Most companies have conduct policies that dictate everything from appropriate office attire to requesting time off. These guidelines are designed to create a positive a work environment, while also maximizing productivity and results.
While there are obvious productivity-killers, like social media, that managers and employees alike try to avoid, there are also more subtle habits that can leech attention and engagement without you even realizing it. Here are a few of the lesser-known counterproductive behaviors.
1. Desk lunches
Everyone’s been there – you’ve got to work quickly to finish a report or presentation, and instead of taking a break to grab lunch, you opt to have a “working lunch” at your desk. While you may think the extra commitment to being productive is a good thing, there are numerous negative benefits associated with this practice. One of the main dangers involved with “desk-lunching” is burnout. Even though you aren’t necessarily working while you’re eating at your desk, you’re still in “work mode.” This practice causes many employees to find themselves drained by the end of the day.
People are actually more productive when they take breaks, Fast Company reported. That being said, managers should encourage their staff to get away from their desk to eat, even if it’s just to go to a break room.
2. Prioritizing email
Much of the work people do in a day revolves around fielding and replying to emails. Unfortunately, this constant stream of information, much of which requires fairly immediate attention, is doing little more than distracting you from your core work. Of course, keeping up with work-related correspondence is crucial, but the constant bouncing back and forth between tasks and emails should be avoided. Managers should suggest scheduling dedicated chunks of the day where employees can go through their emails. This can allow for a better organized flow of work.
3. Constant connectivity
While smartphones and mobile technology can create efficiencies within the workplace, they can also create “always-on” workers. More people are now working from home in evenings, on weekends, and on holidays thanks to their phones and laptops. Short of increasing productivity, this has the opposite effect. Maintaining a proper work-life balance is essential for keeping employee stress down and staving off burnout. In other words, staff members need their “not at work” time.
For more advice on how to maximize your office’s productivity through effective policymaking, consult with an HR outsourcing organization for expert HR solutions.