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Common Obstacles Preventing Productivity in the Workplace

Sandra Whitney

Workplace productivity is very crucial for any organization that is focused on growing to the next level. Increased profits and cash flows depend on how well you keep deadlines and the quality of work that the workforce produces. Otherwise, an organization can record immense losses of business and clients if productivity is continuously down.

There are many everyday factors that work against optimum productivity. If you suddenly notice a reduction in productivity in your organization, it is important to find the culprit and work on it. However, it can be challenging if you have no idea where to target. This article tackles some of the common obstacles that hinder productivity in the workplace, so you can have an idea of the areas to start from.

  1. Lack of ideal conditions

It is common for employers to standardize workstations and conditions in the workplace. However, teams comprise different people with different personalities. This means that each individual has ideal conditions that he or she can be optimally productive. It is important that you create a workplace that accommodates the needs of most people.

For instance, you can have different sitting areas with different seats and desks. As it can be difficult to entirely eliminate distractions, have some quiet and private areas for people who need it. If you can’t provide that, consider allowing them to find alternative workspaces out there. If you are in Denver, for instance, your employees can pop in a coworking space in Denver to get their work done.

Furthermore, the lack of ideal conditions might also be relevant to recreational spaces in the workplace. If you don’t offer an adequate space where your employees can wind down and relax, it will greatly compromise their work performance. If as an employer, you cannot afford a special space for leisure time and break, you can at least invest in a kitchen remodeling of your office, to make it more spacious, and definitely cozier, to create a more relaxing ambiance for your employees so they can rest and feel rejuvenated to continue working productively.

  1. Lack of proper communication

Communication is a very important part of collaboration between teams. Lack of it can be a big hindrance to workplace productivity. However, proper communication goes beyond just employees talking to each other. You need to establish an environment where open communication exists. This means that every individual is free to express his or her mind without the fear of being reprimanded or intimidated. This can draw a line between employees saying that they are fine when in reality they are struggling with a task, and employees approaching the bosses or a colleague for help in a difficult task. The first situation causes delays or substandard work, which can bring a damp to productivity.

  1. Lack of training

Just because a person’s credentials say that he or she is qualified for the position, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she is skilled to execute it well in all aspects of the job. In addition, technology keeps advancing, and new ways of doing things emerge. This means that it is not all the time that your workforce will be knowing what to do in their tasks. Moreover, when they don’t know what they are doing, it can lead to frustrations and mistakes.

Staff training goes a long way in eliminating such gaps. Ensure that new hires are fully trained on what is expected in their roles. If you introduce new technology in the workforce, ensure that employees are given adequate training.

  1. Increased pressure

Employees can’t perform optimally if they are not well physically, emotionally, or socially. Unfortunately, employers don’t take the time to understand how employees are faring. On the contrary, they are busy applauding poor lifestyles in exchange for productivity. An employee who is able to endure stress, sacrifice his or her social and family time to work for long hours is seen as the most productive. Employers will even use him or her as an example of an exemplary employee. What they don’t know is that they are fuelling burnout and frustration due to increased pressure.

Each individual needs to rest once in a while. They also need to have a balanced life between life and work so they can be well-rounded people. Take time to know how your employees are doing in their personal life and offer your help.

  1. Lengthy meetings

Meetings are good for bringing teams together so that everyone is working on the same page. However, lengthy and frequent meetings steal precious time that could otherwise be used productively. Most organizations have adopted this tendency even when they have no clear agenda for the meetings.

As you set up meetings, it is important to ensure that there is a clear and compelling agenda. In addition, not every meeting requires multiple senior members and all employees to be available. Ensure that only the important people in that meeting are present and leave the rest to continue with work. Remember to stay focused not to utilize more hours than planned.


Being afraid of changing the status quo is the biggest problem with management. They hold on to old practices even when they are clearly not working. If you are to foster workplace productivity, it is time to tackle the things that are sapping the ability to be productive from your team.

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