Low Productivity at Work? This Might Be the Cause.
Have you noticed an employee or two at work suffering from a slow—or maybe a sudden—decline in productivity? While some people may be quick to point the blame back to the employee and cite laziness and lack of discipline and focus as the reasons, some cases of productivity decline may need to be looked into more closely.
If you’re noticing any particular employee not performing at par with the standards, especially if that employee has a good track record, check for underlying causes.
Presenteeism: What It Is and How It Affects the Workplace
Many people are familiar with absenteeism, but not too many are familiar with the opposite—presenteeism. But while the two might be different, both are characterized with loss of productivity.
Presenteeism is being in the workplace but not being able to function in an optimal level because of various reasons, foremost of which is pain or illness. One study shows that about 30% of employees lose at least 2 hours of work a month due to pain.
So what are most common types of pain that employees suffer from? Here are three:
This is typically caused by poor posture and by sitting for hours without getting up. If there are chairs in your office that are no longer functioning well, this can exacerbate the pain.
Neck and Shoulder Pain
Stiffness in the neck and shoulder is typically caused by sitting in one position without moving for hours, especially if you’re hunched over your keyboard and the chair doesn’t have head support. The muscles tense, and thus you feel the pain after a few hours.
Typing on the computer for hours, continuous clicking on the computer mouse—these repetitive movements can lead to strain and pressure on the nerves of the hands and wrists. Ignoring the pain can lead to the more serious carpal tunnel syndrome.
Any of these types of pain, and some others, can be causing presenteeism and low productivity at work. If you notice an employee not performing as he used to, check the condition of the employee to ensure he is well. Check his working environment as well to see whether it might be contributing to the condition the employee is suffering from.
Now, how can you prevent productivity problems and presenteeism at work?
Keep your workplace ergonomic. Position the furniture so that they encourage natural movement. Invest in ergonomic furniture and accessories—from standing desks to adjustable chairs and ergonomic mice and keyboards.
Cultivate an environment that provides the right life-work balance. Respect employee hours and rest days, and allow for relationship-building activities in the workplace.
Keep an open line of communication with your employees. Create an environment that will encourage people to speak up when something is wrong with them instead of keeping things to themselves to the detriment of their health and the work that they do.
Even the most productive employees will have their low moments, and that’s okay as long as they are able to bounce back soon enough. But once you start noticing a pattern of productivity decline, be sure to check on your employee to address the problem right away.
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