Being productive in the workplace may seem like a pretty easy concept to understand, but there are many factors that affect work productivity.
We can classify factors that affect work productivity into two categories: organizational factors and individual factors.
Organizational factors can be anything that influences how people work, such as the culture of the organization, how people are matched with jobs, and how people are compensated. While Individual factors can be anything such as health, motivation, and skill level.
In this post, we’ll be looking at some of the individual factors that can affect productivity at the workplace or when working remotely and how what you can do to overcome them or prevent these factors from affecting your productivity.
Productivity and success don’t always come easily, even to the most dedicated and hardworking of individuals.
Between unexpected obstacles, distractions, and bad days, productivity can sometimes be difficult to maintain. In order not to be unproductive in both your work and personal life, it’s important to learn about the factors that affect work productivity and how you can overcome them so you can boost your level of productivity.
This article covers some of the most common factors that affect work productivity and ways you can improve your overall level of efficiency and productivity by overcoming these factors.
Also read: 7 Ways To Make Your Day More Productive [Proven Method]
What are the Factors That Affect Work Productivity?
The following are individual factors that affect work productivity
Being disorganized can be one of your biggest productivity killers. Because, you will not doing the right thing at the right time.
And even if you know the right thing to do, you may do it at the wrong time.
You can stay as organized as possible by using a to-do list, post-it notes, and/or color-coding files to remind yourself what you want to do at a point in time.
Try creating a list of goals you want to accomplish in the day and work toward it. If you can organize your thought, you can organize your work.
Setting some time each day to organize your work area is not a bad idea too (clear off your desk, for example, at night before you leave).
If you’re not sure where to start with being more organized, here are some resources
Article: 11 Simple Tips That Help You Stay Organized at Work
2. Unsupportive Workplace Environment
The environmental factor is one of the major factors that affect work productivity and efficiency. Whether you are working as a freelance digital marketer, affiliate manager with some digital company, or a full-time employee;
Whether you work at home or have a designated workplace, an unsupportive workplace environment or ventilation can be onr og the major factors affecting productivity and work satisfaction.
Regarding today’s working environment, good work efficiency and productivity depend on workers’ satisfaction and engagement.
An unhappy employee is far less productive than one who feels valued by their employer.
If you are a freelancer working in businesses or a remote employee, consider a special segment in your home for work like this
And if you are an employee in some company and you’re not happy in your job — look elsewhere for employment. Work satisfaction is essential to productivity.
If that’s not possible at present, there are still things you can do to boost productivity, these include
- ask yourself if management has given you all the tools necessary to succeed;
- are there extraneous demands being placed on your time?
3. Lack of motivation
Another factor that affect work productivity is lack of motivation.
Motivation is fleeting, and when you’re stuck in a rut or dealing with low motivation levels, it’s difficult to get back on track.
If you feel demotivated, it may be one of the following reasons;
- not seeing result
- feeling less valued
- getting less pay than you deserved or not getting paid at all
If what demotivates you is not on this list, drop it in the comment box below.
Try this to overcome lack of motivation daily
- rewarding yourself after completing a huge task
- asking for the right payment you deserve for a work
- setting goals and tracking your progress
- keeping a journal
- understanding yourself
Also, getting enough sleep and fueling your body with nutritious food options will go a long way in giving you energy throughout your day and enhancing your productivity.
A strong support system can also keep you going when times are tough.
Bottom line: motivation is the key to achieving any goal; without being motivated there’s little chance of success.
Also read: 10 Best Productivity Tools For Freelancers And Designers
4. Not taking breaks
Truth is, not taking breaks will often make you unproductive.
The mind can only focus for so long before it needs a break. For some people, even 15 minutes is too long to be in one task before they are ready to take a break and do something else.
Some are also role-specific and can focus all day on one task and need no breaks at all. There’s no right or wrong answer here; we’re all different.
The important thing is to know when there is a requirement for you to take a break and how you should handle that.
Don’t take a break just because you are tired, take breaks because you’ve completed the task.
Take breaks when a task is complete.
Avoid taking your work home with you: Once you get home from work, there’s always more stuff to do—more emails to read or respond to, more laundry piling up on your bedroom floor…it never ends!
I so love the bible. This scriptural verse might be of great help, it says:
You are worried and upset about many things, but only few things are necessary—or indeed only one – Luke 10:41-42 (emphasized mine)
The bible also says
Six days’ work, 1-day rest – Ex 20:8
- Take a break after completing a task from your to-do list
- Work six days (Monday–Saturday) and rest on Sundays
- Don’t work past work hours, which also means you should have fixed work hours.
