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What Office Stressor Is Killing Work Productivity?

By the DynaSis Team

Productivity, one of the four essentials for a successful business in today’s competitive environment, can also be surprisingly elusive. Depending on which study you read, any number of stressors can reduce office productivity.

One study reports that travel problems―such as traffic and road construction―leaves more than a third of workers in such a state of stress that it impacts their productivity for hours. Another reports that 61 percent of workers find a noisy workplace or adjacent co-worker to be their productivity killer. Other productivity zappers are impromptu meetings (40 percent) or sitting next to the boss (38 percent). A small percentage of employees can even be distracted by street noise or slamming doors. Adding to the confusion, 27 percent of workers aren’t bothered by any of these issues and prefer working surrounded by various stimuli.

The point we gleaned from these divergent reports is that workers aren’t alike. Most can lose focus and productivity from some environmental variable, but it’s literally impossible to say one particular stressor is a culprit in all productivity losses. So, how is a business owner to foster the highest-possible level of productivity?

We believe the answer is flexibility. Current technology offers an affordable way for business owners to drive staff productivity through agility. Smartphones, tablets, laptops and secure Internet connections let employees set up a “personal workspace” (preferred by 86% of workers) wherever and whenever they want.

That agility and mobility is an important facet of office productivity, and here we found the reports are pretty consistent. One global survey largely sums it up, reporting that 65 percent of mobile device users say those devices, along with anytime/anywhere work flexibility, are key productivity drivers.

In other words, while the variables that reduce productivity are wildly divergent, one factor that definitely increases it is access to mobile technology. It’s not that every worker wants to work from home or the road. Rather, every worker should be empowered with the tools to work whenever and wherever they wish, from checking email at the coffee shop on the way to the office, to signing off on a procurement or work order while waiting for a meeting. They should also be given the IT services and IT supports to ensure those devices are functional, and that corporate data is secure.

Precisely because of technology, workloads no longer develop on a set schedule. Employees who can respond to this unpredictable environment quickly and easily, on their own terms, will be the most productive and least stressed. It’s that simple.

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