Companies have conduct policies that dictate things from what sort of attire is appropriate in the office to how to go about requesting time off, and everything in between. These points are designed to create as positive a work environment as possible while also maximizing productivity and results.
But while there are obvious productivity-killers like social media that managers and employees alike know to avoid, there are more subtle habits that, while seemingly innocuous, can leech attention and engagement from your staff without you even realizing it. Here are a few of the lesser-known counterproductive behaviors, and how you can nip them in the bud.
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. However, 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.” If you find yourself feeling unexplainably drained by the end of the day, that’s why.
People are actually more productive when they take breaks, Fast Company reported. Encourage your 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 today 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 and pulling you away from your work. Of course, keeping up with work-related correspondence is crucial, but to avoid the constant bouncing back and forth between tasks and emails, suggest scheduling dedicated chunks of the day when employees can go through their emails so that they can devote the rest of their time to work.
3. Constant connectivity
Related to the previous point, the “always-on” character work has taken thanks to smartphones and mobile technology is placing similar stress on the workforce. 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.