6 Productivity Problems That Your Company Is Probably Ignoring: Don’t Ignore Number 6!

Companies that are successful even in competitive markets are able to master, market, and distribute their product. These companies have taken the time to analyze their production output and to optimize it in order to produce their product or provide their service with minimal interruptions. 

Having all of these components lined up requires a delicate balance. Let’s say that you’ve got a great idea and the means to produce it. You then need to have the properties in place to effectively provide this. 

The bottom line is that productivity challenges can make or break a good company. And when your employees are engaged, they are more productive and can increase productivity by 21%.

To help you get ahead, you need to introduce a productivity tracking software, a method for worker productivity tracking, and processes around improving that model. But you can’t do any of this without first understanding the causes of your low workplace productivity. 

6 Productivity Problems in the Workplace

You’ve heard time and time again about common productivity issues. Perhaps you’ve already addressed these issues and yet you’re still finding your production and quality are falling behind. 

Well, here’s your sign to take a deep look at the things you might not wish to see, the productivity challenges you’re holding a blind eye to.

Here are 6 productivity challenges that your company is probably ignoring, and a solution to solve that problem. You want to look out for number 6 as it could be critical to your company’s success.

1. Communication Overhead

Communication overhead is literally having an abundance of communication. You may be surprised at this one; after all, many business blogs encourage meetings, 1:1 time, and synchronicity in order to get your ideas across. 

But, getting ideas across isn’t what gets things done. In fact, there needs to be dedicated time to producing whatever it is you produce so that your clients and customers get what they want; if not, then they might not come back. 

Communication overhead can refer to settings both online and in-person. Perhaps you’re hanging around the water cooler too much (i.e., taking too many breaks!) or you’re chatting on your work messenger constantly. Whatever it is—it is eating up your time and your focus. 

It takes 23 minutes to regain focus after an interruption. Let’s consider the number of meetings the average office worker has in a day. If there are as many as five meetings, then you can consider that five times 23 minutes are down the drain. 

Cut back on communication overhead with a multi-pronged approach:

  • Introduce focus time by team so that each team knows it has a certain time (like from 11 am to 12 pm) to get some critical work done. Connect with your team members to find out which times they are most productive and correlate this with times not associated with meetings.
  • Introducing task tracking. Task tracking software tells managers when employees are actually getting work done or if they are putting tasks off. Employees track the task, projects, and administrative duties that they are doing and it is reported in a clear, easy-to-read dashboard. Team managers can analyze the time reporting and then begin to implement changes that address the issue. This software can also collect data on which applications your employees are active in. So if your employees are in Slack for 5 hours a day, then this is a clear indicator of communication overhead.

Try to eliminate one or two internal meetings a week and replace them with an email. We know which meetings should be emails. Also, consider which of your staff need to be meeting with clients. It might not need to be the entire project team and instead should just be the team lead. You can gain insight into these statistics with employee monitoring software.

2. Holding on to Baggage

Company baggage can weigh down a company’s ability to progress. This includes the company history and personnel who are not holding their own. When a company holds on to this baggage, they are suggesting that they are okay with subpar work. 

Historical baggage might play a crucial role in company growth, but it should only come into play at certain moments. For example, if you made a decision to form a business relationship with an unreliable company, it may have hurt your business. 

By holding onto this baggage, you are limiting your ability to progress. You may not want to forge any future business relationships because of this occurrence. This is the wrong approach. Instead, take what you learn from that experience and come up with a checklist that business partners need to have for the partnership to succeed. This checklist should include questions or factors that the business needs to have to pass the test. 

Don’t dwell again on that bad relationship; instead, move on with steps that can improve upon the partnership building and create a good relationship. 

Similarly, if you have people on your staff or processes in place that are dated, not working, or not up to snuff, it can be natural to want to hold off on fixing this issue. This might involve fixing the process or removing the staff member. 

You are probably ignoring the problems they are causing to spare their feelings. Both instances are hard, but it’s essential to do in order to overcome that major productivity issue. Consider using tools like your project management software and time tracking software to collect data on these hurdles; that way you can reason with yourself on why that person or process needs to go.

