Have you ever been to a business of any kind and had an employee ignore you? The majority of people have, so it would be no surprise if you have too.

When a customer is being ignored or passed over by workers it can be caused by many different things. Each one of those things affects the volume of work that staff member puts out in a day.

Last year CareerBuilder.com released survey results that indicate it’s possible some employees are only productive for about 5 out of 8 hours per day. That means 3 of those hours is spent doing non-productive things.

Just what are these workers doing when they should be working? Let’s look at 6 on the job productivity killers and find out.

1. Cell Phones

Too many people are attached to their phones these days. In fact, it seems like many can’t put them down

You know what I’m talking about. And it’s not just teenagers either. I have been to many different businesses and observed workers who ignore the customer because they are too busy staring at their phones.

Lost productivity due to cell phone use has become a national epidemic. According to the same survey by CareerBuilder, cell phones are one of the top causes of lost productivity.

2. Internet Use

Another on the job productivity killer is internet use. Most businesses use computers at least part of the time for job duties and some rely on them heavily.

If a computer is a must in the workplace it is most likely connected to the internet. Unfortunately for some workers this poses too much of a temptation to waste time.

3. Workplace Gossip

When two or three people are gathered together there is usually someone among them who is the social butterfly of the group. That person will tell anyone and everyone what they overheard at the salon yesterday while getting their hair done.

But it doesn’t stop there. After telling everyone in the group, she will move on to tell other departments or friends the latest juicy tidbit too.

Before long the telling and retelling of her “news” has wasted 30 minutes to an hour or more of valuable work time.

4. Smoke breaks

Of course the law entitles workers to take their 15 minute breaks twice per day. However, there are some employees who sneak an extra break or two into their day as well.

Why? They have to go out and have a quick smoke. Waiting until break times or lunch time might be too long for them to go without their nicotine fix.

These extra breaks use time that could be spent in more constructive ways at work.

5. Meetings

Meetings are sometimes mandatory on the job productivity killers. Many an employee has complained about attending this type of meeting, and rightly so at times.

Some of these meetings end up not even being relevant to what the staff member does. However, it was mandatory so they had to go. Talk about a productivity killer!

6. Noisy surroundings can be bad productivity killers

An additional on the job productivity killer is noisy surroundings. If you work in a setting in which the noise level is so high it is difficult to concentrate what happens to productivity? It will fall, no question.

Each time a worker engages in one of these 6 on the job productivity killers it costs their employer time and money. Certainly corrective measures need to be taken to reduce and prevent this type of behavior.

Just what that action should be is up to each individual business, obviously. But hopefully, identifying what kills productivity can be a start.

Originally published here.


  • John Rampton

    I write about interesting startups.

    Hey, my name is John Rampton. I’m a serial entrepreneur. I love helping people in addition to building amazing products and services that scale. I'm currently the CEO of Calendar. John was recently named #2 on Top 50 Online Influencers in the World by Entrepreneur Magazine as well as a blogging expert by Forbes. Time Magazine recognized John as a motivations speaker that helps people find a "Sense of Meaning" in their lives. He currently advises several companies in the bay area. John loves helping others succeed online. It's all about helping and giving back. It brings me joy in my life. You'll also find that when you give to people that it always comes back. You can connect with me @johnrampton. I blog about my success and my epic failures on Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc, TechCrunch, Mashable, Huffington Post and many more.