Productivity Challenges in the 'Onerous Office'

By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 2015-11-17 Email

Did you ever think that you'd be more productive in the office if, well, you didn't have to work in an office? If so, you're not alone. In fact, IT employees and other knowledge workers spend far less time getting the job done at their desk than you'd probably expect, according to a recent survey from Jabra. The accompanying report, "Productivity at the Office—Challenges 2015," paints a picture of what we'll call the "onerous office," one in which incessant emails and meetings distract employees from more important tasks. They're even sidetracked by room temperature levels and office noise. Chalk it up to a sign of the times: With more open space designs and the push for greater collaboration, workspace designs are transforming traditional norms about what constitutes the work day. "Time at work has changed considerably," according to the report. "Today it is non-routine, specialized, diverse, intense and complex. … Colleagues, rather than managers, are increasingly taking over the coordination of work. More decisions are made together, and progress of projects [is] shared more openly. This makes the requirements for effective work performance more complex." The report includes revealing insights about why meetings are often ineffective, as well as issues with an old "favorite": the conference call speaker phone. Nearly 2,500 global knowledge workers took part in the research.

Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

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