6 Roadblocks to Workers’ Productivity

Those ubiquitous cell phones (surprise, surprise) top the list. 

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The Fiscal Times
June 12, 2014

Cell phone use at work for private conversations or texting is the number one productivity killer on the job, according to new research from CareerBuilder.

“Not surprisingly, personal use of technology is one of the leading culprits,” said CareerBuilder in a press release.

Related: Another Reason for Stagnant Wages: High Productivity

The company, together with the Harris Poll, surveyed more than 2,000 hiring managers and human resource professionals online between Feb. 10 and March 4. More than 3,000 full-time private sector employees were included as well.

One in four workers admitted spending at least an hour a day on personal phone calls, emails or texts. Twenty-one percent said they spend an hour or more a day searching the Internet for non-work related information.

Personal phone use, however, was hardly the only time waster. Here are the top six sources of work interferences:

1- Cell phone conversations and texting

2- Gossip

3- Surfing the Internet

4- Social media

5- Snack and smoke breaks

6- Noisy co-workers

Related: The One Quick Way to Boost Worker Productivity

To mitigate some of these problems, 73 percent of surveyed employers already have clear workplace policies, such as blocking certain social media and shopping sites, prohibiting personal calls or personal use of cell phones at work, and monitoring emails and Internet usage. Some also have dedicated lunch and break times when employees are able to shop online, make personal phone calls or text to their heart’s content.

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Marine Cole has been covering finance and business for a decade and has written for publications that include The Wall Street Journal, Crain's New York Business, and AdvertisingAge.