The Tell Tale Signs Of An Unproductive Office

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If you run an office, you've likely considered how productive the team is. Sometimes it's hard to tell. The soft chatter and tapping of keys might indicate busy minds and bursts of creativity. At the same time, it might just be the sound of people trying to stave off boredom. To really understand how productive an office is, you have to look a little deeper. The next time you scan the room or speak with employees, asking specific questions and looking out for tell-tale signs can help.


Why is Productivity so Important?

Productivity is a crucial part of any office. That's because a productive office is more profitable, as it consists of employees that don't waste time or resources. Instead, they focus on their designated tasks, producing the best work possible. That may be creating an end-of-year report or coming up with a new strategic marketing plan that will see the business's social media followers skyrocket in the following year. On the other hand, without productivity, the team wastes time and money due to inactivity, slow working, and poor management.


10 Tell-tale Signs of an Unproductive Office

Managers must fix unproductive offices quickly before businesses start losing money. Unfortunately, it's not always easy. First, you must understand whether or not your office is unproductive to begin with, and, if it is unproductive, why. So, discover these ten tell-tale signs of an ineffective office to see whether yours needs to change how it operates. Don't worry “ you can also find tips on becoming more productive at the end!


1: Always Behind on Schedule

Do you often set daily, weekly, and monthly targets that never get met? If so, the office likely isn't as productive as you might think. While missing a goal because of a sudden overload of work or a busy week shouldn't worry you, consistent failings to meet targets shouldn't be the norm. If it is, it's a sign that you need to change something. Look at the general office processes that happen each day. The chances are you can automate some of them to free up time for meeting targets.

Job scheduling works particularly well for freeing time. Using a job scheduling system means you can automate necessary processes without any input from a human being. That includes team schedules, financial reports, and payroll. As a result, employees within the office can focus more on their more important tasks. If you think you'd like to incorporate job scheduling in your business, visit


2: Too Many Meetings

Too many meetings in an office show a lack of control. It also shows that too much time gets wasted inside the conference room. While offices can't eliminate meetings, as some are essential, that doesn't mean they should eat up most of the day! If your office has too many meetings that don't seem to go anywhere, consider why and how to cut back. You might find that you can say the same thing in one thirty-minute meeting at the end of the week as you did in five fifteen-minute meetings throughout the week.


3: Constant Complaining

As an office manager, you have likely heard your fair share of complaints over the years. Maybe an employee got annoyed because their holiday wasn't approved, or a team member complained due to an annoying co-worker. While some complaints are necessary, if they happen too often and for minimal reasons, it shows that the office is unproductive. In this case, look at how the team collaborates and communicates to see if you can improve anything. For example, introducing a meeting focused on employee feedback once a month might help.


4: A Tired, Boring Atmosphere

Often, you can tell how productive an office is just by stepping through the door. In some cases, you'll feel that 'buzz' indicating a steady stream of productive work. In others, you'll hear heavy sighs, yawns, and pens tapping. Rather than displaying a productive office, this indicates a bored, weary one. In this kind of office, employees get little work done, and, even when they do, it's not completed to its full potential.


5: Flustered Management

Office managers should oversee the goings on of the day without getting too integrated into individual employees' tasks. A manager who spends more time doing the team's job rather than managing it shows a poorly organized system or even micromanagement. It also leads to high levels of stress for the manager. That isn't productive. To truly be an effective office, managers should be able to leave employees to get on with their tasks without too much interruption.

If you notice that most office managers spend their day flustered and with too much to do, look at the workflows and see what is going wrong. Talk with the managers, too “ they could shed light on why they're taking on more than they should. In an ideal, productive office, managers should prioritize overall management rather than individual tasks. After all, no one should take on multiple jobs!


6: Consistent Customer Complaints

If your office consistently receives customer complaints, that's a good indication that staff members aren't as productive as they could be. While one or two complaints shouldn't worry you, more than that each week can cause real issues further down the line. You don't want the business to gain a bad reputation! It's important to look closely at these complaints, determining which ones reflect real issues within the office. You might find one complaint gets sent in time and time again.


7: Too Much Mess

Is the office messy? Most employees struggle to work well in a cluttered environment, which could hinder their productivity. Plus, the fact that it's messy at all indicates that people aren't tidying their spaces enough. Making the office tidier will help improve the environment while encouraging staff members to take pride in their workplace. Dedicating fifteen minutes per week to desk-tidying, and getting everyone on board, will make a big difference.


8: No Mess at All

On the other hand, no mess at all can also show that the office lacks productivity. That might sound ridiculous, but it's true “ a sparkling clean office with zero clutter might warn that the only productive activity occurring in the office is cleaning! Of course, you'll need to dig a little deeper to know if this is the case, but it's still worth paying attention to. After all, you'd rather your sales team spend energy on generating leads rather than making their desk perfectly spotless.


How to Make an Office More Productive

Does your office tick off too many of the above signs? If so, it's time to shake things up a little. Instead of accepting an unproductive office, you can make changes to help lift the team's spirits while producing higher-quality work at a faster pace. Sometimes, all it takes is one little shift to achieve your desired results. In no time at all, you can go from an office filled with the sound of silence and yawns to an office with an ongoing buzz that says, "we are working hard!". Not only will this make you feel proud to have achieved, but this atmosphere will also impress clients and other guests that visit the office.


Improve the Décor

It's incredible how much impact décor can have on a person's mood. For example, a dull, drab office makes the team tired and bored. On the other hand, a vibrant, exciting office will have the opposite effect “ staff members will feel more lively and enthusiastic throughout the day. Choose uplifting colors like green, yellow, and red to boost the mood, and don't forget to beautify the area with some artwork and plants.


Mix Up the Teams

Some people work well together; others don't. Your unproductive office might be because your current teams don't mesh well together. You might find that a little shake-up of the teams completely eradicates your issue! Switch people around from time to time and watch to see who works well together. Do it enough, and you might accidentally stumble across a dream team that gets things done perfectly on time every time.


Set Daily Goals

Setting weekly and monthly goals is common practice for offices. What about daily goals? Assign daily goals to the entire team to introduce more focus into the office. It will make their day more focused as they will know what they need to achieve. Instead of employees pushing back their task list and scrolling endlessly on social media, they will push toward reaching their daily goals. Do this each day, and the office will become far more productive.

The first step to creating a productive office is knowing you have an unproductive one. From there, you can do things to solve the problem and create more efficiency, such as changing the décor, mixing up the teams, and setting daily goals. Remember to ask the group how they feel about their productivity levels, too “ you might receive an important piece of feedback that helps you turn toward a more productive workspace.

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