4 reasons for reduced employee productivity and how to fix it

4 reasons for reduced employee productivity and how to fix it.

Are your employees finding it hard to concentrate or feeling burnt out? With COVID-19 adding additional stress to the average workday, plus the presence of other productivity pitfalls, it may be difficult to stay on track. We uncover four reasons why employees may be struggling with productivity and how to fix it.

Remote workers are feeling isolated at home

A remote working study earlier this year revealed that employees working from home increased their output by 13%, likely due to less time spent on commuting. However, the same study also found that feelings of isolation could have an adverse effect and weaken morale or slow productivity in the long term.1

The fix: Bridge the gap between remote workers by encouraging regular face-to-face interactions. Host virtual workshops and team meetings to keep both remote and in-office employees connected, informed and engaged.

Negative emotions have a direct effect on productivity
For many, COVID-19 has contributed to their stress and uncertainty. Increased stress typically leads to lack of energy, focus, reduced creativity and negative emotions towards the work or even other team members.

The fix: Make time to celebrate small wins and find reasons to praise work – positive feelings and increased satisfaction can increase productivity. It’s also important to resolve issues quickly to avoid negativity spreading. Ensure employees have easy access to support and maintain an open channel of communication.

A cluttered desk could be the culprit for procrastination
Cluttered workspaces create safety issues for both remote and office workers, but it can also hinder productivity. Research suggests the average employee wastes up to 4.3 hours a week looking for papers, adding frustration and reducing concentration.2

The fix: Save time looking for papers by keeping documents in ring binders for easy access. Additional storage systems such as modular shelves can help drastically with organisation by maximising desk space for a better overall working experience.

Task switching can cause productivity downfall
One of the most common productivity roadblocks is that employees fail to prioritise and work on too many things at once.3 Research shows the human brain is incapable of multitasking and instead switches rapidly between different tasks – called “task switching”. Task switching can decrease productivity levels by 40%.4

The fix: Encourage your team to clearly map out tasks and keep track of deadlines using a calendar, diary or planner. To-do books can help break down projects into more manageable steps and highlighters are a great way to colour code for greater organisation.

Winc can help your employees get back on track with productivity-enabling tools. Get in touch with one of our specialists to discover the best solutions for your needs or browse our office products range online. Register your business account with our Winc Home Delivery service to have products delivered straight to your employees at home.


1 BBC, 2020, ‘The remote work experiment that upped productivity 13%’, <https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20200710-the-remote-work-experiment-that-made-staff-more-productive>

2 Inside Small Business, 2017, ‘How decluttering can save 10 per cent of a manager’s salary’, <https://www.ehstoday.com/safety/article/21908134/reducing-office-clutter>

3 Wrike, 2015, ‘Work Management Survey 2015: Executive Summary and Full Report’, <https://cdn.wrike.com/ebook/Wrike-Work-Management-Report-2015.pdf>

4 Boogaard, K., 2019, ‘How to increase your productivity at work’, <https://www.atlassian.com/blog/productivity/simple-ways-to-be-productive-at-work>