Businesses are always looking for ways on improving productivity while maintaining or cutting costs to help increase their profit margins. There are many factors which can interfere with it, but there are also many ways to improve productivity in the workplace.

Factors Interfering with Productivity

It’s important for managers and business owners to understand what affects productivity so they can fix the problems. Productivity is linked to a company’s success, so if problems persist, sales can drop because the company is unable to fulfill its orders or the promises they’ve made to clients. Here are some of the most common factors which can cause decreases in productivity.

Poor Morale

If employees at a business are not happy about working conditions or with management, then it can affect their motivation in the workplace. Some of the reasons your staff may not be happy include:

  • Being overworked due to staff shortages or downsizing.
  • Outsourcing work to other companies.
  • Hiring management from outside of the company.
  • Poor leadership.

Unhappy employees are not productive and, sometimes, work stoppages can occur if they find their working conditions unbearable.

Illnesses and Health Conditions

A major factor in productivity losses for most businesses is employee absenteeism due to their own or family illnesses. In the United States, the CDC claims that losses due to illnesses account for approximately $225.8 billion per year or $1,685 per employee.

Unfortunately, many employers do not help themselves because nearly 40% of businesses do not offer paid sick leave. Without sick leave, employees often go to work sick and spread colds, flu, and other contagious conditions. However, this problem, known as presenteeism, costs businesses more in lost productivity than absenteeism.

A study by a group called the Global Corporate Challenge found the costs of presenteeism to be ten times higher than absenteeism. Employees who went to work sick often worked at only 75% capacity, which resulted in $1,5 billion in losses for businesses in the US.

Working for Bad Bosses

When employees are unhappy with an immediate supervisor, then productivity in the workplace can drop. A bad boss isn’t always someone who yells at employees or doesn’t have experience as a manager. It can be someone who doesn’t give employees credit for the work they do, or someone who blames others for mistakes they’ve made, or someone who doesn’t keep their promises.

Working for a bad boss can cause employees to stay home instead of going to work, which can increase absenteeism. Also, when employees are at work, they may not be able to get much done due to constant criticism or micromanaging by a supervisor.

Outdated Equipment

It’s difficult to be productive when the tools you’re given to work with are old and outdated. While the equipment in the office or a factory may work, it may not be as efficient as more modern, up-to-date tools utilizing modern technology.

In a study conducted by Microsoft, 90% of consumers said they would take their business to another company instead of working with one using outdated computer technology. An outdated system can lead to losses of data and security breaches, which can directly affect a company’s productivity.


improve productivity

Improving Productivity

Finding solutions to productivity problems can help retain clients, find new ones, and increase profits for businesses. After trying solutions that haven’t worked, insight psychology may sometimes provide obvious answers. However, if not, try one of these suggestions for improving productivity in the workplace.

Keep Everyone in the Loop

When there are changes within a company, it can be disconcerting to employees if they don’t know what is happening and why. They may be concerned that downsizing in their department may mean they will lose their jobs, when in fact, it could be happening because the business is expanding and moving some people to another department.

Not knowing what is happening can cause morale to drop due to employment concerns. The easiest way to prevent morale problems is effective communication in the workplace. Upper-level management can relay information to supervisors who can then pass it on to their teams, or they can send company-wide emails to share information about company changes when they occur.

Offer Sick Leave

While it may seem like a paradox of value to spend money to save money by implementing a paid sick leave policy, not having one is usually costlier for businesses. Companies save money by decreasing absenteeism, decreasing presenteeism, and increasing productivity.

Healthier employees are more productive, there are less on the job injuries when paid sick leave is offered, and there is less turnover. People may change jobs if another company offers better benefits and replacing staff becomes costly because it increases training costs. So, to increase productivity in the workplace and cut costs, employers should consider having a paid sick leave policy.

Provide Management Training

To prevent morale and productivity problems due to bad bosses, companies should train those they hire or promote to management. Also, they can offer further management training throughout their tenure with the company. Most employees consider further training opportunities an incentive and will look for employers offering continuing education programs.

Supervisors can be trained in how to communicate with others, to improve their management styles, and to improve hard skills they’re lacking. It’s important for managers and supervisors to have the same skill sets as their employees in case someone on their team needs help with a client or with an equipment malfunction.

Update Technology

Your employees cannot be productive with equipment that is falling apart or cannot handle some of the necessary processes to complete customer orders. However, replacing equipment or tools can be expensive, so it can be tempting to get by with what you already have.

Making investments in equipment is investing in your company and is necessary to succeed. Along with improving productivity in the workplace, having technology that helps your employees do their jobs can also improve morale. Protecting your company’s and clients’ data will usually give your customers more confidence in doing business with you and improve your company’s reputation.

Image Source: Adobe Stock


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