5 Culprits Behind Your Productivity Drain and How to Conquer Them


Paul J. Meyer said “Productivity is never an accident. It’s the result of a commitment to intelligent planning, excellence, and focused effort.”

Why is productivity so important?

Higher productivity results in higher profits, because you use the same amount of resources, or even fewer resources, to increase output. When resources are used well, a business becomes cost-effective. It cuts waste and uses every dollar to maximum advantage.

Productivity is something organizations are always trying to increase, but most do not. In fact, some productivity-increasing measures actually do the opposite! This is because most companies fail to deal with productivity drains.

Back in 2019, over 10,000 office workers were surveyed–in the US, UK, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany. The study found that more than 60% of employees’ time was spent doing work related to their work: searching emails, sitting in meetings, and talking about projects. This work did not benefit their companies significantly.

Want to know if your company can perform better? It can. Simply find ways to overcome these 5 common productivity drains.

1.  Unnecessary Communication

Endless emails can affect the productivity of your employees. Checking email is a major productivity drain that impacts both junior and senior employees. It causes us to “self-interrupt,” and it becomes difficult to maintain optimum productivity and refocus on work.

Business owners lose about 25% of their day to emails, and email fatigue causes about 38% of workers to quit their jobs every year. Lengthy email conversations can sometimes be solved with a single phone call. Find out how much time employees are spending checking emails. They can turn off email notifications or use productivity tracking tools like RescueTime.

2.  In-Person Meetings

Without question, in-person meetings are an important part of business, however, not all are productive. The biggest issue with most meetings is they don’t plan ahead, they just give updates about what has already happened.

How do you curb this performance drain? Limit in-person meetings to the very important ones, like those focused on business growth. You can send emails to tell your team of new developments instead of scheduling face-to-face meetings.

3.  Paper Records

If your organization still keeps paper records and reports, you’re contributing to a huge productivity drain. To increase performance, you need workflow management software. Automation through technology creates workflow efficiencies that improve productivity. If you’re not sure which processes to automate, ask your team leaders and department heads.

Today’s workforce is made up of millennials, and they demand automation. Make your company paperless and get the apps, software, and programs that can seamlessly streamline your business processes.

4.  Task Repetition

Task repetition has prevailed since the beginning of the industrial revolution. It is a large part of most processes, but it costs businesses a lot of money. For example, repetition in document processing and storage can lead to errors, and these errors can negatively impact the bottom line.

Process and task automation can help reduce repetition and errors. Team leaders and supervisors must implement workflow management software and introduce it carefully. This will free up time for workers and allow them to apply their skills elsewhere–boosting business productivity in two ways.

5.  Bad Company Culture

If your company culture doesn’t encourage productivity, don’t expect employees to be productive. Workers usually copy their leaders’ behavior. If they are positive, optimistic, and productivity-focused, employees will be, too. According to a past survey, 14% of workers felt that their company culture hindered productivity.

To change wrong attitudes and boost productivity, embrace a culture of accountability, productivity, and innovation. Encourage teams to work together to achieve goals, like faster product delivery, better quality, or achieving a 30% improvement in performance.

Why is Automation the Solution to Productivity Drains?

Manual processes can be a major hindrance to speed and efficiency and significantly affect productivity in a fast-paced work environment. Most workers actually know the drawbacks of manual processes. Search for “why is automation important” on Google and you’ll get over 350 million results!

Whether you’re preparing documentation for a new hire or completing simple tasks manually, manual processes can hugely drain your time and energy. And it’s no secret that a manual system creates vulnerability to human error.

The solution is business process automation. With process automation, you can develop streamlined processes and dramatically improve the experience for everyone involved: customers, workers, and stakeholders.

What Specific Problems Does Workflow Automation Solve in Organizations?

  • Bottlenecks in current business processes
  • Costly human errors and data entry
  • Silos in your business systems
  • Slow generation of manual reports
  • Compliance adherence

The Takeaway

The best thing about workflow automation is it helps employees work efficiently, even during unpredictable times. You can use workflow management software to automate different processes, like accounting, human resources, and customer support. Automation can also help your organization to prepare for an uncertain future and keep up with changing times.

Heather Breese
Heather Breese is a qualified writer who fell in love with creativity and became a specialist creator and writer, focused on readers and market need.

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