We bet you’re well aware of the critical factors that affect employees’ productivity—including the work environment, wellness, goals, training, compensation, etc.
But did you know other factors beyond these equally affect productivity? We call them the annoying things at work. Although they’re often disregarded, factors such as noise, lighting, temperature, cluttered desks, and others within the work environment can affect employees’ morale, moods, and, subsequently, productivity and focus.
Read on to learn about the annoying things that affect productivity and what you can do about it.
1. Cold Drafts or Stuffy Rooms
Research indicates that cold temperatures deflate employees’ moods and their productivity. Rather than focusing on their tasks, employees will focus on staying warm—this would mean excessive coffee breaks, etc.
On the other hand, stuffy rooms cause them to feel sluggish; therefore, they’ll work slower and complete fewer tasks.
Although most modern offices are equipped with state-of-the-art air conditioning systems—thus, temperature issues are less prevalent—most of these systems don’t allow for personalization. Besides, most companies stick to the 1966 temperature standards provided by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, which are considered obsolete.
Further, in attempts to cut utility costs, some companies don’t use HVAC systems at the cost of their employees’ comfort.
One apparent solution to the problem is setting the appropriate office temperature, ranging from 65 to 75 degrees. Alternatively, you can consider purchasing high-tech solutions, such as a portable ac heater for your temperature needs. These heaters offer real environmental and economic advantages because they can be carried around to areas where they’re needed the most.
2. Working Area Ergonomics
The working area ergonomics can also have a significant impact on productivity.
Consider the employee whose chair is too low. When they type on a standard keyboard, they’re forced into an uncomfortable position. In general, uncomfortable employees will not be as productive as those with ergonomically correct workstations.
Another case is that of a cluttered desk. While some employees do it deliberately, some clutter because of limited space. Although cluttered desks tend to portray busyness, the truth is that when desks are covered in pens, papers, files, etc., it’s challenging to get things done. With cluttered desks, it’s also easy to lose track of time and things and feel agitated.
When employees work in a pleasant environment, they can focus all their energy on their work instead of focusing on aching arms, necks, or backs.
And so, you should ensure that the working area is conducive to allow employees to focus solely on their work.
3. Annoying Music
Many people enjoy listening to music as a leisure activity. Some people claim that listening to music while working improves their productivity. The shocking aspect is that they may be correct!
Background music, in particular, has been shown to improve people’s moods, which in turn improves productivity. As a result, listening to pleasant music can assist workers in completing tasks more quickly; yet, the opposite is true.
Unfortunately, some managers/workmates play inappropriate music, causing distraction and interfering with other people’s moods.
Even though playing background music at work is common, you need to remember the downsides and select appropriate music accordingly.
4. Postponing Busywork
Perhaps, if you’re a manager, you’ve at times set aside busy work until your employees have adequate time to complete it. This makes a lot of sense when you have other urgent or essential projects.
However, it gets annoying when managers postpone filing for months, letting it pile up somewhere in the office, and assign it all at once. Doing so not only diminishes your employees’ motivation but also affects their productivity by spurring on them to mark other tasks off their to-do lists.
It’s worth noting that although some people prefer working under pressure, recent studies reveal that single-tasking – that is, completing one task at a time before jumping on to the next—leads to more productivity.
Therefore, assign specific times for busy work to avoid interfering with your employees’ schedules. Please don’t sit on it till the last minute; this can ruin your workplace vibe.
5. Insufficient Equipment
There is nothing more frustrating in the workplace than completing a task with insufficient tools. It’s like trying to save a sinking ship with a teapot.
Although business owners should strive to keep costs as low as possible, there comes a time when spending is unavoidable. There is a distinction between being careful with money and being so cheap that it costs more. And so, ensure there’s an adequate supply of furniture, machines, apps, and other items.
Reduce Annoyances to Improve Productivity
In a nutshell, avoiding these five things—including cold drafts and stuffy rooms, poor workplace ergonomics, annoying music, postponing busy work, and having insufficient equipment—can improve your employees’ productivity.