Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

July 07 2014

These 10 Things Are Killing Your Productivity

By David McMillin


Every meeting professional has plenty of day-to-day responsibilities. From adjusting the F&B budget for that upcoming event to reviewing post-event attendee feedback to negotiating another hotel contract, the to-do list can get very long. Unfortunately, the work environment can also make checking off the tasks on that list take much longer than expected, too.

A new survey from CareerBuilder digs into what’s getting in the way of our productivity. With responses from more than 3,000 employees and more than 2,100 hiring managers, the results reveal the top 10 productivity killers.

1)    Cell phone/texting

2)    Gossip

3)    The Internet

4)    Social media

5)    Snack breaks or smoke breaks

6)    Noisy co-workers

7)    Meetings

8)    Email

9)    Co-workers dropping by

10) Co-workers putting calls on speaker phone

SEE ALSO: 3 Free Apps To Increase Your Productivity

How Employers Are Dealing With Productivity Problems

For leaders who are looking to drive better performance from employees, here’s a look at some of the strategies other employers have used to power productivity.

  • Blocking certain websites at work
  • Prohibiting personal calls or personal use of cell phones
  • Monitoring emails and Internet usage
  • Scheduling lunch and break times
  • Allowing people to telecommute
  • Implementing an open space layout instead of cubicles
  • Limiting meetings
  • Restricting use of speaker phones if not in an office

When I first ready the survey results, I immediately questioned how monitoring Internet usage and outlawing personal phone calls could ever establish a trustworthy employee-employer relationship. Doesn’t that just make the boss seem more like an overbearing parent? Perhaps the answer is yes. However, as I continued reading, I recognized that these drastic measures might actually be necessary across today’s tech-driven business landscape. Just take a look at these statistics: 24 percent of employee respondents admitted they typically spend a least a full hour of the workday on personal calls, emails and texts, and 21 percent estimated spending at least one full hour browsing the Internet for non-work-related information. Those aren’t exactly promising figures for any boss under pressure to deliver superior results.

Does Creating A Cubicle Alternative Really Work?

While plenty of design experts have celebrated the open-space office layout for its more collaborative feel, a New Yorker article from Maria Konnikova earlier this year highlighted some serious problems. Sure, tearing down the walls of those old-school cubicles might sound appealing, but Konnikova cites a number of reasons for keeping those barriers intact. The most compelling argument? In a study of 2,400 workers in Denmark, those working in open offices took an average of 62 percent more sick days than those in traditional offices. There’s no worse productivity killer than being forced to stay in bed.

SEE ALSO: Attention, HR: Here’s The Problem With Your Office Environment

Do you have any solutions that have worked in your environment? Head over to Catalyst to share them.

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