Technology has evolved immensely over the last few decades. In fact, by the end of 2020 reports from Statista estimate, there will be over 270 million smartphones in use in the US alone. While cell phones have been the focus in the media there are many other technologies lurking in the shadows to take time away from the 8-hour workday. Some reports go as far as to say that workers are only productive 3 out of every 8 hours. With precious time wasting away here are our predictions of the top 3 workplace productivity killers of 2020 and what you can do about them.
1. THE INTERNET
When used correctly the internet can be a wonderful tool for collaboration and boosting morale. Unfortunately, it’s rarely used that way and thus has been running workplace productivity since it’s inception in the early 1990s. From shopping to sports to emails the internet provides a wide variety of opportunities for workers to get distracted from the task at hand. Can you really control what employees browse and how often? Absolutely.
Companies often deal with this via an internet usage policy that lets employees know upfront when and what they can be browsing. Common usage times are during lunch hour or the last 30 minutes of the day. If that doesn’t work, properly controlled networks can be used to block specific websites altogether. At a minimum, your network should be monitoring internet usage so you can take appropriate steps to resolve any issues if necessary.
2. SOCIAL NETWORKS
With thousands of social media networks covering a wide range of subjects, social media usage has become a fact of life. Recent statistics stated that nearly 80% of Americans now have and utilize at least one social media account. And it’s likely during work hours. Imagine the toll this takes on workplace productivity.
Like internet usage, companies often create social media policies or ban usage altogether during work hours. While this attacks the issue head on it can often take a toll on workplace morale and even hiring. With employees opting to work in more social media friendly environments. This has led to the use of performance reviews as an alternative policy. After all, if employees are being as productive as you would like. Does it matter if they also use social media?
Convenience, better communication, mobility, and increased organization. These are all positive aspects cell phones bring to the workplace. However, with those benefits come some serious issues. It’s easier now than ever to be on the internet and check social media. Worse yet cellphones provide constant notifications of texts and calls from both important and irrelevant sources alike. Cellphones single-handedly have lowered the human attention span and for this we consider it the biggest workplace productivity killer.
With a device so powerful in the hands of every employee, steps need to be taken to manage usage before it causes serious issues. While some companies go as far as taking away employee’s cellphones when they enter the building. This isn’t practical for most businesses. Instead, businesses often go with an alternative such as providing work only cellphones. This not only allows companies to control what features of a phone can be used, but it also helps ensure a safe and secure network as well. If the budget doesn’t allow, businesses seek to lower usage and reduce connectivity to office networks.
Now that you’ve seen our top productivity killers for the year, we hope it will help identify them in your own business and stop them before they become an issue.
Do you think there are larger productivity killers we missed? Let us know in the comments below. Here’s to a productive 2020!