All these will not only help you increase efficiency but also make you look professional with your work.
Remember, that joy is not found in the destination but in the process of your doings
Always encourage yourself with this word.
Another greatest factors that affect work productivity is procrastination and the easiest way to increase your productivity is to avoid procrastinating.
Procrastination, which is the opposite of decision and getting things done, is a common enemy that practically we must all conquer.
The best time management tool is knowing when you’re likely to procrastinate and planning accordingly which results in living a healthier lifestyle.
If you have a large project looming ahead of you, break it down into smaller tasks that are easier to handle in a timely manner.
This gives you smaller accomplishments (instead of one big one) as well as shorter timelines for each task.
To get yourself working on time, try surrounding yourself with workspaces (or healthy distractions) that make it difficult for you to do anything but work (like an office space with no TV or a hard-to-navigate phone).
With your cooperation and consent, you can also overcome procrastination using the 5-second rule.
This can be done by counting from 5 to 1 (5, 4, 3, 2, 1) and forcing yourself to take action when you get to 1.
This method has been proven effective in conquering procrastination and as a result, increasing your productivity and efficiency.
You can get the 5-Second Rule book on amazon
6. Scattered Thinking or Unorganized Thought
For many people, scattered thinking is a habit that’s developed over time. And this is one of the factors that affect work productivity.
We think about one topic but then become distracted by an idea for another project and shift our attention to that project instead. Before long we forget what it was we were doing in the first place.
In order to be more productive and efficient in your workday, find a way to focus on one thing at a time. You can easily accomplish this by focusing on the task at hand and avoiding possible distractions at all costs.
Whatever task or project or goal you are working on, be present and give your full attention and WITHOUT distraction until you finish that particular task before moving on to another task.
If you feel you have been distracted from your current project, slowly get your attention back on the project, and move away from what causes the distraction.
Also, keeping a notepad near you may also help jot down thoughts as they occur so you can go back and address them once your project is done.
Sometimes, you may also feel you are doing the wrong thing or going the wrong way, ignore that feeling and “just do it anyway”
7. Feeling uninspired
This is another factor that affect work productivity. There are many reasons that your motivation and inspiration may be flagging.
You might have recently moved to a new location and are struggling to settle in. Or maybe you’re just so busy with work that there’s little time left over for other things.
You might just be bored with your current work or find the project not worth your time. Money can also be one of the factors.
Whatever it is, you can’t afford to allow distractions like these to prevent you from being productive to unproductive.
The solution; try to identify every possible causes that make you feel less inspired and replace it with something positive.
For example, if you are getting less compensated, you can change your thought from working for money to working as a reference for someone who will pay you much more.
What I mean is, if you got $100 for a job worth of $1000, give your best to do that job as you will if you are paid the $1000, not for the person who gave you the job, but for someone who will see the job done and ask for the one who did it.
Start by looking at these factors that affect work productivity and what actions you can take to overcome them
8. Getting distracted by technology
Technology is a tool that makes it easier to get material things done. This may vary from productivity software like project management software to social media platforms for digital marketing
Technology is one of the factors that works productivity, so don’t be a victim by been consumed by these technologies.
It’s not an excuse to waste time browsing Facebook & Instagram, watching skits on TikTok, or online shopping when you should be working.
Research has shown that productivity suffers when employees check their work e-mail on smartphones and tablets during downtime.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind so you won’t get distracted by technology
- have a fixed time for checking your emails (or mailing list)
- put your phone to DND when working on an important project
Also read: 21 Best Work Organizer Apps That Will Make Your Life Easier in 2022
If you think you’re a natural multi-tasker, that doesn’t mean it isn’t adversely affecting your productivity.
According to the University of London research, multitasking can lead to as much as a 40 percent decrease in productivity because we end up taking longer in compliance to accomplish tasks and tend to forget or lose focus of what we were supposed to do consistently.
Instead of switching between multiple tasks at once, focus on one task and give it your full attention for a set period before understanding and moving on. (It may seem counterintuitive, but truly focusing on one task actually makes us more productive.)
Poor time management is one of the most common reasons that professionals report feeling overwhelmed which contributes to the factors that affect work productivity.
If you have to work late at night or struggle to meet deadlines, it’s likely because you haven’t set your priorities straight.
Before you get started on a project, take a moment to look at it from different angles:
- What tasks can you delegate?
- Can others help give you feedback so that it’s not taking up as much of your time?
Save yourself time so that everything gets done—and done right.
If you are ever stuck for answers on what steps to take towards improving your work efficiency in your organization, check out this top pick best books to read on time management.