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“911. What is your emergency?”
“I’d like to report a crime in progress.”
“What is your name and the nature of the crime?”
“My name is Productivity, and there are 5 killers after me.”

There are a lot of self-help articles about how to become more productive at work. I’d like to take a slightly different approach: learning how a company can help employees be more productive and how those employees can recognize a productivity killer when they see one.

Let’s take a look at five perpetrators that are responsible for this crime wave against productivity and learn how to stop them in their tracks.

Suspect No. 1: Buzzkill

Employees respond instinctively to a company’s culture. If there is a buzz about a customer win, product launch or new employee perk, the energy level rises. The workplace becomes more vibrant and celebratory, which helps morale and people work harder, with a sense of purpose. Generating a buzz is a sure way to raise productivity levels.

Suspect No. 2: Death by Process or PowerPoint

Do you work in a place that hampers productivity by putting up archaic processes and rules? We’re not talking about regulated industries here. Does it just seem too hard to get things done? On a similar note, are you in too many meetings that take away from actual work time? You’re not alone. A survey of 2000 managers reported in Psychology Today found that on average, they felt at least 12 hours per week of their time was wasted in meetings.

These types of activities are productivity killers that employees need to watch out for. And a word to company execs – no double standards here – if you put a process or recurring meeting in place, you should be expected to comply or attend just like anyone else. Too busy you say? That’s my point.

Suspect No. 3: Creativity Slayer

This perp uses a lot of disguises: stress, workload, micro-management, a “we’ve always done it this way” mantra. Creativity is a sister to productivity – when she’s around, productivity feels at home and thrives. Employees who are allowed to brainstorm, problem solve and take risks will be more productive than those who can’t color outside the lines.

Suspect No. 4: Toxic Tools

You know the ones I am talking about. Since the beginning of time, our species has used tools to help them and to make life easier. But when your tools actually slow you down, it’s time to intervene. At Egnyte, we’ve developed a solution to makes it easy and secure to share files. Take an inventory of your tools; it might be time for an upgrade.

Suspect No. 5: Serial Strategies

Employees are more productive when there’s a clear strategy and set of goals. If the strategy keeps changing, people are less motivated to give it their all. Most humans try to avoid disappointment. “Hey…I just worked really hard to finish that plan. What do you mean I have to do it all over again?” If the goals change every three months, you might be working for a serial strategist. Take heed.

What slows you down at work? Any great tips for our readers? Please share.

 

productivity, mobility, end user

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