In the workplace, efficiency and productivity are necessities for survival and profit. Unfortunately, these qualities can be sometimes hard to find. For many employees, both efficiency and productivity can require immense training, practice and determination to acquire and perfect. Fortunately, there are a few rules we can all abide by to keep things running smoothly. If you’re trying to make your workplace a better environment, what do you need to watch out for? Here are the biggest enemies of efficiency and productivity:

Major Distractions

Adults should be able to stay focused on their tasks even when distractions exist. However, they’re only human. If you have a lot of construction going on or painters coming in to do a job, working efficiently can become difficult. If nothing else, it’s hardly adding to an enjoyable workplace. Not only might employees be interested in what is happening, but the noise or the smell could prevent them from completing any of their work at all. Schedule these changes for when the company is closed, or at least during down-seasons.

Chatter and Gossip

You absolutely want your coworkers to get along with one another because it helps to build team productivity. However, you don’t want the workplace to turn into a coffee shop. To prevent this from occurring, ask employees to keep their chatter to a minimum when work-related tasks need to be completed. To provide a venue for talking respectfully with one another, offer a break room and host some company social events. Be sure that all employees are afforded a full lunch and appropriate break times every single day.


I’m sure we can all agree that it’s a good idea to eliminate gossip completely, especially when it’s about other coworkers, but you also need to rid the workplace of resentment. When workers are annoyed that someone else received a promotion or got a raise, they might show a significant decrease in the amount of work they’re willing to put in themselves. Resolving these issues means confronting them when they arise. You need to make it clear that respect is a major part of the workplace, and it’s your responsibility to prove to your employees that this respect goes both ways. Always be transparent when making any decisions, especially those regarding compensation and promotion, and be sure to reward any and all hard work or great jobs done appropriately.


Unfortunately, some people are just lazy. If you notice that laziness is a persistent problem for some of your employees, you must first try to motivate the workers to do better before resorting to any rash decisions. Set up a rewards system as a way of inspiring them to work toward their goals, or you may want to provide new incentives for the company as a whole. If laziness or lack of motivation continues to persist, speak with the employees who are at fault. Ultimately, if the issues aren’t resolved, it may be time to let some people go. Though you shouldn’t be afraid to be judicious, remember to give people the benefit of the doubt and offer to work with them to ensure that they keep their job.

Jane Hattermore writes about business. Her recent work focuses on her experiences earning a Top MBA in Supply Chain Management

Kelsey Jones

Kelsey Jones

Founder/Chief Marketing Consultant at Six Stories
Kelsey Jones helps clients around the world grow their social media, content, and search marketing presence. She enjoys writing and consuming all kinds of content, both in digital and tattered paperback form.
Kelsey Jones
Kelsey Jones