Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

7 elements that might kill productivity in your work environment

When you work in human resources, a big part of the job is to find better ways to maximize employee retention and productivity. A productive staff is the key to a profitable business, but as you quickly discover on the job, you’re faced with an endlessly difficult challenge. There are countless factors that can get in the way of this.

It’s like a high-stakes game of Whac-A-Mole – every time you beat down one threat to your company’s productivity, there’s another one that pops back up again. You’re always hard-pressed to defeat every distraction simultaneously.

According to Take It Personel-ly, the first step is to be aware of the productivity threats that exist in your office. Chantal Bechervaise, social media marketing expert at HootSuite, notes that you can’t control everything, but you can at least have a good sense of what “productivity killers” exist.

“There are no shortage of things that can decrease productivity in your office,” Bechervaise explained. “From March Madness to Serial podcasts to chatty coworkers, a number of distractions can invade your office and decrease your employees’ output.”

She added, meanwhile, that you can’t block every website and soundproof every office. You can, however, develop a good awareness of what factors might hurt your company’s productivity. Here are seven of them found in the following infographic:

It’s extremely difficult for people to work when there’s noise around them, especially when their work involves reading or writing. This is one drawback to using open workspaces, so if your office setting is open, try offering quiet spaces or meeting rooms for people to use when they have pressing tasks or calls to make.

According to the infographic, there’s a 50% decline in productivity when employees use just one computer display. The solution: provide workers with an extra monitor.

Light deficiency
People work better when they have natural light around them – i.e., when they’re working near a window and can see the sun from their desks. When they can’t, it’s tougher to focus.

Employees tend to be their most productive when the temperature is a little on the high side – between 70 and 73 degrees Fahrenheit. The typical office is about 5 degrees lower, which can put a small dent in productivity.

Do your workers have messy workspaces and cluttered desks? It might not seem like a big deal, but it can lead to lost items and random distractions that pop up throughout the day. Companies lose an average of $4,800 per year due to the time employees spend “looking for stuff.” Encourage employees to keep their desks clean and uncluttered!

Employees spend a lot of time at a desk looking at a computer, so they should have good posture when doing so. Ideally, they’d be at eye level with the monitor, about 24 to 36 inches away, with a chair that’s slightly reclined and feet that rest on the floor.

Air quality
You want every breath that’s taken in your office to be a healthy one. To this end, it might be worthwhile to install air filters that will ensure good, clean air for everyone to enjoy. Or for a more budget-friendly option, more indoor plants can help too.

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