employees, Haefner said there are some simple steps you can take to avoid wasting time on the job.

She suggested workers organize their work space and plan out their week ahead of time, block off an area to work on projects where others won't interrupt or distract, avoid unnecessary meetings, tend to personal matters during breaks or at home, avoid procrastinating and communicate wisely.

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