It’s easy for anyone to speculate about what the top productivity killers are for today’s workforce. What may come to mind first are distractions such as email, social media, worthless celebrity gossip, or sports news. However, last month in a new survey of 2,175 hiring and human resources managers, CareerBuilder revealed what some of the real issues are. The results are a mix of obvious distractions and surprising revelations.
Here are the top 10 productivity killers according to CareerBuilder’s June 2015 survey.
52% – Cellphones & texting
44% – Internet
37% – Gossip
36% – Social media
31% – Email
27% – Coworkers chatting
26% – Meetings
27% – Snack and/or smoke breaks
17% – Loud coworkers
10% – Sitting in a cubicle
Why are these findings a big deal?
According to the managers who took the survey, the consequences of these distractions can be quite severe. A few examples they gave were lower quality of work, dissatisfied employees who have to pick up the slack of lower performers, missed deadlines, and even loss of revenue.
So how do you prevent these productivity killers from disrupting your business?
The chief human resources officer at CareerBuilder mentioned that one of the most effective ways to increase productivity is to simply take a break, which may come as quite a surprise since “Snack and/or smoke breaks” is listed as number 8 for productivity killers.
However, it should be noted that not all breaks are created equal. Listening to loud music or getting caught up in gossip on social media may not actually give employees the sense of rejuvenation they need when they return to work. The key is for staff members to take a break that will re-energize and give them a fresh focus. Some suggestions are to simply take a walk or perform some form of light exercise or stretching.
On a more humorous note, the survey also revealed some of the more unusual non-work activities employees partook in while on the clock. Employers reportedly found their staff doing everything from taking a nap on the CEO’s couch, searching for a mail order bride, and even taking a sponge bath in the restroom sink.