3. Not Scaling When You Need To

Scaling your company can be difficult, especially since it requires that you take some leaps of faith when the funds aren’t really there. Scaling is a major aspect of business growth and development and can put a strain on all areas of the business function. However, it is essential to scale. 

Some businesses consider putting off scaling until the time is just right. When they do this, they are actually missing the window. It can be a bit of a gamble, though. What if you decide to scale but then work slows down? Or your market enters into a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic? Knowing your market trends and where you can grow and take losses will help in this regard. 

Rely on your personnel and time tracking software data to understand why and when you need to scale, the areas of available growth, and the budget to do so. If you’re a small team, take these steps slowly. Larger businesses may need to wait a few quarters to see the effects of their scale and whether or not it was effective.

4. Failing To Implement The Right Technology

Technological improvements have paved the way for many companies to boom into thriving businesses. As far as productivity is concerned, technology can help. If you are not using the right technology to automate certain processes, sync across devices, or for optimized communication, then you’re doing it wrong and you will fall behind. 

There are at least two aspects to this point; you can fail to implement the right technology to improve and you can also hold onto poor or outdated technology. In this instance, you are hanging on to more technology baggage

Consider reading business blogs in your market around technological trends and to research a few. When it comes to productivity specifically, you need to have productivity tools in places like time tracking software and project management software so that your team can be as efficient as possible. 

5. Ignoring Personal Problems That Have Become Professional Problems

Life isn’t perfect, that is for sure, and sometimes personal problems desperately overlap into professional ones. While many businesses like to separate the personal from the professional, it becomes a problem when those personal issues are ignored.

When a personal issue is so great that it impacts productivity to a significant level, then it cannot be ignored from a professional standpoint

Unfortunately, companies who ignore personal problems will see weak points in their staff and productivity. However, companies that openly create time for personal growth will find that these personal problems do not impact productivity as much. There are things that cannot be ignored, of course. For any family member who has had to take care of an ailing parent, then it’s understandable that these personal problems might require a shift at work. However, other times, these things do not need to happen so forcefully.

Dedicate time to acknowledging your employees’ personal life, mental health, and workplace stress. Ask them how they feel their personal productivity levels are. You may find that your employees are less susceptible to letting personal problems cloud their professional judgment and productivity. You may need to talk more openly with your team about work-life balance or offer alternative work options, like working remotely.

6. Ignorance Is Not Bliss

Finally, we come to the last of our productivity issues: ignorance. So many companies approach productivity with a “this is how it’s done attitude” and think they are doing it right. The issue isn’t them or their employees or their productivity, it’s not enough sales, the product isn’t right, the market is low. 

But turning a blind eye to analyzing low employee productivity, you’re effectively welcoming it in. In the same vein, companies who overanalyze lost productivity and or efficiency are also doing it wrong. Micromanaging just won’t work. Don’t try it. 

If you ignore the problems in your business, then they will come back to haunt you. Take some time to sit with your employees and actually listen to their problems. You’ll want to implement time tracking and project management software so that you also have data that supports these productivity issues and tangible areas for improvement. Then work with your staff to see that changes are implemented, and follow up to make sure they are the right fit. 

Here’s Your Productivity Improvement Toolkit

So many companies want to turn a blind eye to poor employee productivity. But, much like the chores that you want to neglect, you can’t procrastinate productivity. It will always catch up to you. And, more importantly, poor productivity is a hidden expense and can cost your company money. Many employees aren’t engaged at work (85%), or they are actively disengaged; this could result in $7 trillion of lost productivity annually in the US.

If you want to overcome the challenges listed in this article, then you’ll want to be armed with the right tools and techniques to do so. 

With a small investment in productivity tools, you’ll be able to more accurately address problematic employee behavior and to improve your leadership activities for better working conditions, improved office culture, and more customer support. By addressing the challenges listed in this article and arming yourself with productivity software, you may find yourself better prepared for overcoming productivity challenges, hitting more organizational goals, and improving employee engagement

Connect with SoftActivity to get the productivity software that you need to overcome these productivity challenges that you’re probably ignoring. With our tracking software, you can gather productivity metrics so that you can view your team’s productivity over a period of time. Spot a productivity problem, like overtime on a certain project, and address this. 

By SoftActivity Team.

February 28th, 2022