Worker Productivity Vs. The Office

Posted on Sep 3 2013 - 12:40pm by Mark Tomich


If we had it our own way, we would all work from home on a permanent basis, which would save those mad rushes through heavy traffic and listening to colleagues whining about the same old things. Unfortunately though, most jobs require us to work from an office, and there are many distractions in the office that can reduce our productivity. There are also improvements which could be made to enhance the way we work in the office environment.

Social Media and Internet

One of the main ways that businesses lose productivity is through employees frequently accessing Facebook and other forms of social media. Some workers will literally spend hours each day chatting to their friends and this significantly reduces the amount of work they get through. They spend as much time productively working as did the guy who outsourced his job to China!

In many companies, access to Facebook and emails are not permitted in the workplace, so this is a possible solution. Alternatively, you can reduce access and make it clear to workers that they can only use it during their breaks.

Lack of Motivation

General lack of motivation in the workplace can be caused by the fact that workers simply get fed up with getting up at the same time each day, going through the same routine, speaking to the same people and doing the same tasks. One way to try and improve motivation is to vary the tasks you assign to the workers or let them assign tasks themselves, so they get bored less easily. You may also want to let them work from home one day a week and give them a bit more freedom, if this is possible. You will be surprised at the wonders this can do for motivation levels!

Noisy Co-Workers

Most of us have worked in an office where there is one person who talks incessantly and you wonder how on earth they manage to get a day’s work done! A chatty colleague can really put you off your work and prevent you from being able to concentrate. One way to avoid this is by having a word with the person in question, or otherwise, allow workers to listen to music through their earphones. Many people concentrate better if they can listen to music, so it may be an option to try out even if you don’t have to deal with noisy co-workers.

Messy Environment

It may seem hard to believe but an office full of mess and clutter can really affect productivity levels. In order to improve productivity, you should get rid of any clutter and ensure you provide workers with comfortable office chairs and foot rests so they can focus on their work, instead of back and neck aches.

You may also want to think about introducing some plants and photos to the office as these will all help to brighten the mood and thus enhance productivity.


The temperature of the office can affect the level of productivity you will get from workers. If they feel too hot or cold, they are liable to get less work done. It can also lead to colds and flu, which increase the chances of workers taking time off sick, so it is important to keep temperature at a steady level at all times.

Of course this is by no means a complete list, as different things work for different people. Be sure to experiment and see what can motivate your workers the most, while producing the best possible outcome for you.

Photo Credit: Flickr/Kheel Center

About the Author

Mark helps many businesses to go green and cut their overhead costs. He is based in Australia and, as you may imagine, spends his time with his family or surfing.