It seems that every day we hear about a new form of technology created to save us time, boost our productivity, and maximise our performance at work.
But, according to a new CareerBuilder survey, the use of technology is actually one of the biggest productivity killers in the workplace.
The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder, asked 2,138 hiring managers and human resources professionals, and 3,022 full-time, private sector workers, “What causes workers to waste the most time at the office?”
Five of the top 10 culprits had to do with the use of technology.
Exactly half of all surveyed employers cited texting and cell phone use as the number one thing that slows down workers’ productivity. Meanwhile, 39% said internet surfing is a big productivity stopper, and 38% cited social media, specifically. About a quarter (23%) said employees are most distracted by email; and 10% said their employees become less productive when coworkers put calls on speakerphone.
According to Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder, these time-wasting habits do more than dampen individual productivity. They can end up hurting the company as a whole, she says. “When there is a pattern of distractions that eat up a significant chunk of the workday, it can have greater implications for overall performance. Losses in productivity can have a domino effect, negatively impacting revenue and client relationships, among other things.”
However, big dips in productivity can be avoided, she says.
Haefner suggests planning out your workday ahead of time to minimize distractions. “Don’t schedule a meeting or craft a two-page email if picking up the phone or walking over to a colleague’s desk will resolve the issue faster,” she says. “You need to be conscious of how you’re spending your time.”
Here are the top 10 productivity killers in the workplace you’ll want to watch out for:
1. Cell phone/texting
3. The internet
4. Social media
5. Snack breaks or smoke breaks
6. Noisy coworkers
9. Coworkers dropping by
10. Coworkers putting calls on speakerphone
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