Productivity in Business: Are We Really as Productive as We Think?

| April 25, 2016 | 0 Comments

Businesses value productivity, and with good reason. Higher productivity (that is, output by employees) means greater efficiency, which can ultimately lead to greater profits and larger incomes. As a result, ‘productivity’ has become somewhat of an elusive holy grail, and something that more and more of us will go to extreme lengths to achieve. But did you know you’re probably not being as productive as you think you are? Read on to see if any of these points resonate with you…

You’re not productive, you’re busy

If your boss looked towards your desk, would they see you frantically typing away behind a computer screen? Probably, but you and I both know that the majority of your time is spent fending off a barrage of emails and doing your admin – not formulating a killer plan for the business. So, why not see if tools like can free you up for some downtime, conversation and regular breaks away from your desk? It’s all about working smart, not working hard.

You’re wasting your time
The average person works for around 40 hours a week, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that those of us putting in the extra time are superhero employees (or hoping for a raise, perhaps). However, a recent study has shown that employee output declines sharply after a 50 hour week, and falls off a cliff after 55 hours. So, if you thought racking up 70 hours was a good thing, think again: you probably didn’t produce anything of value with those extra 15! Instead, boost your productivity by leaving the office on time, getting out in the fresh air and catching up on some much-needed sleep. You’ll tear through your to-do list during office hours, and frankly, anything that can’t be done in time should probably wait until next week.

Multi-tasking is actually slowing you down

Doing more than one task at once might make you feel like you’ve got things under control, but did it occur to you that you might move through your workload quicker (and with heightened quality) if you just focussed on one thing at a time? Prioritise what needs doing first and identify three tasks that must be achieved each day: that way, you’ll feel calmer and be able to confirm that the biggest jobs are accounted for.

You’re too tired
Once in a while, a broken night’s rest or a short sleep isn’t going to hurt you. However, if your office has a culture of ‘work hard, play hard, sleep very little’, you’re actually going to be less productive than you realise, and potentially even a health hazard to others. Studies have shown that averaging four or five hours sleep for five days in a row causes the same level of impairment as if you were legally over the drink driving limit. So, try not to buy into the ‘produce more, achieve more’ culture by scaling back on sleep time: getting some proper shut eye might be precisely what you need to do a better job during waking hours.


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Category: Business and Politics

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