5 things that might be damaging your productivity at work


When you’ve got a long to-do list, it’s important not to waste any time.

Yet there’s only a limited number of hours in the day, and it can often feel like you’re not making much progress. In this article, we will take a look at why your productivity might be suffering – and how to improve it.

1. Communication

Whether you work in a large team or are part of a more close-knit group, it’s important to keep talking to each other about what tasks need to be completed and who is responsible for them.

This prevents productivity-sapping problems, like duplication of work or a constant stream of corrections and edits which could have been avoided. When all members of a team have the same perspective, higher productivity often just falls into place.

2. Online distractions

Gone are the days when it was difficult to get sidetracked. With the many instant distractions provided by the internet, the temptation to have a sneaky break at your desk whenever you feel like it is huge.

Do you find yourself or your teammates checking the BBC Sport pages when you should be finishing a task? Or logging into Twitter and scrolling down aimlessly?

Although each individual distraction may seem small, when added up they can constitute a big chunk of time out of your working day. Consider using an online timer like the Pomodoro Technique to organise your day and give yourself structured, monitored breaks.

3. Old systems

Invest some time in looking around the way your finance team operates.

It might be that there are processes which sap lots of time but have never been scrutinised before. For example, do your employees spend too much time photocopying and filing paper invoices when they could just scan them in and store them in the cloud?

Often, an inefficient system stays in place because that’s the way a task has always been carried out, and no-one has thought about or looked into changing it.

4. No pushing

Often, it’s difficult to get the best out of an employee unless they are pushed.

If you manage a team, speak to your team members about where they see themselves going in their accountancy careers and how they can get there. And if you find that you’re languishing in your comfort zone yourself, speak to your manager about it.

You might be surprised what effect a conversation like this has, as having a goal and a plan often makes workers more motivated.

5. Weak spots

While a lot of your team will, be qualified or working towards a professional qualification, there may still be a need for some on the job learning here and there.

Be mindful that your team – and even you yourself – will have some weak spots which could be preventing peak productivity. Encouraging a culture where people ask questions if they don’t understand something will help nip these problems in the bud and save time down the line.

BTG Recruitment are experts in accountancy and finance recruitment. If you’d like a confidential discussion on how to take the next step in your career, please call us on 0115 960 7000 or email m.finch@btgrecruitment.com.

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