Survey reveals what destroys work productivity

Keeping employees focussed and on task is a struggle that every boss knows all too well. Although in most cases, a simple reminder of deadlines can do the trick, a more heavy handed approach is better suited to some employees.

A recent CareerBuilder survey, conducted by Harris Poll, surveyed more than 5,000 recruitment/HR professionals and employees to find out what the biggest productivity killers are and how they can avoid them.

For business executives, it is important to identify what kills productivity in the first place. If these are be removed from the environment, a business has the best opportunity to flourish and develop.

The advent of the technology in recent years is one of the main issues in the workplace with nearly a quarter (25 per cent) of workers admitting to using smartphones and tablets for calls or emails for at least an hour a day. More than a fifth (21 per cent) went further than this, looking at non-work photos and information.

Most employees surveyed (50 per cent) considered cell phones are the biggest productivity killer in the workplace followed by gossip (42 per cent), the internet/social media (38.5 per cent) and snack breaks/smoke breaks (27 per cent).

Rosemary Haefner, vice president of Human Resources at CareerBuilder, explains most employers know that small distractions can lead to bigger problems in time.

"It's important to be organised and designate times to work on different deliverables. Minimise interruptions and save personal communications for your lunch hour or break," she said.

"It can help put more time and momentum back into your workday."

Close to three quarters (73 per cent) of employers have installing tactics to stop these issues such as blocking some websites, stopping personal use of smartphones and scheduling break times.

Another way to do this is by investing in workflow automation or productivity software, which can manage tasks and streamline systems so employees are always kept busy and away from their devices.

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